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Lizzy Foreman

In the run-up to Christmas, we caught up with six people close to the brand to find out how they’ll be spending the holidays. Then the team got together to nominate the current CW model they feel would best suit each as a Christmas present. This time we’re heading over to France to join ocean racer Lizzy Foreman…


Credit: Benjamin Simon Lohezic

Offshore racer Lizzy Foreman has been sailing since she was three, and started racing Lasers – a fast but minimalist dinghy – in her early teens. By 18, was first mate on ocean-going racing yachts. Next year – now well used to both skippering a crew and racing single-handed – she’s got two major ocean races on the horizon: the 2020 Vendée Globe, in which she’ll sail solo, and a transatlantic race from Canada to France.

Speaking of France, that’s where she’ll be this Christmas – a new experience for her. “I’ll really miss going home to all the family in Surrey,” she says. “This year it’ll just be me, my husband – who’s French – and a couple of friends. I know the food will be completely different – they tend to have oysters and fois gras, which I don’t like at all, and you can’t get Christmas pudding in France at all.”

 

Credit: Alex Palmer


 
This year it’ll just be me, my husband – who’s French – and a couple of friends. I know the food will be completely different – they tend to have oysters and fois gras, which I don’t like at all, and you can’t get Christmas pudding in France at all.”

Lizzy Foreman


It will be very different to Lizzy’s normal full-on British Yuletime, then, with its board games, crackers, Yorkshire puddings and the Queen’s Speech at three. “Though we don’t have any unusual traditions,” she says, “we do sometimes go on a Christmas run – just me, my sister and my husband. (We can’t talk anyone else into it.) This year there’ll be little of that, though, as I’ll be more concerned with making sure some British traditions get incorporated into our very French Christmas. I’ve never made a Christmas cake before, for instance – but this year I’m going to try.”

Though Lizzy doesn’t ever remember getting bought a toy boat as a child, both she as her sister – the two of them used to race together – used to get serious stuff for sailing: wet suits, bouyancy aids, and other good kit. “One of the best were some special hiking-style wet suit shorts, perfect for racing my Laser. When you were hanging off the side of that boat, the hard edge would cut off the blood from your legs. The shorts made it bearable. Imagine sitting on a hard park bench in the rain, or doing the plank for hours on end – you needed all the help you could get.”

The reason Lizzy is in France this winter is to get the Vendée Globe boat ready: it’s out of the water and “in the shed” – as they say – from November through to February, and there’s endless prep to be done: new antifouling, new equipment to be added and, because it’s quite an old boat, lots of work getting it to comply with class rules. “In fact, my entire winter is either in the shed,” Lizzy says, “or working on my physical training. I’ll spend much more time in the gym than usual; in the summer, when there’s a lot of sailing on, I don’t focus on my fitness anywhere near as much.”

 

Credit: Alex Palmer

One major worry is that, because the Vendée is such an expensive race to take part in, it’s touch-and-go that they’ll get all the funding needed to compete. The other sailing team is a safer bet, however: for this Lizzy will be using a very similar 60 foot yacht to compete in a race across the Atlantic next summer, starting in Quebec and finishing at St-Malo in Brittany. She’ll be co-skipper, part of a crew of 12. “There needs to be two of us, so while half the crew are sleeping there’s always someone in charge,” Lizzy says. “It’ll take about two months in all. First we need to sail the boat out to Canada, then it’ll take about 20 days to race it back again. It’s very different to solo sailing, and nice to have someone else to talk to about the race, the decision-making, and to help keep the crew happy.”

Ocean racing is hardly the best paying job in the world, so between voyages Lizzy still works as a speech and language therapist in England, helping dyslexic kids – sometimes, when she’s out of the country, by Skype. She currently owns two Christopher Wards: a C3 Malvern Chronograph Mk III and the new C60 Trident Pro. “For all on-water activities, I wear the Trident,” she says. “I love that it’s slightly smaller than the previous version, and especially that it’s so much lighter – the previous Trident was too big for me.” As Lizzy both sails at night and spends plenty of time below decks – where it can also be pretty dark – she’s been enjoying the lume too. “In fact, I’ve found it fits perfectly into my routine, as it’s so robust, and can take constant exposure to sea water and sunlight. It’s proving pretty resistant to getting bashed into things on the boat too.”

 

Credit: Benjamin Simon Lohezic

The Malvern, meanwhile, is more for shore leave: for evenings out, say, or while doing her teaching. “Any time I need to dress a little smarter, it comes into its own,” Lizzy says. “The chronograph function has actually proven really useful while working, to keep my students on track with their tasks – and I’ve even used it to time running intervals on occasions. Having something so luxurious really brightens up the day.”

 

 
C60 Trident Pro 600

While other recommended models in our Winter Stories section may be a little less obvious, in Lizzy’s case, her profession as an ocean racer leant itself to one giant in the CW arsenal: our C60 Trident Pro 600. Considering her job regularly sees her buffeted by waves and the wind out on the oceans, she would require something reliable, rugged and waterproof; and as a dive watch that can withstand depths of 600m (although that would require Lizzy to fall overboard, which we hope doesn’t happen!) the Pro 600 fulfils all three criteria in style.

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C60 Trident Pro 600
C60 Trident Pro 600 laydown
5% of the proceeds of this watch will be donated to the Blue Marine Foundation charity