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Lisa Blair joins RPAYC Women's Twilight Fleet

by Katie Pellew 10 Dec 2020 03:17 PST
Top Gun - Lisa Blair onboard © Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club

On a perfect evening for sailing; the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club RPAYC Women's Twilight race welcomed a very special guest, Lisa Blair, who joined the racing fleet and then spoke afterwards on her Antarctic record and signed copies of her new book 'Facing Fear'.

Lisa is the first woman to sail solo around Antarctica. Seventy-two days into her circumnavigation, when Lisa was more than 1000 nautical miles from land, the mast of Climate Action Now came crashing down in a ferocious storm. In freezing conditions, Lisa battled massive waves and gale-force winds, fighting through the night to save her life and her boat. Following her ordeal, Lisa relied on her unbreakable spirit to beat the odds and complete her world record. With unwavering focus and determination, she sailed home, completing her journey after 183 days.

The book's title, 'Facing Fear', centres around the lasting effect of trauma from the serious accident and Lisa's brave determination to overcome this in order to complete her trip. Her book is available online here.

The RPAYC Twilight Fleet has grown which now regularly sees in excess of 100 Women take to the water fortnightly to compete in the ten races series over two divisions. A new addition to the program this year has been the SheSails Development Training available to competitors on the alternate Tuesday to racing. This program is aimed at those with reasonable sailing ability who want to improve knowledge and technique, in particular, those already part of or looking to join a women's twilight crew, or any crew. Conducted on the Club's fleet of Elliott 7 Keelboats, the training sessions are coached by Niall Powers, the RPAYC Senior Head Instructor, and Juliet Costanzo, an experienced Youth Development squad member and match racing champion.

After a spectacular Twilight race starting in an exciting 20 knots and ending in a very pleasant 10 knot southerly, Lisa Blair took Line Honours onboard the 50ft Crowther Catamaran 'Top Gun'. Lisa spoke during dinner on her Antarctic Record, journey so far and her new book. With over 120 female sailors present the evening was a huge success, everyone agreeing that Lisa's story is enthralling while she remains so humble about her achievements and love of sailing.

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