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Solo Trans-Tasman Race - Lisa Blair hunts for replacement vessel

by Tracey Johnstone on 3 Mar 2014
Lisa Blair Clipper Ventures PLC .
The youthful adventurer, Lisa Blair, set her sights on competing in next month’s Solo Trans-Tasman Race, but sadly her chartered yacht was recently sold, so now she is on the urgent hunt for a replacement vessel.

'I am seeking a boat just to race in the Trans-Tasman. Then Bruce Arms and I are looking quite closely at Antarctica as we have a few good boats in mind for that, but the funds for those boats won’t be ready in time for the Trans-Tasman. We need to find a boat for that race and that will be a good step in solo preparation and training for Antarctica. It will also be a good test for me on how I work solo,' Blair said.

The quadrennial Solo Trans-Tasman Yacht Race starts on Saturday 20th April from Port Taranaki with the fleet racing 1,380 nautical miles to Mooloolaba. Once Blair has completed this race she intends to move her focus towards achieving the record of the first female to circumnavigate Antarctica, solo, non-stop and unassisted.

But right now Blair needs a boat for this year’s Solo Trans-Tasman Race. She needs a monohull yacht sized anywhere between 35 and 50 feet. It has to be in Yachting Australia safety category 1 fit-out or close to being able to be fitted out to that high level of safety. She has about $15,000 which she plans to use towards a charter fee.

'I am only have a couple of weeks to find a boat in Australia otherwise I am limited to a shorter amount of time to safely be able to grab the boat, get it ready and sail it across to New Zealand. I have to be in New Zealand by the 6th April so it’s a very short window.

'If I find a boat in New Zealand then I just have to complete my 500 nautical mile qualifier. I can then do day and over-night training on it before the race starts. It certainly buys me more time than having to do a large ocean crossing straight up.'

While Blair searches for a replacement vessel she is continuing to prepare herself by keeping on the water as much as possible using her experience from her participation in the 2011-12 Clipper Cup Race’s Gold Coast Australia team. 'I competed in the round the world race which was a lot of extensive offshore training. I have gone and got my Master 5 and my Marine Engine Driver Grade 3. Since then I have been working as a captain on a 68 foot yacht in the Whitsundays, doing over-night charters around the Whitsunday Islands.'

For more information on Lisa Blair’s challenge, click here
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