Solo sailor pit stop

Solo Russian sailor Fedor Konyukhov, 56, has pulled in to Cape Town to repair his 27m (88ft) monohull Trading Network Alye Parusa after experiencing problems during his singlehanded delivery voyage from Falmouth, UK to Albany, Western Australia.

The Russian adventurer will attempt a solo circumnavigation record around the Antarctica Race track early in 2008, but must first repair a broken staysail chain plate torn from the foredeck during a storm in the South Atlantic, as well as replace the yacht’s main autopilot which failed a month ago.

A diver will also attempt to unblock the seawater inlet valve to the yacht’s starboard ballast tank. For the past month, the only way for Fedor to fill the tank has been to go onto port tack and gravity fill it from the tank on the opposite side.

Fedor, who left Falmouth on 12 October, expects to have Trading Network Alye Parusa ship-shape again by December 18 when he plans to set out on the final 4,500-mile stage across the Southern Ocean to Albany and start of the Antarctica Cup.>