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What to do? - Australia Newsletter


What to do?

Pantaenius AUS Comprehensive 728x90

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A wedge-tailed eagle observes its domain from on high... - photo © John Curnow

Dear Recipient Name

To be honest, it is not really a question you have to ask of the subject of today's Editorial. She's a ball of energy with a fantastic work ethic, an enduring smile, and a certain tenacity that reminds you of the claws below a wedge-tailed eagle. Adversity may strike, but her passion, desire, and will remain omnipresent. Always.

So therefore, it will come as no surprise that whilst also working with Terry Wise's Pacific Sailing School, our Lisa Blair has put her COVID time to good use.

Crossing the International Date Line - photo © LisaBlairSailsTheWorld
Crossing the International Date Line - photo © LisaBlairSailsTheWorld

Working in partnership with Australian Geographic, on 1 November, Lisa's launching her debut book entitled Facing Fear. No doubt it will be a gripping tale, much like the eagle above. In Facing Fear, Lisa recounts the inspiring true story of her solo voyage around Antarctica, which of course was a tale she almost didn't live to tell.

It's a riveting read for people of all ages who are interested in the triumph of the human spirit. Lisa recounts the highlights of her extraordinary voyage, and along the way, she shows readers that positive thinking and perseverance can make a difference. Dick Smith AC, remarked on her voyage saying, "Lisa Blair's Southern Ocean voyage was one of the greatest adventures of our lifetime."

Lisa was 72 days into her 183-day journey and 1,000 nautical miles from land when her mast came crashing down due to equipment failure. She battled in freezing conditions for four hours to save her yacht, and by extension, her life too.

Ensign 2020 - Bavaria C42 - 300x250   JS Yachting 2020 - 600x500

Failure is not an option. Only perseverance will reign supreme. After making it to Albany, WA, (a feat in and of itself) Lisa then sets off to complete her journey. - photo © LisaBlairSailsTheWorld
Failure is not an option. Only perseverance will reign supreme. After making it to Albany, WA, (a feat in and of itself) Lisa then sets off to complete her journey. - photo © LisaBlairSailsTheWorld

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.

Now you would probably imagine that Lisa was surrounded by boats from early childhood, but Lisa was actually 22 years of age when she discovered her passion for our sport. As she says herself, "I was frustrated with working in a bar in Queensland's Whitsunday Islands. So one Summer, I decided to take a gamble and put in my application to work as a hostess on a charter yacht."

"I honestly had no idea of the path that this would lead me on."

After her discovery of sailing, Lisa went on to pursue it with a passion, seeking out every sailing opportunity that she could find, before finally raising the funds to compete in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. "When I finished the circumnavigation, so many people would ask me what my favourite place to sail too was, and my answer was always the Southern Ocean!"

Race Yachts 2020 600x500 v4   Webasto AUS 2020 MPU 4

And that would be Cape Horn as seen by Lisa... - photo © LisaBlairSailsTheWorld
And that would be Cape Horn as seen by Lisa... - photo © LisaBlairSailsTheWorld

"Something about the raw beauty and the great waves just captured my heart. That said, when the idea of sailing solo around Antarctica was suggested to me, my immediate answer was a resounding No."

When I asked her why she laughed, she said, "It's the Southern Ocean. This crazy, beautiful place that is so deadly, and I felt that it would be suicide to try something like that. I hadn't even sailed solo as yet."

Flagstaff 2020 - First Yacht 53 - MPU   Pacific Sailing School 2020 - MPU

So what then changed her mind?

"I stewed on the idea for months, constantly going back and forward and arguing the pros and cons in my mind. Then, as time went on, I started leaning more towards the pros. Eventually, after a lot of research, I felt that it might just be possible to do, and so I determined that I was going to try."

"Then, once that commitment was made in my mind, I just needed to figure out a way to make it possible."

In heavy fog just after Cape Horn, as seen by Lisa... - photo © LisaBlairSailsTheWorld
In heavy fog just after Cape Horn, as seen by Lisa... - photo © LisaBlairSailsTheWorld

According to Australian sailing icon, Kay Cottee AO, "Lisa is a great example of how to achieve your dreams with planning, preparation and dedication." Indeed, this is exactly the way to sum up Blair's approach to things.

