Blair hooked on sailing after win
COTTON Tree resident Lisa Blair can add circumnavigator to her extensive resume after the Gold Coast Australia took out the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race.
The 27-year-old, who swapped her job as a sales assistant to sail 64,400km around the world as a deckhand, was elated as the Gold Coast crossed the finish line in Southampton, England on Sunday noon AEST, almost 12 months after setting off.
The Australian entry won the race overall, securing a podium in all 15 races in which the fleet of 10 identical yachts crossed the Atlantic Ocean, the South Atlantic, the Southern Ocean, the Java, South China sea as well as the Pacific.
"I feel fantastic. It has been such an amazing morning, with so many people here welcoming us in," Ms Blair wrote from the UK.
"It is the end of my circumnavigation and it hasn't sunk in at all. It's been an emotional ride but it's been fantastic and my fellow crew members have become like family.
"I hope to take away from this journey a career in sailing.
"The clipper race has given me the sailing skills I need to go professional in the sailing industry so that's something I am definitely looking to pursue."
Lisa's mum Linda Blair said she hadn't yet spoken to her daughter except for a quick email.
"It's all up in the air about when she's due home. She's got a few work options and she's definitely hooked on sailing," Mrs Blair said.
"I'm very proud of her."
The Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race was the eighth edition of the world's longest race.
Race founder and chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world, led a parade of sails on Southampton Water to welcome back the fleet after 51 weeks at sea.
"All the crew members have achieved something special with their lives," he said.
"They have ventured out across the oceans of the world facing nature in the raw, whether it be the stifling heat and calms of the doldrums or the ferocious storms of the North Pacific and Southern Oceans. They have become great seaman and should all be justifiably proud of their achievement."