Lisa Blair now has her bow pointed towards Cape Horn as she continues her journey to become the first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica: solo, non-stop and unassisted

9 February 2017

Despite the chilly conditions, Lisa Blair is upbeat; she has passed the South West Cape in New Zealand and is now sailing towards Cape Horn in Chile.

Writing on her blog on 8 February, 2017, she said: “The winds are now a steady 15 knots from the W and I am sailing on a course of 60 degrees towards to the Antipodes Island. The plan is to sail below this island but by traveling NE over the next day or so I should miss the worst of the swell coming off the forecasted Low heading my way.”

“I have now cleared both the Auckland Island and Campbell Island and I also managed another big milestone……..the of passing my second cape. The South West Cape which is off the bottom of New Zealand was passed at 11:10:51 my local time this morning. The next cape is some ways away. It is Cape Horn.”

Lisa is attempting to circumnavigate Antartica and break some records along the way.

She is aiming to become the first woman to circumnavigate Antartica solo, non-stop and unassisted in less than 100 days.

The 32-year-old left Albany in Western Australia on 22 January 2017 to compete in the Antartica Cup Ocean Race – the first woman to do so.

Rules mean that she can’t sail above the 45th parallels south or below the 60th parallels south.

Up to now, Lisa’s course has been around the 50th parallels south.

She is hoping to reach Cape Horn by the end of February/beginning of March before setting a course for Cape Agulhas off South Africa.

 

31 January 2017

Lisa Blair has left Western Australia in her attempt to become the first woman to circumnavigate Antartica solo, non-stop and unassisted in less than 100 days.

She is hoping to break the current record set by Russian yachtsman Fedor Konyukhov in May 2008.

Konyukhov took 102 days, 35 minutes and 50 seconds to solo circumnavigate, with his route falling entirely between the 45th and 60th parallels south.

Blair, who is the first woman to compete in the Antarctica Cup Ocean Race, is also hoping to become the first woman to circumnavigate below 45 degrees South.

First Golden Globe entrant heads to the start line

The 32-year-old sailor left King George Sound in Albany on 22 January 2017.

Her departure had been delayed because of an electrical problem.

Blair, who took part in the 2011-12 Clipper Round the World Race, will be attempting her world record in the purpose built Climate Action Now, named to raise awareness of the impact of climate change.

Originally based of the Open 50 racing design Climate Action Now, the yacht, which was originally called  Funnel-Web, was purpose built to race in the Double Handed Melbourne to Osaka Yacht Race.

“I will be taking on the gigantic swell of the Southern Ocean with all of its stormy anger while dodging icebergs and sailing in the frigid temperatures blowing off Antarctica,” noted Blair, who said winning the 2011-12 Clipper Race on board Gold Coast Australia showed her what “we are capable of if we work hard and put our minds to it”.

The 16,000-nautical-mile Antarctica Cup Ocean Race passes by the world’s three most notorious capes — Cape Leeuwin in Australia, Cape Horn off the coast of Chile and Cape Agulhas off South Africa.

Writing on her blog following her departure, Blair said: “Well I still can’t believe I am here sailing south…This is three years in the making with so many hurdles and set backs to overcome.”

“There was also so much to get done in Albany that I never really got the chance to just sit and assimilate the challenge before me.  I was a constant blur of energy going from one task to the next and now that I am at sea I still don’t feel like I have left,” she continued.

“To be honest I feel like I am just setting off for a week at sea not three months. I am sure in a few days once the initial excitement passes I will come to terms with the scale of the challenge before me,” she said.

Blair began sailing professionally in 2006 after completing a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Visual Arts at university.

She has since clocked up more than 50,000 nautical miles of ocean sailing.

Following her Clipper win, she sailed with Vendée Globe skipper Alex Thomson.

In 2014, she was the only woman to take part in the ITL Solo Tasman Challenge, which sees sailors race across the Tasman sea from New Plymouth in New Zealand to Mooloolaba, Australia.

She has also competed in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Pippa Wilson

11 top female sailors

We've compiled a list of some of the top female sailors in the world. Who would you nominate?

Eric and Susan Hiscock

Top 10 yacht pioneers

YBW's list of the top 10 yacht pioneers in the last 100 years. Who do you think should be on…