Lisa Blair was attempting to become the first women to circumnavigate Antarctica: solo, non-stop and unassisted when, on 4 April she issued a PAN PAN 895nm south of Cape Town (048:38:384S : 022:31:430E) when in 40 knot winds and 7m swell her boat Climate Action Now was dismasted after the port shroud broke. That was her 72nd day at sea.
She then made her way to Cape Town where she has undergone repairs, determined to finish her mission.
On 11 June she recommenced her attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica, having docked in Cape Town on 12 April. She has spent the past two months preparing Climate Action Now so that she can complete her circumnavigation, including the installation of a new mast and repairs to the hull and electrical and navigation systems sustained during her dramatic dismasting.
“I am so excited to finally be sailing again. 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” said Lisa.
Lisa will once again be required to traverse the perilous Cape of Good Hope and Cape Agulhas – where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans officially meet. Sea temperatures are expected to be approximately 3 – 5 degrees Celsius making conditions difficult.
“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.
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 welcome and will be forever grateful” she said.
Lisa will return Climate Action Now to below Latitude 45 degrees South and remain there for the duration of her journey to Albany. This is a requirement for her circumnavigation record, and she expects the passage to take 32 days.
Her plan after departing Cape Town was to sail back to the position of her dismasting, cross her track and then sail back to Albany.
Great Support in Cape Town
While in Cape Town she did make some wonderful friends, and had great support from the local sailing industry.
“I would like to thank all the businesses who that have worked overtime to get me up and running again. Thank you to:
Action Yachting – www.actionyachting.com
Arcus Wire and Rigging – https://www.arcuswire.com/
Associated Rigging – www.associatedrigging.co.za/
B & G – https://bandg.com/
Edward Williams Marine Insurance – www.edwardwilliam.com/
Harken – www.harken.co.za
MRAD (Marine Radio Acoustic Devices) – www.mrad.co.za/
Northern Reef Insurance – http://northernreef.net/
Quantum Sails – https://www.quantumsails.com/
Royal Cape Yacht Club – rcyc.co.za/
V & A Waterfront – www.waterfront.co.za/
Wichard Pacific – www.wichard.com.au/
The Race Track
The 360-degree Racetrack features gale force winds, high seas, fog, snow, icebergs, islands, extreme cold, the Antarctic circumpolar current, sailing above and below the southern Polar Convergence with the start and finish based out of Albany, Western Australia.
The Racetrack features 3 electronic lanes and 18 electronic gates. Gates are named after famous Antarctic expedition leaders and famous yachtsman and yachtswomen.
The Racetrack outer and inner boundaries are located on latitude 45° South and latitude 60° South making the Racetrack 900 nautical miles wide.
The wide Racetrack allows competitors to take advantage of favourable weather systems rotating clockwise around Antarctica and within the boundaries of the Racetrack.
The Southern Ocean officially starts below latitude 60° South. The southern ‘Polar Convergence’ is within the inner and outer boundaries of the Racetrack.