Lisa recalls mulling over worst-case scenarios for three-and-a-half years prior to setting sail, in order to mentally prepare herself. She was motivated by the belief that one should never go on such a voyage expecting to be rescued.

Equally, she admits it is impossible to ever truly prepare for a gruelling expedition like hers. "While I felt I could handle it, I couldn't predict what challenges I was going to face.

"The dismasting was probably one of the worst things that could have happened to me. Not only did it change my record, but I was left fighting for my life more than 1000nm from land, and so utterly and completely alone. It was a moment in time that I'll never forget. Amid this unforgiving and raw seascape, here I was, in a tiny yacht, surviving."

"I feel incredibly lucky to be able to be here today and share my story. I am really proud of the story I am able to tell, and I feel that this is the most honest account of my journey that I can recount."

Wichard Pacific 2020 -ProFurl - 300x250   GCM Mariners Diary 2020 - MPU

There is no shortage of names to testify to anything you have read so far, and another is Sir Richard Branson, who describes the book as, "An incredible story of adventure and endurance that shows what the human spirit can achieve when pushed to its limits."

In Facing Fear, Lisa explores themes of loneliness, fatigue and hypothermia. She shares everything from the extreme pain endured in freezing temperatures, to the 'temper tantrums' that transpired after only allowing herself to sleep for 20 minutes at a time. She emphasises the clear link between her physical experience, and her mental health, highlighting the valiance and tenacity required to succeed.

Undoubtedly, Blair, as the adventurer she is will have terrific insights on, and approach to, handling isolation and loneliness, albeit under extreme conditions. This is surely to be of interest to many facing these issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reflecting on advice she received from fellow sailing legend, Jessica Watson, Lisa advises people to stop and appreciate the unique journey they are on, remember that the current situation is temporary, and try to see the extra down time as an opportunity for self-development. She also reminisces about the moments of contentment amidst the chaos, and has often told me just how much she appreciates the solitude found right out at sea.

Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW MPU   Highfield Boats - Sailing - MPU

Celebrating International Women's Day - photo © LisaBlairSailsTheWorld
Celebrating International Women's Day - photo © LisaBlairSailsTheWorld

Lisa hopes her book will inspire women to follow their dreams in the way that she was inspired by the great female adventurers and trailblazers who came before her. She remains motivated by their success as a result of their perseverance, and hopes that her commitment and determination shine through to influence others in a similar way.

As denoted by the name of her boat, Climate Action Now, Lisa is also a passionate environmental activist, and wants to educate people on the positive effects of individual action against climate change. Lisa started the Climate Action Now campaign after witnessing the devastating impact of human consumption on our oceans and wildlife.

She recalls sailing through 'soups' of plastic, floating in vast stretches of ocean thousands of kilometres from land. The hull of Lisa's boat is covered in post-it notes received from members of the public that detail positive actions individuals are taking towards a sustainable future as a result of her campaign. The same post-it note print can be found inside the cover of her book.

Sail Exchange 300x250 2   Vaikobi 2019AUG - MPU 2

Buy Lisa Blair's book and inspire yourself and those around you. - photo © LisaBlairSailsTheWorld
Buy Lisa Blair's book and inspire yourself and those around you. - photo © LisaBlairSailsTheWorld

As I once wrote of Lisa Blair, there is always unfinished business, but for right now, Facing Fear the book is available for pre-order via her website.

All hail the mighty....



It was certainly good to see Beneteau's Damien Jacob once more, even if it was as part of a TeamsApp meeting. The first time was in Barcelona for the then brand spanking new Oceanis 51.1, and after that, Sydney for the Oceanis 46.1. This last time is even more auspicious, for it coincided with the first First Yacht 53 to make to Australia.

Sailing Raceboats 2016 RS Feva 300x250   Zhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom MPU

The first, balsa cored, Biscontini penned, Beneteau First Yacht 53 to arrive in Australia. - photo © Flagstaff Marine
The first, balsa cored, Biscontini penned, Beneteau First Yacht 53 to arrive in Australia. - photo © Flagstaff Marine

Now Odin has four jibs, a staysail, two kites for the end of the prodder, and a further two on furlers, and yes, Damien assured me she can run in triple head configuration, and that's not only down below, either. Now she does run a conventionally roached mainsail, but her biggest bag is 270m2, so her intent is obvious. The First Yacht 53 is also balsa cored throughout, has a 3m draft, a massive 5m beam (think of the stability that will give - and power), and the vast majority of her length is also given to her waterline.

