When Australian sailor Lisa Blair announced that she was going to be the first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica single-handed, many people doubted the challenge would get off the ground. But here at www.mysailing.com.au we were very confident.
She has confirmed that the expedition will start in December – she has the boat and almost enough sponsorship to make it happen. But now she is asking for help from Sydney-based people to help prepare Climate Action Now for the big event.
An Impressive Woman
Lisa began her offshore adventures in the Clipper Race and we got to know her through the blogs she wrote exclusively for us. We knew she was a special person when we read the report of her going up the mast in mountainous seas and gale-force winds to free a twisted spinnaker from the forestay, refusing to come down until the job was done despite severe bruising from being thrown against the mast.
In preparation for the Antarctic circumnavigation she entered the Solo Tasman race but the boat she was to sail was sold a month before the event. I lent her my 37ft Van de Stadt, which had been sitting unloved on a mooring for many months, and I was very impressed with how quickly and efficiently she brought it back up to Cat One standard. She then sailed across the Tasman to the start and back to Mooloolaba where she finished 10th in the race.
She then bought Climate Action Now after an appeal on this website for a loan was successful, and competed in the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart.
Now Lisa is asking for help to get her boat ready for the arduous journey.
“It has been a long road to get to here and I now have just enough to get me to the start. However I can't do this alone. I am asking for any volunteers that may be able to help. I have four weeks to get two months worth of work done so if anyone is in Sydney and can spare a few hours or days I would really appreciate it,” Lisa says.
“Key areas that I need help with are the electric installation of the B&G electronic gear and the conversion to eco-powered systems. Then there is plumbing, glass work, anti-fouling and general labour assistance and a trimmer to make up new covers and lee cloths, an aluminium welder, anyone who could make a fuel tank, glass, carbon and resin supplier, paint and new batteries… There is a lot to do.”