Australian Woman Circumnavigates Antarctica in Record Time

After 92 days alone at sea, Australian sailor Lisa Blair recently broke the speed record for circumnavigating Antarctica — by almost 10 days.

When Blair sailed her yacht into the western Australian city of Albany on May 27 after her successful voyage, cheers and trumpeting ship horns celebrated her return.

Lisa Blair with her yacht, ‘Climate Action Now’. Photo: Lisa Blair


Blair, 37, shattered the previous record held by veteran Russian adventurer Fedor Konyukhov, who completed his own record-breaking trip in 2008.

“I was ecstatic that not only had I finished this project and completed a record that had been eight years in the making, but I had also managed to shave over 9 days off the original time,” Blair wrote in her blog after finishing the trip.

She also became the first woman and only the third person to circumnavigate Antarctica.

In 2018, Blair made international headlines when she completed a solo circumnavigation of her native Australia. She also set the route’s new speed record for any person, man or woman.

Blair first sailed around Antarctica in 2017. That trip resulted in a successful book, Facing Fear.


Blair’s journey. Photo: Lisa Blair


During this latest circumnavigation, Blair often went days without sleep. When she did rest, she often did so only in 20 to 40-minute catnaps, because of the vigilance required to manage a yacht alone.

During her 12 years of sailing, the Australian has logged more than 80,000 nautical miles.

“I was so happy that I simply stared at land for a while with this stupid grin on my face as it finally hit home that I was going to break this record,” she wrote joyfully. “It was actually happening, and it was happening right now.”

Andrew McLemore

An award-winning journalist and photographer, Andrew McLemore brings more than 14 years of experience to his position as Associate News Editor for Lola Digital Media. Andrew is also a musician, climber and traveler who currently lives in Medellin, Colombia. When he’s not writing, playing gigs or exploring the outdoors, he’s hanging out with his dog Campana.