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KILLER WHALES, GIANTS SWELLS AND STUNNING SUNSETS ACCOMPANY LISA BLAIR ON HOME RUN FOR NEW SAILING RECORD

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Solo sailor Lisa Blair is on the home straight of her newest sailing record, briefly accompanied by intrigued Orcas after she rounded the southern tip of New Zealand off Stewart Island and is now crossing Cook Strait to the North Island and entering the potentially most treacherous leg of her Auckland-to-Auckland record attempt.

 

The Australian sailor battled through sleep deprivation in five to six metre swells as she round Southwest Cape, with 35 to 45 knots of wind. She has dodged fishing vessels and huge waves shoving her vessel Climate Action Now around before relatively calmer conditions up the east coast of the South Island where the killer whales joined her journey.

 

“The sleep deprivation has been tough and that gale off Stewart Island was a rocky and risky ride, not even the many fishing boats were out in that storm,” Lisa said.

As she crosses Cook Strait and enters day 13 of the non-stop solo and unassisted voyage aiming to set a new world record route, Lisa will forgo precious sleep periods due to the increased ocean traffic and need for visual outlook.

 

Lisa crossed the start line at 0757 (NZST) Tuesday 7th May to embark on an Auckland to Auckland, around New Zealand, sailing record over more than 2,200 nm on a rhumb line. The public can track her journey on her yacht tracker and she navigates the finale leg.

Only last month she set a fastest time record for Sydney to Auckland as the first woman and solo monohull record of 8 days, 3hrs and 19 minutes, taking over 4 days off the existing record, to be ratified by World Sailing Speed Record Council (WSSRC).

 

The record, to be adjudicated by the RNZYS in collaboration (CYCA) and WSSRC, requires her course to enclose the whole of New Zealand including all rocks and islands lying within 8nm of the mainland. Her predicted arrival back in Auckland is the end of this week.

 

Lisa’s Climate Action Now campaign started in 2015 collecting environmental action post it note messages from the public which adorn her yacht. Having sailed remote seas around the globe where she witnesses plastic pollution, Lisa says her campaign is about spreading a call to action.

 

“I’m sailing to save our oceans and to show people that as an individual we all have the power to create change, it just starts with one action.

Lisa Blair prior to her 2022 record attempt, sailing solo non stop and unassisted around Antarctica

 

“We found Microplastics in every sample I collected the whole way around Antarctica in some of the most remote regions on our planet. That’s terrifying.

 

“While sailing down the west coast of NZ I saw a chunk of Styrofoam floating across the ocean.  Seeing that in these pristine environments is heartbreaking. But I’m a firm believer that we can change and so undertake these records to show that together we can create a better future.  It just starts with one positive climate action.”

 

Lisa is the current world-record holder for sailing solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica in 2022, breaking the record by 10 days to add to her 4 previous world records and now 2 new pending Sydney to Auckland records.

SAILING – Lisa Blair record attempt Sydney to Auckland 2024
13/03/2024
Ph. Andrea Francolini
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Lisa has teamed up with film-makers Nathaniel C. T. Jackson and James Blannin-Ferguson to make a feature-length documentary tracking her ambitious and treacherous solo voyage around Antarctica. Screenings of the world premiere of Ice Maiden will be at the Doc Edge Festival which plays in Christchurch (19-30 June), Auckland (3-14 July), Wellington (3-14 July) and then nationwide via the virtual cinema (15-31 July). Visit docedge.nz

 

 

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