Lisa Blair sets new record
Australian sailor Lisa Blair, 32, has become the first woman ever to circumnavigate Antarctica single-handed below 45°S.
Blair, 32, a former Clipper Round the World Race watch leader, sailing instructor and adventure sailing skipper, set out from Albany in Western Australia in January 2017.
Her goal was to break Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov’s 2008 record for the fastest solo, unassisted and non-stop circumnavigation of Antarctica. However, she was dismasted nearly 900 miles south of South Africa on 4 April in 40+ knot winds and 7-9m seas.
Blair garnered a strong following by recounting her adventures from on board the Open 50 Climate Action Now in extensive blogs. After her dismasting she described being faced with a Hobson’s choice of having to go onto the bowsprit to clear the rigging.
‘I was kneeling frozen on the bow another rope snapped that was holding the mast above the deck. I was running out of time and I didn’t have a choice. It was go out on that bow and free the rigging or loose the boat. Losing the boat was not an option.
‘I watched for a gap in the swell and crawled out on the end of the prodder. A few seconds after I sat down we were hit by a large wave and the boat started rolling even harder. My legs were clamped so hard and I was gripping the remaining bit of railing with a death grip as I held on.
‘I remember looking to the left at the waves and seeing only darkness, but there was just enough difference in colour for me to just make out the waves. They were well above me, the height of your average tree.’
Having safely made it to Cape Town under engine and jury rig she spent eight weeks repairing Climate Action
Now, before resuming her voyage on 11 June. She successfully completed a full circumnavigation of Antarctica on 21 July after 104 days at sea. an autobiography, Tis all a Chequer-board.
Born in Leigh-on-sea, Essex in 1924, Deeth attended Oxford University before training as a pilot for the Royal Air Force. He flew for the RAF until 1947, then moved to India to join his father’s import-export business. It was in India where he met Ann and bought his first boat, Kelpie, which they raced successfully.
Deeth retrained as a commercial airline pilot and was hired by British West Indies Airlines. The couple moved to Antigua in 1960 and built and opened The Inn at English Harbour.
Given his passion for sailing, Peter, along with friends Desmond Nicholson and Howard Hulford, decided to start a friendly racing event to mark the end of the tourist season. This event, which Peter co-founded and chaired multiple times, became Antigua Sailing Week, which has celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Sometimes described as a ‘force of nature’, Peter did not let much stand in his way once he had set his mind to something. The world is poorer with his loss.
Full-on conditions for Lisa Blair on her Open 50