On Monday, December 17,2018, 33-year-old Lisa Blair became the first woman to circumnavigate Australia solo, non-stop and unassisted.
Lisa crossed the finish line at Sydney Heads just after 2pm, giving a total elapsed time of 58 days and 3 hours.
The nominal distance for the journey is 6536nm but the total distance covered was nearly 7750nm.
Lisa's arrival in Sydney was delayed by the “perfect storm” created when a severe low pressure system combined with Tropical Cyclone Owen to deliver storm-force winds and heavy rain to most of the eastern Australian coast. Lisa was forced to heave-to off Sydney Heads to wait for the worst of the wild weather to abate.
See the celebration video here.
Contrary to earlier reports, Lisa was not the first person to do the circumnavigation non-stop in a monohull, however. That honour goes to David Beard in ”Skaffie 11” (a Joe Adams design 35 foot round bilge steel monohulll). Skaffie, as he was nicknamed, completed the circumnavigation in 68 days 8.5 hours in 1990. For this achievement he was awarded:
- The Rose Medal from the Ocean Cruising Club in the UK for the most meritorious single handed voyage of 1990.
- The Sid Yaffe Trophy from the Ocean Club of Australia for an outstanding achievement by an Australian.
- The Princes Block Trophy from Royal Qld Yacht Squadron for an outstanding sailing achievement by a Squadron member.
- Entry in the Guinness Book of Records (page 332). First non-stop circumnavigation of Australia by yacht. He left Brisbane on 28 July 1990 and arrived back on 5 October 1990.