Our newest Australian hero, Lisa Blair recently completed the first female solo sailing, un-assisted, non-stop navigation around Antarctica. The 184 day epic sailing journey, commenced from Albany (WA), sailing around Antarctica below 45 degrees, and then back to Albany.
Lisa is a well known and respected professional yacht charter skipper on Sydney Harbour.
Lisa selected a 50ft “Open 50” design yacht that she especially fitted out to handle the rugged sea conditions, and thermal insulation to survive in extreme cold. She also fitted state of the art communications systems to assist her safety. Her vessel was renamed to Climate Action Now to highlight the need to look after our beautiful natural assets.
Lisa battled many adversities to achieve this amazing feat. Firstly, the vision and drive to pull together sponsors, and source and fit out the yacht on Sydney Harbour. She then sailed to Albany, where the journey would officially commence.
During the voyage itself, she was belted by every element of nature – huge seas, massive winds, snow, hail, and of course freezing cold. Then, she over came some demoralizing set backs. After several knock downs (when the wind throws the boat onto it’s side, her vessel suffered significant damage and was de-masted and damaged some deck fittings. She set up a jury rig and limped back to South Africa. After 8 weeks of repairs, Lisa set sail again, and after 184 days, she successfully circumnavigated Antarctica, then returned back to Albany on July 21, 2017. The rest is in the history books..
She records on her regular BLOGs that trip was hard and dangerous. But on top of the physical stresses, was the constant sleep depravation and the loneliness of solo yacht sailing.
By overcoming all these challenges, Lisa is officially our first female solo yacht sailor to circumnavigate Antarctica. Well done Lisa..!