Biscontini were given the nod to create her form, which is just as much about their America's Cup work, as it is about another brand they have penned the lines for, and that would be Wally. So if we have mini maxis, then this could well be the first mini superyacht. It is no secret that there is an Italian influence for a truly global brand, just look to the man at the top for that.

Rolly Tasker Sails 2019 600x500 MPU v5   Henri-Lloyd 2020 No More Middle Men MPU SW

The new Beneteau First Yacht 53 winding up on Sydney Harbour. - photo © Flagstaff Marine
The new Beneteau First Yacht 53 winding up on Sydney Harbour. - photo © Flagstaff Marine

So we're thinking it could be something absolutely special, and the low slung lines with the teak deck, bow and stern thrusters, lithium batteries, and moderate tonnage say a lot. Yet this powerful express cruiser with the twin rudders is super easy to control, most of which is courtesy of electric winches, and an electric furler, so won't need and army of pros to get around the track. I am told in 25 knots it is finger helm and no-one on the rail. Also, they were doing 8 knots directly uphill in 10 at 23-25AWA during her sea trials with Flagstaff Marine.

Blah, blah, blah. It had me at wine fridges (yes, that's plural). We will investigate the level of finish which is taking it right on up, and the sports car stuff too, like Harken switch track, canoe boom etc etc. Stand by...

Definitely time to go racing

The choker chain has been eased a bit in the IRC world. Most specifically in the 40-something bracket. The M.A.T 1340 is the latest offering from IRC designer of the moment Mark Mills, and M.A.T Yachts look to have scored, with K&D doing all of the testing that backs that up.

Definitely the business - M.A.T. 1340 - photo © M.A.T Yachts
Definitely the business - M.A.T. 1340 - photo © M.A.T Yachts

So if getting the chocolates over the boiled lollies sounds like it's the go for you, then have a read of the just-released final version of the boat that will do away with the ocean grader. The M.A.T 1340 looks the part (and then some), will be more stable, easier to handle, and rate super well, even getting up on the plane when there's some squirt on offer...

Pantaenius 2019 - AmRad - 300x250 - SW WEBSITE   Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - AUS MPU


We've been on the two-handed thing for a while, as is evidenced by the many editorials over the last couple of years. We've stepped that up a bit in the COVID era, but I did particularly like this video of the J/99 Speedster, so strap in and go for a yacht, or if you are locked down, have a think about what it will be like...

The J/99 is one of the hot picks for the new Olympic Offshore Keelboat class - photo © J/Boats
The J/99 is one of the hot picks for the new Olympic Offshore Keelboat class - photo © J/Boats

Right oh - there is plenty of information on the group's websites for you to review when you can. Please avail yourself of it.

Now if your class or association is generating material, we can help you spread your word just by. Got this newsletter from a friend? Would you like your own copy next week? Just follow the instructions on our newsletter page. Whilst there, you can also register for other editions, like Powerboat-World.

Finally, thank you for keeping a weather eye on Sail-World. Your increased patronage and sensational, heartfelt comments have made our crew work even harder to bring you the best from all over the globe...

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-World AUS

Barton Marine 2019 600x500   MIA 2019 300x250 3

2020 Rolex Middle Sea Race in the balance
The classic moan in offshore yachting is how the 'rich get richer'; often aimed at the bigger, faster yachts using waterline length and sail area to profit from tidal gates to gain an advantage over their smaller rivals.

Farr 40 One Design Trophy at Middle Harbour Yacht Club - Overall
The final day of the Farr 40 One Design Trophy was sailed on Sydney Harbour and Nutcracker, with substitute helmsman Ray Roberts, held onto their substantial lead from yesterday to take out the regatta.

18ft Skiff Spring Championship on Sydney Harbour - Race 2
The Marcus Ashley-Jones led Andoo team produced a powerful last lap of the course to score a thrilling come-from-behind victory in the Australian 18 Footer League's Race 2 of the Spring 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.

