Lisa Blair set to wipe 4 days off record now just hours from finish in Auckland

The World Sailing Speed Record for Sydney to Auckland is set to be smashed by acclaimed Australian Solo Sailor Lisa Blair who is due to arrive across the finish line between North Head and Rangitoto Island between 3pm to 4pm NZST ( 1 – 2pm AEST) today, April 9, taking 4 days off the record.

She will claim the record for the fastest person and first woman to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted from Sydney, Australia some 1200 nm to Auckland, New Zealand. Her arduous journey across the notorious Tasman Sea (The Ditch) has been marked by 30 knot squalls and fluky conditions including frustrating hours of virtual calm, a knock down mid Tasman and lightning storms but with little sleep over the 8-day journey she maintained a leading track over the previous record set in 2020 of 12 days and 14 hrs.

“On this trip the weather and seas threw every element at me and because it was a short window I have hardly slept and really pushed my settings the whole way. The boat has performed superbly but I am pretty exhausted and thrilled to be heading to this early finish and record and showcasing Climate Action now for a healthy ocean,” she said from onboard about 40 nm to the finish.

Lisa is sailing to promote Climate Action in her yacht called Climate Action Now adorned with messages from her followers and fans. See her website for details.

See her live tracker here.

The record will be verified by The World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC) and has been adjudicated by Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) CEO Justine Kirkjian, in conjunction with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) General Manager Sarah Wiblin.

The original record was set on the 22nd of January 2020, by retired Australian Veteran James Prascevic when he set the solo, monohull record with a time of 12d 14h 41m 15s, whilst promoting awareness of PTSD.

Lisa is the current world-record holder for sailing solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica in 2022, breaking the record by 10 days to add to her 4 other world records.

Following this new record, Lisa will embark on another world-first sailing record, Auckland to Auckland around NZ, to become the first person to complete the trip, solo, non-stop and unassisted, a voyage she anticipates will take 15 to 18 days to complete.

Lisa Blair is a driving force for change and uses her world records to create positive education and participation around the Climate Action Now message.  On the Antarctic voyage Lisa worked in partnership with the Australian Institute of Marine Science to complete the largest microplastic survey of regions ocean. The sad news was that every sample had plastic and 64.8% of the microplastics found on her voyage were classed as microfibre, generated from the textile industry. Her new world record trips enable her to share an amplify the key findings.

Key voyage findings:

  • The highest concentration of microplastics sampled was found in the waters below Australia and is equivalent to 357,500 particles of plastic in an Olympic size swimming pool.
  • An average of 58 000 particles of Microplastics in an Olympic size swimming pool volume of water was sampled around Antarctica.
  • Fibres were more abundant than fragments, comprising 64.8% of all microplastics found.
  • Lisa sampled a micro-bead from the middle of the Southern Ocean.  Commonly found in skin care products.
  • Supplied seafloor depth data to the Seabed 2030 Program

Following the NZ projects Lisa also has plans for an Arctic world record. The feature film about her Antarctic voyage, Ice Maiden, will have it’s world premiere at the Dock Edge Film Festival in NZ in June this year.

The start was crossed at 12noon on April 1, 2024: entrance to Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour). Line drawn between: Light House located on North Head: 33° 49.5' S; 151° 17.9' E and Hornby Light House located on South Head: 33° 50.0' S; 151° 16.8' E

Auckland finishing line is between: the southern edge of North Head (36° 49.8’ S, 174° 48.7’ E) and the front light beacon of the Rangitoto Channel leading lights (Fl(2) 4s 10m 14M (approximate position 36° 49.45’S, 174° 50.5’ E).

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