Russian adventurer and orthodox priest Fedor Konyukhov thanked his patron saint after completing the 7,000-mile first leg of his solo journey around the southern hemisphere in a rowing boat. On this, the first leg of his circumnavigation, he survived snow storms, 25ft waves, and was capsizing four times.

Mark Agnew writing for the South China Morning Post:

Fedor Konyukhov set off from New Zealand on December 6, and arrived in Diego Ramirez Islands, Chile on May 9. At 154 days, no one has spent longer in the Southern Ocean, in any kind of boat let a lone a rowing boat. The previous record was 59 days.

He is also now the oldest person, 67, to row any ocean solo. He has covered more distance in a rowing boat in the โ€˜roaring fortiesโ€™ and โ€˜furious fiftiesโ€™ latitudes than anyone before. When he reached 56โ€™40, he made furthermost south anyone has been in a rowing boat. He is now the first person to row east to west and west to east across the Pacific, having previously crossed from Chile to Australia.

The New Zealand to Chile crossing is just the first leg of Konyukhovโ€™s attempt to row around the world. He is still to row from Chile to Cape Town, then to Australia, and finally back to New Zealand. Briton Olly Hicks also has the circumnavigation in his sights. He aimed to leave in December 2018, but appears to be delayed.

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