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Hyde Sails 2017 Dinghy Show

Lisa Blair becomes first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica solo

by Luke Reilly on 24 Sep 2017
B&G navigation equipment aids Lisa in her remarkable journey Luke Reilly
The World Sailing Speed Record Council has officially ratified Lisa Blair’s circumnavigation of Antarctica, a 183 day long journey. Lisa’s solo and unassisted circumnavigation was not short of challenges, with seven metre seas and 40 knot winds leading to the dismasting of her 50ft yacht, Climate Action Now, just 72 days in.

Lisa avoided injury, but was forced to detour to Cape Town to assess damage and conduct repairs, before returning to her point of dismasting to continue the circumnavigation. In planning for a journey of this magnitude, Lisa considered necessary redundancies that needed to be built into her yacht, opting for two separate B&G H5000 autopilots and Zeus² navigation displays for safety.

Lisa said, “The interface of the B&G Zeus displays made it easy for me to keep track of where I was the whole way around Antarctica. I had one of these displays mounted in my cabin, so as I could check the winds, heading, and alter my autopilot course whilst lying in bed.”



A H5000 barometric pressure sensor was also networked into the B&G system.

“I’d monitor the barometric pressure on the Zeus displays. It was a great indicator as to when a storm was coming, but also useful when I was in one of the really big storms to know when it had actually passed me and I was coming out the back end of the system,” she said.

On approach to Cape Town Lisa was in a pan situation. Whilst heading north through busy shipping lanes, her safety depended on the ability to identify and communicate with targets. “Given that I had the B&G 4G radar on board and AIS, I was able to sleep well knowing the electronics would pick up any vessels or icebergs that would be in my area. This meant I was as rested as could be for emergencies like my dismasting.”

Lisa won’t be on dry land for long, with plans to begin preparation for the Sydney to Hobart and another long term voyage next year.

For more information on B&G products, please visit bandg.com/au.

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