Fedor Konyukhov

Budget: fee on request
Languages: Russian
Geography: Russia & CIS countries

Fedor Konyukhov is a Russian survivalist, traveller, yacht captain and balloon pilot. He was born in the village of Chkalovo, Pryazovskyi Raion, Zaporizhia Oblast, Ukrainian SSR. In December 2010, he was ordained as an Eastern Orthodox priest in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate).

Konyukhov was born in the village of Chkalovo, located in the Pryazovskyi Raion of Ukraine's Zaporizhia Oblast. His father was a fisherman on the Sea of Azov, while his grandfather had served in the same garrison as Georgy Sedov, an Arctic explorer. Konyukhov attended a nautical school in Odessa and another in Leningrad earning a specialty in polar navigation. Subsequently, he worked as a professional navigator and marine engineer. He served 3 years in the Soviet Navy. He was stationed in a Kaliningrad guardhouse with the Baltic Fleet when he volunteered for a 2.5 year tour of duty as a Soviet Marine sailing across the South China Sea as special forces delivering munitions to the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War. After his service in the Soviet Armed Forces, he disliked the terrible realities of war and completed a vocational arts school in Bobruisk which enabled him to become a successful painter and sculptor. Konyukhov is an ordained priest in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). He was made a deacon in 2010.

In 1983, Fedor Konyukhov was admitted to the Union of Artists of the USSR (he was the youngest member at that moment). Since 1996 he has been a member of the Moscow Union of Artists, Graphic Arts section; since 2001, a member of the Sculpture section as well.

He is a winner of the Gold Medal of the Russian Arts Academy, an Honorary Academician of the Russian Arts Academy and the creator of more than 3,000 paintings. He has participated in a number of Russian and international exhibitions.

Fedor Konyukhov becomes the first priest of the Russian Orthodox Church to successfully climbed Mt. Everest. He took the icon of St. Nicholas to the Summit with him.

2015 - Global Ambassadors for Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors.

Konyukhov is the only person[citation needed] to have reached such extreme points of the planet as the North Pole (three times), the South Pole, the Pole of Inaccessibility in the Arctic Ocean and the top of Mount Everest (twice) and also sailed around the world via Cape Horn 4 times.

In May 2008, Konyukhov completed a solo circumnavigation of Antarctica in a sailboat, becoming the first person to do so. His attempt began on 26 January 2008 and took 102 days in total, with his route falling entirely between the 45th and 60th parallels south.

Konyukhov has set world records, notably crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a row-boat URALAZ in 46 days, the best 24-hour distance in the same boat (110 miles).

From December 22, 2013 to May 31, 2014 Fyodor Konyukhov crossed the Pacific ocean starting in the Chilean port of Concon and finishing in Australian town of Mooloolaba (Sunshine Coast) without entering ports and without any external help or assistance. He covered the distance of more than 17,408 km (9400 nautical miles) on the Turgoyak (K9) rowboat in just 162 days.

On 23 July 2016, Konyukhov became the second person to circumnavigate the world in a hybrid hot-air helium balloon. American Steve Fossett is the only other person to have completed the feat, having done so in 2002 on his sixth attempt. Konyukhov took "just over 11 days", as opposed to Fossett's 13 days.

Konyukhov announced his intention to challenge Fossett's record in September 2015, although the idea had "first captured [his] imagination in 1992". The balloon he used, named the Morton, was specially constructed by Cameron Balloons in Bristol, England, and had a height of 60 metres (200 ft) and a volume of 15,500 cubic metres (20,300 cu yd). The balloon's non-pressurised gondola was made of carbon fibre and measured roughly 2 metres (6.6 ft) wide and 2 metres (6.6 ft) tall, containing Konyukhov's bed, food, water, oxygen, and first-aid supplies, as well as navigation and communication equipment.

The attempt began in Northam, Western Australia, 96 kilometres (60 mi) north-east of Perth, on 12 July 2016. He and his team had arrived in Australia in June, but experienced several delays due to weather and the failure of equipment to arrive on time.  After launching, Konyukhov flew east across Australia and the South Pacific Ocean to South America, where he passed through Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and the southern tip of Brazil. He then flew across the South Atlantic, the southern Indian Ocean, and the Southern Ocean before eventually landing again in Bonnie Rock, Western Australia, completing his circumnavigation. Konyukhov's planned route was 33,000 kilometres (21,000 mi), but an unexpected southerly deviation (which took him to the Antarctic Circle) extended his flight to 34,000 kilometres (21,000 mi).