30 years today since Kay’s big day

  • Racing
  • NEWS
  • By Ross Macdonald
  • 05 Jun 2018 12:38:46


Thirty years ago today Kay Cottee – an honourable member of the CYCA – became the first woman to perform a single-handed, non-stop and unassisted circumnavigation of the world by way of both hemispheres.

Her six-month-plus journey aboard Blackmores First Lady smashed records and broke-down barriers, paving the way for further and deeper female engagement in yachting around the world.

Starting in November 29, 1987, and after sailing for 189 days and 32 minutes Cottee finished in Sydney Harbour on June 5, 1988. The voyage was completed without touching land, and without any form of outside aid apart from radio contact. During the journey she also broke the record for the longest period alone at sea by a woman, and the greatest non-stop distance covered by a solo woman.

Since her famous journey Cottee received myriad honours – Australian of the Year in 1988, Office of the Order of Australia in 1989 and inducted into the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame in 2017.

“From everyone at the CYCA, congratulations to Kay once again on this marvellous achievement – and being a true pioneer of sailing in this country and around the world,” CYCA Commodore John Markos said.

“Her feats are nothing short of phenomenal and her incredible efforts should continue to be celebrated.”


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