Kirsty Barker rows for the ocean

LDA Design sponsors Atlantic Row

LDA Design Project Consultant and landscape architect, Kirsty Barker, is taking on the challenge of a lifetime: to row more than 3,000 miles across the Atlantic to raise awareness of the impact of single-use plastics on the marine environment.

Kirsty is taking part in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge, the world’s toughest ocean row. LDA Design is delighted to be sponsoring the team – which is one of only 30 crews – on this epic adventure. Kirsty’s fellow rowers are Kate Salmon and Rosalind West.

Kirsty’s love of the sea started with childhood summers spent on the beaches of Dorset. She picked up rowing after graduating from university and met the rest of the team at the Exeter Rowing Club. “When Ros came to me with the idea of rowing the Atlantic I did think, well it’s hard enough to do 2,000 metres let alone 3,400 miles! I’m still to change my mind on that.”

The Row for the Ocean team sets off in December, starting at La Gomera in the Canary Islands and ending in Antigua. If the distance wasn’t enough of a challenge, the team wants to break the world women’s record for the fastest crossing, which stands at 34 days. This is a big ask: in adverse conditions, the row has been known to take up to 70 days. But they have been training hard for six months so far with that record in their sights. “At the moment we are do six sessions a week building up strength, but soon we’ll focus on endurance with regular two-hour sessions on the rowing machine. When we’re in the boat, the plan is that we will row for two hours and rest for two, around the clock.”

The team is partnered with Surfers Against Sewage, an NGO committed to fighting the plastic pollution of seas that blights the world’s beaches.

Board Director and LDA Design’s Exeter office lead, Rob Aspland, speaks for all of LDA Design when he says how proud he is of Kirsty.

“Kirsty is a wonderfully talented landscape architect who brings a great deal to our studio. We are delighted to be sponsoring her and the team as they take on this daunting challenge in support of action to tackle the crisis of single-use plastics. We wish them all the very best of luck and calm seas ahead.”


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