Solo sailor kicks off speaking tour

PHOTO: Dean Coopman

Australia's Lisa Blair became the first woman to sail solo around Antarctica with one stop last year. Now she's coming to Te Anau in the first stop of her New Zealand speaking tour to share her experiences and upcoming mission to sail around Australia.

If solo sailing around Antarctica wasn't enough, the 33-year-old now has her sights on becoming the first woman and the first mono hull yacht to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around Australia.

She plans to do so in her boat "Climate Action Now", which would be the first vessel run by renewable energy sources to undertake a consecutive non-stop, unassisted, voyage around Australia.

Miss Blair discovered her passion for sailing started more than a decade ago, and soon fell in love with long-distance sailing across the open seas. As she read about the journeys of ambitious solo sailors, the challenge of a solo mission began to appeal to her, inspiring her to eventually take on Antarctica.

"Most of them were just normal people and they went out and got the skills that they needed to go and do the trip that they wanted to do."

Miss Blair will talk about sailing around Antarctica, including a near-death experience when her mast came crashing down due to rigging failure during a storm of 8m waves and heavy winds.

Her New Zealand speaking tour kicks off in Te Anau next Tuesday (May 8), which will help raise funds for her Australia mission later this year. She said people didn't have to be sailors to enjoy the talk.

Lisa Blair will be speaking on Tuesday, May 8 at the Marakura Yacht Club at 6:30pm. $20 ticket fee at the door, free admission for kids under 15.


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