Finish line beckons sailorafter broken mast mishap

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Albany-bound sailor Lisa Blair has resumed her attempt to become the first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica solo after the mast of her boat Climate Action Now broke in treacherous conditions off the coast of South Africa.

Ms Blair has spent the past two months in Cape Town making repairs to the boat and is now aiming to complete her return to Albany in mid-July.

The Queensland sailor set off from Albany in January and was aiming to beat the world record of 102 days, set by Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov. With the world record now out of reach, the 32-year-old said she was focused on finishing the circum-navigation.

“I am so excited to finally be sailing again,” she said

“The conditions this time of year will have their own challenges and the biggest one is going to be how I cope with the cold conditions.”

Ms Blair said she was looking forward to returning to Albany.

“I have now been away for about five months, so it will be so great to sail back into Albany and see my family again,” she said.

“I especially want to say a thank you to the sailing community and the wonderful people of Cape Town for their support, hospitality and hard work in getting Climate Action Now back on the water.

“Whilst my stop was unscheduled, I could not have asked for a warmer wel-come and will be forever grateful.”

To complete the circumnavigation officially, Ms Blair must return her boat to latitude 45 degrees south.

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