Marine Auctions 2019 600x500   North Sails 2019 - Helix Top-Down Furling 600x500
Sailing and environment: "A Race we must win"
On 8 November 2020, Boris Herrmann will become the first German to sail non-stop alone around the world in the legendary Vendée Globe Race. This is the world's toughest one-handed race which takes place every four years.

M.A.T 1340 - Time to go racing
We actually had our first little look at the new mark Mills penned M.A.T.1340 back in June's, Let's go racing...

2020 Rolex Middle Sea Race underway
Even with a reduced fleet, half the size of recent years, it was hard to not get sucked into the emotion and atmosphere of today's Rolex Middle Sea Race start. The 41st edition got under way, as planned, on schedule and, most importantly, all clear.

Vetus-Maxwell 2020   X-Yachts Xp50 300x250
World Sailing: Two Presidential candidates drop out after first postal ballot
127 Member National Authorities submitted a verified vote to the Independent Scrutineer by the deadline. Two candidates have been dropped after the first round of voting and the two remaining will go into a run-off online vote.

Farr 40 One Design Trophy at Middle Harbour Yacht Club - Day 1
Day one of the Farr 40 One Design Trophy was sailed off Harbord Diggers in a nor' easter of 15-17 knots and Nutcracker's substitute helmsman Ray Roberts took three from four bullets earning Boat of the Day with a significant lead of six points.

America's Cup: American Magic gets into their work on the first day of trialling in Auckland
New York Yacht Club American Magic, the U.S. Challenger for the 36th America's Cup, completed its first sailing session onboard the newly-launched AC75 Patriot on Auckland's Waitemata Harbor.

Navico 2020 fun MPU AUS   FFI - Try a fifteen - 2020 600x500
America's Cup: American Magic's new AC75 puts on an aerobatics display - Video
The flared bow on American Magic's newly launched AC75 which had attracted much comment at her launch really came into play, along with the full forward sections, saving the AC75 from a real disaster on her first sail in Auckland.

INEOS TEAM UK christen 'Britannia' - the boat the team will race in the America's Cup
INEOS TEAM UK has officially christened their America's Cup race boat 'Britannia' from the team's base in Auckland, New Zealand, three months before the start of racing for the 36th America's Cup.

America's Cup Rialto: INEOS Team UK launches second AC75 in Auckland
The British Challenger INEOS Team UK launched their second AC75 early this morning in the America's Cup Village in Auckland.

38 South - Sun Fast 3300 - MPU   Boat Books Australia
Australian Sailing Team - Whales, dolphins, pelicans, and sailing
Throughout the course of Autumn and Winter, the Australian Sailing Team has used many venues up and down the East Coast of Australia as training grounds.

More Classic Finns discovered
British Finn K17 Allegretta has recently re-emerged after being kept in a barn for around 40 years! This Finn was originally bought by Chris Heywood with his brother and sailed in the 1956 Olympic trials after which she was little used.

America's Cup Rialto: New York launches second AC75
Patriot, the first of the second generation AC75's was launched from the American Magic base, in Auckland, around 9.00am local time. Instead of being a development of what had gone before, the Marcelino Botin led American Magic design team came up with

Cyclops Marine 2020 - MPU   Predictwind - Iridium 250
America's Cup: American Magic leads the way with race boat launch
New York Yacht Club American Magic, the U.S. Challenger for the 36th America's Cup, launched the AC75 Patriot into Auckland's Waitemata Harbour during a Friday morning ceremony. Patriot is the first second-generation AC75 yacht to be launched.

J/99 KING OF BLUE victorious at Les Voiles de St Tropez!
Traditionally, the mixture of classic yachts with ultra-modern boats is the main characteristic of the world-famous Les Voiles de St Tropez Regatta.

Britain's Alex Thomson heads to France ahead of the Vendée Globe race aboard HUGO BOSS
British sailor Alex Thomson has bid farewell to his home base of Gosport, Hampshire and begun his journey to Les Sables-d'Olonne, the French seaside town which will play host to the start of the upcoming Vendée Globe race.

Gul 2020 Tri-Laminate Spraytop MPU   HALLSPARS_MAST-&-BOOMS_SW_300X250-solaris-68
"smartlink has caused great amazement!"
12 metre yachts inspire a great many emotions for those who love to race them. Beauty, power, speed and the rich history of this 100-year-old class all add to the mystique that surrounds their elegant hulls.

