Interview: Meet Lizzy Foreman
All of us who sail, at some point or other, have daydreamed about what it would be like to race solo offshore, perhaps across an ocean, or maybe even, around the world. For most of us the daydream stays exactly that – a fantasy scenario that we console ourselves with when real life gets too stressful, or too humdrum.
For a small group of people - extraordinary individuals - the daydream somehow morphs from fantasy to reality. It becomes a goal that refuses to be pushed to the back of their minds and instead incessantly demands they mastermind a plan that can bring it to fruition.
Lizzy Foreman is one such person.
Last year, at the age of 26, she fulfilled one of her childhood dreams when she completed the singlehanded Mini Transat Race from the UK to the Caribbean. As impressive an achievement as crossing the Atlantic singlehanded in a yacht smaller than most of us race around the cans at the weekend is, it is easily matched by the drive, determination and sheer bloody mindedness that got Lizzy to the start line in the first place.
We caught up with her at the London Boat Show to hear the remarkable story of how she made one of her dreams come true.
Lizzy says she can trace her dream of solo offshore sailing back to a visit to Pete Goss’s Team Phillips Project in Devon, England when she was nine years old.
“I climbed into a replica cabin of the giant catamaran that he was planning to race solo, non-stop around the world,” she said. “I decided right there that one day I would do something equally as challenging and adventurous.”
Like many British sailors Lizzy was introduced to sailing by her parents. Although some of her earliest sailing memories are rather traumatic, happily, they didn’t dampen her enthusiasm for the sport.
“I vividly remember screaming my head off while caught in a squall at the age of eight. I was sailing a sinking Optimist with another frightened little girl. I think it was the third day of our RYA Level 1 course.
“Another time, I was out with my dad in our old Mirror dinghy and the mast fell down!”
“Looking back at those early experiences I think I've always quite enjoyed being in challenging situations and I had a quest for adventure from a very early age.”
Lizzy was four when her mother took her sailing for the first time on Queen Mary Reservoir near London.
“Mum had a blue Topper called Sprint and she used to take me and my sister out in it,” she remembers.
“Going sailing on a Thursday after school or at the weekend would mean an adventurous day of picnicking, before doing a few laps of the reservoir, and if we were lucky, tying up to... READ THE FULL ARTICLE