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LISA BLAIR

The first woman to sail solo around Antarctica

ANTARCTICA CIRCUMNAVIGATION WORLD RECORD HOLDER

After joining the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and sailing more than 40,000 nautical miles in 12 months, Lisa Blair further developed her love for ocean sailing and began working for Alex Thomson Racing on the 60-foot racing yacht sponsored by Hugo Boss. She then worked as skipper of the 68-foot ex-America’s Cup racing yacht Southern Cross, sailing around the Whitsunday Islands before then sailing twice across the Tasman Sea from Australia to New Zealand in 2014, clocking up almost 3000 nautical miles of solo sailing experience in preparation for her first attempt at the Antarctica record.

 Lisa acquired her yacht in November 2015 and skippered it in the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart. Then after more than three years of planning and gathering funds Lisa set off on 22 January 2017 from Albany WA with the goal of becoming the first woman to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica, as well as trying to break the record of 102 days held by Russian Fedor Konyukhov.

72 days into her solo voyage and three quarters of the way around Antarctica, Lisa suffered a dramatic and life-threatening dismasting in storm conditions more than 1000 nautical miles from land. Lisa managed to save her yacht, was rendered fuel from a passing container ship, built a jury rig and motor-sailed into Cape Town, South Africa. Two months later Lisa re-started her voyage, crossed her track at the position of dismasting and continued back to Australia.

On 25 July Lisa made history and became the first woman to sail solo and unassisted around Antarctica, however with one stop. Lisa was awarded the Spirit of Adventure award by Australian Geographic and the Seamanship Award by the Ocean Cruising Club and finished off the year by partnering with The Magenta Project and leading the first all-female team in 16 years to race in the 2017 Rolex Sydney Hobart on board her yacht Climate Action Now.

 

Following an incredible year in 2017 Lisa set off in the New Year with the goal of becoming the first woman to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around Australia. Lisa succeeded on 17 December 2018 when she sailed into Sydney Harbour after facing down storms, drifting as she was becalmed, near sinking and safely navigating around the many reefs and rocks. Lisa established a new record time of 58 Days, 2 hours, 25 minutes and 29 seconds.

 

In 2019, Lisa once again made history as she competed with her yacht d’Albora/Climate Action Now in the ORCV Melbourne to Hobart Yacht Race. Lisa raced with Jackie Parry and together they were the first double-handed female team in the history of the race to compete. In November 2020 Lisa’s debut book, Facing Fear was published by Australian Geographic and then in 2021 Lisa once again turned her attention back to the Southern Ocean with the goal of sailing solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica and setting the overall speed record.

 

In May 2022 Lisa completed her solo, unassisted and non-stop circumnavigation of Antarctica – not only setting a new record but arriving back in Albany with personal redemption on her first attempt.

 

Lisa became a Musto ambassador in the lead up to the most recent record attempt and continues to use Musto in all her sailing.

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