Elusive 2 wins the Yachting Malta Coastal Race, the precursor to the Rolex Middle Sea Race
PRO Peter Dimech chose a race of approximately 30nm. Starting from outside the Royal Malta Yacht Club, the fleet rounded the island of Comino before returning to Marsamxett Harbour.

2020 Fiji Regatta Week at Musket Cove Yacht Club
The 37th annual Fiji Regatta Week has come to a close after four days of sailing, paddleboard races, games, parties and more.

Official-Event-Store-Red 300x250 NZ+AUS   C-Tech 2020 C-Tech 300x250
Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image 2020: Discover the best sailing pictures of the Century!
The international jury of the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image of the Century award has selected the top 80 images captured since the beginning of the century.

ILCA / Laser - High Performance Tips with Sam Whaley
In the video Sam gives us his set up top tips on getting the best performance from the Laser on the race course.

Festival of Sails 2021 cancelled
The Festival of Sails Executive Committee and the Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC) Board have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Festival of Sails, which was scheduled for Saturday 23 - Tuesday 26 January, 2021.

SOUTHERNSPARS_MAST-&-BOOMS_52-SS_300X250   Doyle Sails 2020 - Built for Adventure 300x250
OnCourse - Episode 7: Figaro Special
Ahead of the biggest solo race of them all we take a look at the recent Solitaire du Figaro, the proving ground for so many offshore rock stars in the making. We look at this year's race plus, we talk to some of the offshore legends at last year's Figaro.

Autopilots, quietly revolutionising solo racing
A self-steering device is a piece of equipment that no offshore solo sailor can be without. But modern autopilots go way beyond simply keeping a constant heading.

Four months to go to Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta 2021
The Preliminary Notice of Race is now available. Note that this year we will be including a Dinghy / Sailboard Dash over a shorter 5NM (approx) course.

Saffier 300 x 250px SE23   Smuggler 300 x 250px Amphibious
2020 Laser Senior Europeans in Gdansk, Poland - Overall
Finally we have our new 2020 Laser Senior European champions! The 2020 Laser Senior European Championships & Open European Trophy concluded today in Gdansk, Poland, with some last minute surprises!

D-26 Vendée Globe: Miranda Merron delighted to be in good female company in the Vendée Globe
One of the most encouraging aspects of this year's Vendée Globe is the participation of female sailors with a record-breaking six skippers taking the start, among them Miranda Merron on Campagne de France, one of the most experienced sailors in the fleet.

Brad Devine wins 2020 WASZP GPS Challenge
What a month we have had with the 2020 WASZP GPS Challenge, we have had over 90 sessions logged during the event window from competitors in over 15 countries spread all over the globe.

Still time to see the new Excess Catamaran
To celebrate the arrival of our NEW models, Flagstaff Marine, in collaboration with the Beneteau outboard dealer, Chapman Marine and Lagoon Importer, TMG, is staging Boating Rendez-vous at Darling Harbour

The Iconic Henri-Lloyd Consort II Jacket - Waterproof & Breathable
In 1965 the founder of Henri-Lloyd, Henri Strzelecki designed the legendary Consort Jacket, a product that was to become the brand's icon. Over five decades later the jacket lives on.

When is enough, enough?
Here in the UK the nights are drawing in, it's definitely getting colder and as I write this the rain is pouring in a distinctly British way.

BBC Click: The America's Cup And INEOS TEAM UK
The America's Cup is one of the biggest and toughest sailing races in the world. BBC Click take a look at what goes into making a boat to compete, talking with Sir Ben Ainslie and members of INEOS TEAM UK.

The Ocean Race Europe will promote international sport, the Green Deal, and European spirit
The inaugural edition of The Ocean Race Europe, scheduled to start late in the spring of 2021, will bring international top-flight, competitive ocean racing to up to five European cities.

Meet the Vendée Globe skippers: Pip Hare
She is free. She has got a BA in Linguistics and she stopped her Masters of Psychology because of the Vendée Globe, her real dream. When she is alone on her boat, she sings Aretha Franklin...

Global women's sailing festival 'Steering the Course' launched for 2021
World Sailing are proud to launch Steering the Course, a women's sailing festival to be held worldwide in 2021.

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