The Pacific Awaits
On December 12, 2012, Feodor Konyukhov announced that his new project of solo rowing across the Pacific Ocean is scheduled to start in December of 2013. In early December of this year, Fedor flew to England to visit the famous naval architect Phil Morrison to finalize the design of his new ocean row boat. The boat (working title “K9”) will be constructed in Demon Yachts in Ipswich, East Coast of England. In 2002, Fedor asked Phil Morrison to design him a light/fast one off ocean rowboat that was to become the famous Uralaz. On that rowboat Fedor set out across the Atlantic Ocean leaving La Gomera and reaching Barbados in just 46 days. That became a new world record for a solo row across the Atlantic. The design of the boat was so successful that it was used to build more than 20 ocean rowboats.
The person in charge of building and equipping the boat is Charlie Pitcher. In Febraury 2010, Charlie has done solo rowboat crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in just 54 days, beating both the race and UK solo records. In January 2013, he will be starting another solo across the Atlantic to set a new world record of 40 days. Read more about Charlie Pitcher here.
The project manager is another famous ocean rower - Simon Chalk. He is also known for putting together the races across the Atlantic Ocean. This Englishman has had 4 successful crossings of the Atlantic Ocean and 2 of the Indian Ocean. In 2003, Simon rowed the Indian Ocean in 108 days – becoming the youngest, fastest and the first Briton to row this ocean solo. Simon and his crew of seven people are gearing up for another rowing of the Atlantic in January 2013. The team will attempt to set a new world record by crossing the Atlantic ocean in 30 days. The existing record for teams is 32 days. Read more here.
Fedor Konyukhov: “Rowing solo across the Pacific Ocean is an extreme mission and we need the help of the professionals in this field. To cross the Atlantic you are faced with 3000 nautical miles and that you can manage in one season. In contrast, rowing across the Pacific Ocean, from the coast of Chile to the east coast of Australia, you are up against 8000 nautical miles. We are thinking that 180-200 days in the ocean is a given for this kind of project. Understandably, one season won’t be enough. I plan to start in December of 2013 (summer in the Southern Hemisphere) and finish the rowing by the fall of 2014. The heavy storms will be inevitable as I near Australia. The boat will undergo colossal pressure, and I need the latest technology in building and equipping the row boat. That’s why I asked for Charlie and Simon’s help in organizing this project. It’s a great advantage that they both have extensive experience in building their ocean row boats. In addition, Simon has put together ocean races and I will rely on his knowledge to get the boat to Chile from England, and helping me with the logistics of crossing from Chile to Australia.”
For the last 10 years the row boat design has gone through major changes, but for his future row-boat Fedor decided to keep the classic design of his previous boat “Uralaz”. The 9 meters long and 1.5 meters wide boat will have a carbon structure, which will result in much lighter weight compared to the “Uralaz”. It will carry 5 watertight bulkheads, two types of steering gear (stationary and emergency), and large compartments to store food and equipment.
A city-port Valparaiso, Chile is noted as a potential starting point. Estimate travel time is 200 days, and the finishing line is the east coast of Australia.
This project is financed by Fedor Knoukhov’s friends: two entrepreneurs from Chelyabinsk region - Oleg Sirotin and Sergey Eremenko.
There have been more than 30 solo crossings of the Pacific Ocean from East to West. However, as of today, there has been no solo crossing of this Ocean from the continent of South America to the continent of Australia. Here is a list of some of the ocean rowers that have made it across the Pacific, albeit touching the shores of the Australian continent.
Amount of days in the ocean
Distance covered (nautical miles)
Anders Svedlun (Sweden).
Papehue, on the west coast of Tahiti.
Peter Bird (England), the first person to row the width of the Pacific.
Great Barrier Reef (33 miles from the Australian mainland)
North Stradbrooke Island off Brisbane (Australia)
Maud Fontenoy (France), the first woman to row solo across the Pacific Ocean.
Alex Bellini (Italy).
Corral Sea (65 off the coast of Australia)
Serge Jandaud (France).