A file photo of around-the-world sailor Kay Cottee arriving in Sydney in 1988.
A file photo of around-the-world sailor Kay Cottee arriving in Sydney in 1988.

Cottee guest at fundraiser

AROUND-the-world sailor Kay Cottee will be the special guest for the opening of Marine Rescue Ballina’s inaugural art exhibition at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery in Ballina on January 14.


Cottee made history in 1988 when she became the first woman to complete a solo non-stop and unassisted sailing voyage around the world aboard her yacht, Blackmore’s First Lady.


She was in that year, Australia’s Bicentennial, named Australian of the Year, became an Officer of the Order of Australia and was the first Australian and second-only recipient of Cutty Sark Medal, presented by the Duke of Edinburgh.


She began her history-making voyage on November 29, 1987, and completed the trip on June 5, 1988.


From Sydney, she headed south of New Zealand, across the Pacific Ocean, around the infamous Cape Horn and then north to cross the equator and round St Peter and St Paul Rocks in the North Atlantic.


From there, Kay headed south again and rounded the Cape of Good Hope before crossing the Indian and Great Southern oceans on her way home around the southern tip of Tasmania.


The voyage covered more than 22,000 nautical miles, and she was alone at sea for 189 days.


She faced roaring winds of more than 80 knots, seas to 100 feet (about 30m) high, icebergs, broken gear and extreme fatigue in her 37-feet Cavalier yacht, which is now on display at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney.


The Marine Rescue Ballina art exhibition is titled Waves and Water Ways.


Tickets to the opening night cost $30, with proceeds going to the Marine Rescue Ballina tower appeal.
The exhibition will be held at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery from January 12 to February 6.


For tickets to the opening night, phone Jo on 0402 855284.


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