Hero­ine of the south­ern seas

Australian Geographic - - Your Society -

ON 25 JULY, YACHTSWOMAN Lisa Blair sailed tri­umphantly back to Al­bany,WA, and straight into the his­tory books af­ter be­com­ing the first wo­man to sail solo and unas­sisted around the world be­low 45 de­grees south.With the sup­port of $10,000 from the So­ci­ety’s 2017 Nancy Bird Wal­ton Spon­sor­ship, Lisa be­gan her epic South­ern Ocean odyssey on 22 Jan­uary this year with the prospect of sail­ing through some of the wildest waves and most pow­er­ful winds the planet can con­jure up. She was 72 days into her at­tempt when dis­as­ter struck and her 15m yacht Cli­mate

Ac­tion Now was dis­masted in huge seas. Lisa was ren­dered fuel from a pass­ing con­tainer ship and mo­tor/sailed to South Africa for ur­gent re­pairs. Un­de­terred, she went on to com­plete the task and ar­rived in Al­bany,WA, on 25 July, be­com­ing the first wo­man to com­plete the cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion be­low that lat­i­tude. Lisa is grit, en­durance and de­ter­mi­na­tion per­son­i­fied and we are proud to be as­so­ci­ated with her trail­blaz­ing achieve­ment. She has been nom­i­nated for one of the pres­ti­gious awards at our an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of ad­ven­ture and con­ser­va­tion on 1 Novem­ber. She is a wor­thy can­di­date, so if you would like to find out whether she is one of our in­spir­ing win­ners for 2017, please join us for our most im­por­tant night of the year at the Sofitel Went­worth Ho­tel, Syd­ney, on Wed­nes­day 1 Novem­ber. See page 10 for how to book.

Jo Runci­man, AGS chair

Lisa Blair com­pletes her Antarc­tica solo sail­ing chal­lenge in July.

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