First woman to sail solo around Antarctica below 45 degrees (with one stop)

Australian sailor and adventurer Lisa Blair is set to arrive back in Albany, Western Australia tomorrow after successfully circumnavigating the Antarctic.

Six months after her departure and with a total of 104 days at sea, Sydney-based sailor and adventurer Lisa Blair is on course to set foot on Australian soil at around midday on Tuesday, 25 July.

Lisa will return to Albany Waterfront Marina, Vancouver Peninsula, where members of the public are encouraged to gather and greet her. The best vantage points for seeing Lisa’s Climate Action Now yacht are Break Sea Lighthouse and Rotary Lookout.

In the latest update on her blog, the yachtswoman said: ‘The only question mark is the fact that the winds were forecast to be blowing from the west tonight but I am already faced with WNW to NW winds making it hard to keep course to the North.

‘I just hope that tomorrow when the NW winds were forecast that they don’t veer to the North, or it will take me 3 times as long to get to port as I will be needing to tack my way up the coast line.

‘I also had plans to have a bucket bath today so that I am somewhat respectable before arriving into port but my day has disappeared before I got the chance, so unless I get some time in the morning in-between jobs then unfortunately, people of Albany, you will just have to suffer…

‘Current ETA is still lunchtime tomorrow weather pending and I currently have 110nm to run.  I will be seeing you all soon.’

Pending the official ratification of a record by the World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC), Lisa is set to become the first woman to circumnavigate the Antarctic.

Lisa began her journey on 22 January 2017, and after 72 days of travelling solo and unassisted, her yacht Climate Action Now was dis-masted.

Lisa was rendered fuel from a container ship, built a jury rig and motor sailed herself safely to Cape Town.

More below…

After spending two months there, Lisa departed Royal Cape Yacht Club, Cape Town bound for Albany at 1100 (CAT) on Sunday 11 June 2017 (1900 AET).

Lisa sailed back to the position of dismasting and crossed her track she re-sailed that section again unassisted.

On Friday, 21 July, Lisa crossed her outgoing track at position 45.02 S 118.06 E thereby completing a full circumnavigation below 45 degrees south without assistance and solo.



She said in her blog: ‘I had 3 years of preparations and 6 months at sea and in Cape Town to reach this point. I have had knock downs, giant waves, winds strong enough to rip the roof of your house, snow storms, hail, I have been dis-masted, had my collision with a container ship and managed through all of it to just keep going.

‘I just kept sailing east and now I am finally at the point where I will be crossing my original track at 45 South completing a full circumnavigation of Antarctica.  To say I was excited and proud is an understatement but I was those things and much more and none of this would not have been possible without the support of my amazing family, sponsors, the volunteers and all of the generous people who made donations to my campaign.

‘I wouldn’t have made it without you and while I still have the final leg of the journey to run from here back to Albany, tonight I crossed the official finish line. Crossing at 2100:21:48 Albany, WA time I have made history, crossed that track, and became the first women to sail solo, unassisted, below 45 South around Antarctica with one stop.

‘As I said the official record governed by the World Sailing Speed Record Council is Albany to Albany so it will be a few more days until I can secure that one but regardless I have still done it and succeeded…….I Have Made History!’

The final leg of the trip has found Lisa battling seasickness, snowstorms, a severe knockdown and exhaustion.

She said: ‘This last stretch of the journey has been harder than anticipated but I am so proud of my achievement and the work I have done in raising awareness of the message Climate Action Now.’