Local artist attempts an endurance rowing record

A local artist who is raising money for charity will attempt to set a new rowing record for the oldest woman to row 1800 miles around the coast of Great Britain.  Lesley Foden who lives near Highclere says “I had this mad idea to challenge myself to row around Great Britain because I will be 60 this year – and I want an adventure.”

So, this summer, Lesley will be embarking on an 1800 mile journey starting at Burnham-on-Crouch where she will step into the sleek rowing boat, ‘Liberty’, and start the gruelling challenge rowing round the clock for 8 whole weeks.  ‘Liberty’ will stop 7 times to change crew for each leg but Lesley plans to row all 8 legs, stopping at Cowes, Padstow, Dublin, Oban, Lochinver, Fraserburgh and Scarborough.

She will be rowing 24 hours a day with 2 hours on and 2 hours off.  In her two hour breaks there may be time to eat, drink, steer the boat or sleep, depending on what is going on. She will be living only on freeze dried high energy food.  Lesley says, “It won’t be comfortable or luxurious and, as regards facilities – there aren’t any, just a plastic bucket on deck at the back!  I don’t mind as long as I can take tea bags as I shall miss having a cup of tea the most.”  Whatever happens, it will be a serious test as she has only ever rowed on rivers, not the sea.

Lesley is a professional still-life painter, she has been married to Mark for 30 years; they have a daughter, Poppy, and both say they are really proud of her.  Lesley is also Chairman of the East Woodhay Neighbour-Care Volunteer Driving, ferrying people to and from their medical appointments.  She is a keen member of St. Martin’s Church choir where she also rings the bells.

She says “I want to inspire older people to exercise and to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the seas so I am currently raising funds for the Charity, Sea Changers and the RNLI Lifeboats.”  She is of course hoping that she won’t need the services of the RNLI.

More information

If all goes to plan, she will set off on June 3rd returning to Burnham on Crouch on July 29th.

If you would like to support Lesley and the charities, then please contact Angela Howard on 07795 278 117 or email angelahoward01@hotmail.com

To find out more, see photographs and to donate: http://row.lesleyfoden.com

To see Lesley’s paintings:  lesleyfoden.com

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