Coast's sailor's triumph: 'Every bit of pain worth it'
LISA Blair's monumental world record effort has finally reached its end, as the former Sunshine Coast sailor landed on Australian soil after circumnavigating Antarctica.
Ms Blair, who grew up on the Sunshine Coast, made landfall at Albany in Western Australia last night after an 184-day trial by sea.
Blair was expected to reach Albany's Princess Royal Harbour early on Tuesday afternoon, but strong winds kept her from making landfall earlier.
Hundreds of people lined vantage points along the coast to cheer her in, however it was dark by the time she docked her yacht just before 8pm.
"Every bit of pain, every sail change and all the bitter cold - it was definitely worth it," she said.
"It was as hard as I imagined and even harder at times but it was one hell of an adventure and that's what I was out there for."
She originally aimed to become the first woman to circumnavigate the Antarctic solo and unassisted, and also aimed to break the world record for the circumnavigation held by Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov.
Ms Blair began her voyage on January 22, but after completing about three-quarters of the journey over 72 days, the mast on her yacht Climate Action Now came down in heavy seas, almost 1660km from shore in Antarctic waters.
She built a jury rig and motor sailed herself safely to Cape Town in South Africa, where she spent two months repairing the damage.
She restarted her journey on Sunday, June 11, and the final leg of the trip has found Lisa battling seasickness, snowstorms, a severe knockdown and exhaustion.
Pending the official ratification of a record by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, Ms Blair is still set to become the first woman to circumnavigate the Antarctic.
The journey took 184 days in total including the two months at Cape Town and the time spent travelling to and from land after the dismasting, but Ms Blair only spent 104 days sailing the circumnavigation track.
"This last stretch of the journey has been harder than anticipated but I am so proud of my achievement and the work I have done in raising awareness of the message Climate Action Now," Ms Blair said.