A former Tolworth Girls School student is getting used to a spell of solitary confinement this month as she prepares for a daunting 2015 challenge, writes Pippa Field.
Lizzy Foreman sets sail in the 4,020 nautical mile Mini Transat solo yacht race next year and takes on the 2,600 nautical mile Les Sables – Azores – Les Sables race in July to get some much needed experience.
The Worcester Park-born 24-year-old, currently in her first season of solo offshore racing, started in the sport as a 12-year-old at Queen Mary Sailing Club.
And she admits she needs all the practice she can get before she plots her course from France to Guadaloupe in the Caribbean.
“It’s one of the biggest races and perfect preparation for next year with it being such a long crossing,” she said of next month’s race, which starts on July 20.
“I need to prepare well and get used to things like having food for the entire trip.
“I’ve been sailing for 12 years, but I have never raced such a distance, so it will be good to do it in a race sense and push the boat harder.
“I’m really looking forward to next year, even getting to the start line is an achievement in itself.”
Foreman has spent much of the past few months sailing the high seas all alone, but was among friends at the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.
She finished 348th overall out of more than 1,400 boats that entered the annual 50-nautical mile circuit race around the Isle of Wight.
“The past two months I have basically spent a lot of my time alone, which admittedly can get quite lonely,” said Foreman, who turned 24 on the day of the race.
“Recently, I did not see anyone sailing for two days apart from lots of cargo boats.
“If it’s a race, you don’t feel as lonely as the other boats are normally close by.”
* The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is one of the largest participation sporting events in the UK and the largest yacht race of its kind in the world. Organised by the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, it regularly attracts around 1,500 boats and 16,000 competitors. Visit roundtheisland.org.uk