Home stretch for climate activist

Tayler NealeAlbany Advertiser

Sailor Lisa Blair is set to become the first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica when she arrives in Albany today.

The 32-year-old is expected to arrive at the Albany Waterfront Marina between 1pm and 3pm today after sailing nearly 40,000km over the past six months.

Blair set off with the hope of completing the trip unassisted but she was forced to abandon this aim after her boat, Climate Action Now, was de-masted in treacherous conditions off the Cape of Good Hope in April.

The Queensland sailor spent eight weeks in Cape Town making repairs before continuing and said she was thrilled to return to Albany finally.

“It would be an understatement to say I’m excited to return to Albany,” she said.

“I have had to fight hard and long since losing my mast to keep the trip going and to finish what I started.

“I will become a world record holder, be able to see and hug my family after six months of the ocean struggles, and enjoy the hospitality that Albany has to offer.

“It will be fantastic to simply be back in Australia.”

Blair said she was hopeful there would be a strong turnout for her arrival.

“It would be fantastic to see you all at the dock to welcome me back,” she said. “The support I received from Albany when I left for this trip was fantastic and I hope to see and celebrate with you all again.”

One of the aims of the trip was to raise awareness of the impact of climate change on the environment with small notes printed across the boat with simple messages on how people can take climate action.

Blair thanked her sponsors and volunteers who had helped make the trip possible.

“I set out on this journey to become the first woman to sail solo around Antarctica raising awareness of the message Climate Action Now,” she said.

“This is a journey that is not mine alone and would not have been possible without the support from my sponsors, volunteers who donated their time and the generosity of those who have contributed to my challenge.”

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