British solo sailor Lizzy Foreman speaks to Peta Stuart-Hunt after arriving in Lanzarote overnight on 29th/30th September, at the end of the first leg of her first Mini Transat.
Bravo Lizzy. First woman and first British entry in the Series class to reach Lanzarote. How are you feeling after being alone at sea for nine days?
It was amazing.
The weather made it more pleasurable.
There was no weather information on route and the wind was quite shifty – my tracker kept breaking down which didn’t help everyone who was supporting me at home!
Are you pleased with your placing – 35th out of 44 starters in the Series class?
You always want to do better – you’re pushing the boat and exhausting yourself trying to go as fast as possible. You have to take your foot off the pedal at some point – save yourself, save the boat. We still have a long way to go. I have learned to manage the boat and myself. No illness or rashes or anything nasty and the boat is also fine except for one rope that needs replacing!
We had some strong winds to contend with. Up to 25 knots. Mainly 10-15 which produced the best Mini sailing. So all my boat prep and preliminary work paid off which is satisfying.
I have been testing out some Hudson Wight prototype designs and fabrics. All good and I found the new fabric even more hard wearing and tougher but still light with no leaking and very comfortable. I need to spend some serious time evaluating the kit with the team at the end of the race. We have been lucky with the weather…so far!
What were your highs?
60 miles from the finish line I had the best sailing conditions you can wish for – surfing in bright sunshine – clear sea and clear sky – 15 knots and I honestly just wanted to keep going. I felt so at peace with everything and it was a new experience. Life is good. It brings into sharp focus the troubles that are going on around the world and you wonder why it is all happening. Sailing gives you time to reflect.
& your lows?
Of course you are always sad about leaving family and missing the people who are important to you. Nothing serious on the lows front though.
What are you looking forward to most during your stopover in Lanzarote and how are you using this time?
I’m exploring the Island a bit more after coming here two years ago.
There are loads of activities planned for us at reduced rates by the organisers. There’s plenty to do but it is a very long stopover!
Lizzy will set off again on the longer leg 2 to Guadeloupe on 31st October in ‘Hudson Wight’, Hull 633, a 10-year old Series Mini 6.50m.
Follow Lizzy’s progress:
Via the tracker on www.minitransat-ilesdeguadeloupe.fr
Facebook: Lizzy Offshore Racing