Fedor Konyukhov

Alye Parusa is getting ready for passage around Cape Horn

Annual service and refit at Reid Yacht Service in New Zealand (Auckland) is nearly completed. Australian skipper Mark McRae sailed her from Albany in September. She was lifted out of the water first week of October and was scheduled to be re-launched by mid November, with the goal be in Sydney around Mid December to participate in Sydney-Hobart race.

Soon after lifting in New Zealand hidden damage on the keel steel fin was discovered (vertical crack). Possibly this damage happened when Russian skipper Fedor Konyukhov sailed around Antarctica during inaugural Antarctica Cup race.

After few weeks investigations and consultations with boat designer, boat builder, various keel designers and steel manufactures – it was agreed that for the sake of safety it is necessary to design and produce new keel.

09 December 2008 skipper Mark McRae made official announcement to CYCA about Trading Network Alye Parusa retirement.

New keel was designed by the naval architect Jaap van der Neut (New Zealand). Based on these drawings new keel was produced by AIMECS ENGINEERING Ltd (New Zealand) in association with Holton Marine.

Just 2 days before the Christmas the boat was re-launched in Auckland. 8 Russian crew including skipper Fedor Konyukhov and project manager Oscar Konyukhov are coming to Auckland on 03 of January 2009 to get the boat ready for long distance passage: New Zealand – Cape Horn – Falkland Islands – Antigua – Falmouth (UK).

The boat will be skippered by Australian sailor Mark McRae, with Fedor Konyukhov taking part only in leg 1 (NZ – Cape Horn - Falklands) – as a co-skipper.

The 7,000-mile route has been again plotted across the rigorous Roaring Forties and the Howling Fifties. In order to sail round Cape Horn, the yacht will have to reach out to the 57th degree of southern latitude.

Fedor Konyukhov said, "To me, please God, this will be a fifth cruise round the legendary Cape Horn. To the rest of the crew that will be the first experience. The goal is to navigate the route safely and preserve the yacht and the crew. Sailing across Southern Ocean is great experience and I hope that our crew will enjoy this passage. One of the goal is to get the crew ready for next year fully crewed Antarctica Cup Russian-Australian campaign. The rules for Antarctica Cup is very simple: circumnavigate Antarctica from west to east within the corridor 45 South – 60 South, non-stop, unassisted. This is what makes AC race – the ultimate challenge for every sailor. Leg from New Zealand to Cape Horn should be good learning curve for the Russian crew before Antarctica Cup 2010".