Russian adventurer departs WA for world record balloon attempt

Catherine Healey

A Russian adventurer has taken to the skies in his bid to become the fastest solo person to travel the globe in a hot air balloon.

Fedor Konyukhov departed Northam, roughly 100km north-east from Perth, on Tuesday and plans to cross the Tasman to New Zealand, and then head on to South America and South Africa before returning to Australia - all within 13 days.

Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov takes off from WA on his world record attempt. Source: 7News

Steve Fossett took off from the same spot 14 years ago when he became the first person to solo circumnavigate the globe.

Now Mr Konyukhov hopes to break the record and add another bow to his extensive adventure list.

The 65-year-old, who has already climbed Everest twice, walked to the North and South poles and rowed the Pacific Ocean, says he is ready for the challenge.

Fedor Konyukhov on his rowing adventure.
Fedor Konyukhov walked to the North and South poles. Source: 7News

“It’s all about touch and feel,” he said.

With temperatures expected to hit 40 degrees below zero, Mr Konyukhov will sleep for just four hours a day during the trip – in 15 minute naps.

Current world record holder Steve Fossett.

Reaching speeds of up to 300km/h, the world record bid will see the adventurer return to Australia, but where exactly he’ll land still remains a mystery.