Fearless Australian yachtswoman Lisa Blair nearly lost her life in the Southern Ocean back in 2017.
This week she plans to face her fears and return to these notoriously stormy seas in a three-month long second attempt to sail solo, non-stop, around Antarctica in record time aboard her yacht ‘Climate Action Now’, loaded with scientific monitoring devices and probes.
She was described as the ‘Ice Maiden’ following her death-defying attempt to become the first woman to sail around Antarctica solo and non-stop in 2017 aboard her 50-foot sail yacht ‘Climate Action Now’. The secondary goal was to break the current record of 102 days 1 hour 35 minutes 50 seconds held by Russian Fedor Konyukhov.
Seventy-two days into her solo voyage and three quarters the way around Antarctica Lisa suffered a dramatic and life threatening dismasting in storm conditions more than 1000nm 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, SA.
Two months later Lisa re-started her voyage, crossed her track at the position of the dismasting and continued back to Australia. On July 25th Lisa made history and became the first woman to sail solo and unassisted around Antarctica with one stop. Now she wants to repeat the challenge and complete it non-stop in record time. She hopes to set sail on Wednesday February 9 2022, if the weather conditions are favourable.
Lisa Blair is under no illusion as to the challenge ahead. Forewarned is forearmed. Although she knows that in the middle of the Southern Ocean no one will be able to respond in an emergency. She will be well out of range of any air-sea rescue and fully dependent on her own resilience and painstaking preparation for all eventualities – from extreme weather and seas, to floating hazards such as ice, debris and lost shipping containers.
*Update on 9/2/21 – Departure delayed to weekend after final checks revealed a defective component. Awaiting replacement part.
By Jonathan Levy
To sponsor Blair, see: https://lisablairsailstheworld.com/360-degree-sponsors
To make a one off donation, see: https://lisablairsailstheworld.com/donate/
To purchase Blair’s book ‘Facing Fear’, see: https://lisablairsailstheworld.com/book
To follow Blair on social media, see: https://www.facebook.com/LisaBlairSailstheWorld/
For Blair’s 2021/22 interviews with My Sailing, see: