LDA Design’s Kirsty Barker to row the ocean, for the ocean

LDA Design landscape architect and senior consultant, Kirsty Barker, is about to set off on an epic adventure.

Kirsty is part of the four-woman Row for the Ocean team taking on the world’s toughest row, 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. The race, which begins in just under two weeks, starts in the Canary Island’s La Gomera and ends up in Antigua.

The Row for the Ocean crew, sponsored by LDA Design, is one of only twenty eight teams competing. The quartet will row in pairs for two hours and rest for two hours, around the clock. They aim to break the world women’s record for the fastest crossing, which stands at 34 days. In adverse conditions, the row can take up to 70 days.

Kirsty is joined by Rosalind Holsgrove-West, Kate Salmon and Laura Try. The team, who were brought together by their passion for adventure, are raising awareness of the plastics crisis affecting our oceans. They are racing in support of NGO Surfers Against Sewage and a Plastic Free Exeter, which aims to make the city plastic free by 2020.

The team has been training for almost two years, six days a week. Getting race-ready has involved putting the latest equipment in place, learning about ‘man overboard’ drills and testing dehydrated food.

Kirsty comments: “When Ros suggested the idea, I thought it’s hard enough to do 2,000 metres, let alone 3,400 miles! I am still to change my mind on that. The next two months will be the hardest of our lives, but we know we are ready.  I’ve been blown away by all the support I’ve received from LDA and others. In turn, we hope our efforts will make a real difference for our charity, Surfers Against Sewage and the great work they do for our beaches and our seas.”

Kirsty joined LDA Design six years ago. She has built up a strong portfolio, including the transformation of Porth Teigr in Cardiff and an award-winning flood protection scheme along the River Arun in Littlehampton, a project that demonstrates how designing for climate resilience can also result in better places to live, work and visit.

Board Director and LDA Design’s Exeter office lead, Rob Aspland, says:  “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. We wish them all the very best of luck and calm seas ahead.”

We’ll be following Kirsty’s progress across the ocean. If you would like to know more, go to:

Website: www.rowfortheocean.co.uk
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rowfortheocean
Twitter: www.twitter.com/RowForTheOcean
Instagram: www.instagram.com/rowfortheocean

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