Start: Cape Town, Republic of South Africa
Planned Finish: Hobart, Australia
Expected distance: 17,000 nautical miles (app. 31,500 km)
Expected time: 100 days (including 80 days circumnavigating Antarctica)
Yacht: Katharsis II (Oyster 72), length: 72 feet (22 m)
Skipper: Mariusz Koper
Crew: Skipper + 8
This major sailing challenge – a voyage of approximately 100 days through some of the world’s most difficult seas and oceans – comprises the circumnavigation of Antarctica, the coldest and least accessible continent on our planet. Mariusz Koper and his entirely Polish crew are planning to be the first to completely circumnavigate Antarctica south of the 60th parallel. This is an opportunity for a new sailing world record. The planned voyage will meet the requirements of the World Sailing Speed Record Council and those of Guinness World Records.
The current challenge – to circumnavigate Antarctica as close to the continent and within as short a time as possible – is a natural follow-up to Koper’s earlier accomplishments and experience. Until now, no sailing yacht has ever circumnavigated Antarctica in such proximity south of the 60th parallel.
The shortest officially recognised record time for circumnavigating Antarctica by yacht – albeit farther out, between the 45th and 60th parallels south, and both starting and finishing in Australia – is 102 days.
(*) Mariusz Koper, Offshore Yacht Skipper: businessman and owner of S/Y Katharsis II, length: 22 m (type: Oyster; built by: Rob Humphrey; shipyard: Wroxham Marine, United Kingdom; construction material: fibreglass; year of construction: 2009).
Mariusz Koper, a skipper with 20 years of experience, sails this yacht to make his navigation dreams come true; his achievements include rounding Cape Horn twice. Among his many voyages to different parts of the planet, some have been particularly challenging, including the Atlantic to Pacific Northwest Passage in 2012, as well as Antarctic voyages beyond the subantarctic circle to the Antarctic Peninsula in 2011 and to the Ross Sea in 2015, which is open to navigation for just a few weeks each year. During the latter expedition, Koper reached the Bay of Whales, the southernmost point of open ocean on Earth, and the closest point to the South Pole.
Katharsis II is an extremely robust and fast vessel, as was proven during the 2014 ROLEX Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race.
Up-to-date reports on the Katharsis II – Around Antarctica South of the 60th Parallel voyage are available on the project’s dedicated website: www.dookolaantarktydy60S (www.antarcticcircle60S.com), on social media and top sailing websites, as well as on partner radio and TV channel.