Icebergs hamper Antarctic race track

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As Russian solo sailor Fedor Konyukhov nears Cape Horn, some unexpected challenges in the form of icebergs await him in the South Atlantic.

A seasoned adventurer, Konyukhov, 56, set off from Albany, Australia, aboard his 85-foot open maxi monohull yacht, Trading Network Alye Parusa, on Jan. 26 to sail 14,600 miles around Antarctica non-stop as a prelude to the Antarctica Cup Race (www.antarcticacup.com) in 2008-09. The icebergs have created such a barrier that organizers have been forced to close an inside lane of the racetrack that Konyukhov is testing, according to a recent press release.

The C-Core Ice Tracking Service indicates that icebergs will extend into the north of South Georgia Island in South Atlantic, so organizers have taken the extra precaution of placing a “yellow flag alert” along the center lane of the racetrack.

“We are monitoring the situation on an hourly basis. No one has ever raced across these extreme latitudes east of Cape Horn before,” stated Bob Williams, CEO of the Antarctica Cup Race Management in the release. “Fedor may be feeling cold at this time, but the sight of all these icebergs is a clear sign that global warming is real.”

- Elizabeth Ellis