Mini Transat îles de Guadeloupe 2015 – ‘Throughout the year I do regular physical training – running, swimming and core work, with the fitness coaches at Lorient Grand Large (Offshore training centre) and the local triathalon club.
‘Mental preparation – having the ability to withstand tough situations and to push yourself to the limit has been gained through offshore races and deliveries, and by taking part in really tough physical races such as the Haute Route (a seven day cycling race in the mountains, tackling three cols a day).
‘I have prepared the boat from top to bottom for the transatlantic crossing – A new mast, new electronics, new rigging, new ropes, new rudder brackets, new hardware, fresh antifoul…everything at risk of breaking has been replaced (the boat is over 10 years old now and has done two Transats).’
Race tactics – Anything you are able to share?
‘The most strategic parts of the race are:
1. The crossing the Golfe de Gascogne
2. Rounding Cape Finisterre
3. Utilising the trade winds to Guadeloupe
‘I am creating a ‘road book’ which gives me reminders on the best route to take in different wind conditions and wind strengths. My strategy will vary depending on the size and stability of the Azores high and the movement of the low pressure systems across the Atlantic.’
What excites you most about finally setting off?
‘Simply the joy of being back on the water for days at a time – it has taken so much time, financial and physical commitment to get to the start line that I absolutely must get to the other side – not just for myself but for all those who have believed in me and supported me along the way!’
What scares you most about finally setting off?
‘I am most worried about making a mistake with the weather forecast and consequently sailing in the ‘wrong’ direction. Our only source of weather information is by SSB, at 0700 each day. Often the signal can be quite poor so it is not easy to decipher the information.
‘The rounding of Cape Finisterre is likely to be difficult as well – the coast line is scary, with huge high cliffs, and often strong winds – I remember in the Azores race last year taking 35-40 knots!’
Background – Lizzy Foreman
Lizzy’s objective: To successfully compete in the 2015 Mini Transat ÎLES DE GUADELOUPE and eventually to race in the Vendée Globe in 2020.
Title Sponsor 2014-2015: Hudson Wight Performance Sailwear. hudsonwight.com
DOB: 21/6/90. Lizzy’s 25.
Hometown: Worcester Park, Surrey but has spent a lot of time working in Cowes and now lives and trains in France.
Having sailed since the age of three, Lizzy took to racing in her early teens progressing through the RS Feva, Laser Radial, 29er and RS 700 dinghy classes.
At the age of 18, Lizzy began working as a first mate onboard a Clipper and a Whitbread 60. Learning the ropes on these ocean-going race yachts confirmed Lizzy’s desire to one day compete in the Vendée Globe; the toughest of solo round-the-world yacht races. Selection for the British Keelboat Academy (BKA) in 2010 marked the start of Lizzy’s journey towards this lifelong goal.
With the BKA Lizzy managed a number of J80 campaigns, raced in the Farr 45 fleet, took first place in the ½ ton Cup (2011) and fourth place (First lady) in the Etchells Nationals (2011). Lizzy’s time with the BKA culminated in the 2012 Brewin Dolphin Commodore’s Cup; she managed a team of nine sailors onboard Yeoman of Wight, attaining third place overall, the Most Impressive Yacht and the Twee Gezusters Trophy (First lady).
In her graduation year as a Speech and Language Therapist, Lizzy applied for the Artemis Offshore Academy’s 48-hour selection process. Lizzy was the only woman nominated for the 2011 squad, and has since trained in the Figaro and Mini 6.50 classes; renowned as the best starting point for a career in ocean racing.
Learning the ropes
Throughout 2013, Lizzy also worked as Logistics Assistant at OC Sport in Cowes, helping to coordinate the Academy’s fleet and sailors. Working for the company that managed Ellen MacArthur’s and Nick Moloney’s Vendée Globe campaigns gave Lizzy a wealth of experience in ocean racing campaign management.
Lizzy went solo in 2014
With a solid background in short-handed sailing, experience of campaign management, and having taken a preparateur role at the 2013 Mini Transat, Lizzy had a really busy Spring and Summer in 2014 competing in a number of races including the Azores race (over 2,300 nm) to qualify for the 2015 Mini Transat in her Mini 6.50 Hudson Wight (#633), logging over 4,000nm miles in the Mini 6.50.