Antarctic mission accomplished for Blair

Published on May 25th, 2022

Albany, Australia (May 25, 2022) – Australian solo sailor Lisa Blair arrived this morning after three months at sea with a new world record to her name.

Hundreds of well-wishers gathered along Albany’s coastline and marina, cheering, holding sings and honking car horns in celebration of the record holder’s arrival.

The Sydney sailor set out on the journey from the Western Australian coastal city in February, aiming to break the world record for the fastest unassisted voyage around Antarctica.

The previous record was held by Fedor Konyukhov, who completed the journey in 102 days, 56 minutes, and 50 seconds back in 2008.

Blair first attempted to break that record in 2017 but was forced to abandon her goal when her yacht’s mast snapped in rough seas near South Africa.

Blair said it was a tough pill to swallow, but fueled her motivation to try again.

Five years on, she has succeeded in claiming the title, beating the previous record by 10 days, finishing the voyage on her 50-foot monohull in just 92 days, 18 hours, 21 minutes, and 20 seconds.

“I’ve done it, and I’ve shaved ten days off the record! This is a pretty big deal for me,” she said. “I first committed to the goal of trying to set this world record in 2014, so it’s actually been an eight-year journey.” – Full report

Editor’s note #1: Konyukhov had set the benchmark time for the 16,400 nm course in an 85-foot monohull, and it will be the World Sailing Speed Record Council that confirms Blair’s elapsed time on the course between the latitudes of 45° South and 60° South.

Editor’s note #2: The World Sailing Speed Record Council ratified the the time on July 12, which is now officially 92 days 18 hours 21 minutes and 22 seconds, bettering the previous record set by Konyukhov of 102d 1h 35m 50s.

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