Sir Peter Blake, New Zealand’s most famous sailor, competed in the first 5 Whitbread Round…
In 1988, Australian Kay Cottee became the first woman to complete a solo non-stop circumnavigation , taking 189 days in her 37 feet (11 m) yacht Blackmores First Lady,.
Before returning to a hero’s welcome in Sydney, Cottee’s yacht was knocked down several times in the Southern Ocean and on one occasion she was washed overboard. Rounding Cape Horn, she celebrated with a lunch of crab, mayonnaise and self baked bread, and a bottle of Grange, a prestigious Australian wine.
Cottee used the voyage to raise more than $1M for the Rev. Ted Noffs’ Life Education Programme and undertook an 18-month national schools tour, speaking to over 40,000 high school students, imparting the message that anyone can achieve their dreams if you work steadily towards them.
After the voyage, Kay was named Australian of the Year, appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia. And became th first Australian recipient of the Cutty Sark Medal. She was inducted into the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame in 2017