Meet the team
When Lia is at sea she has a team on shore who help with everything from navigation to safety and press
Weather, Navigation and Safety
I love sailing fast on big ocean routes. I have raced around the world on a 110’ cat and set sailing world records to Hawaii and across the Pacific to Japan. I am usually the strategist, weather router, navigator and safety officer onboard. I’ve sailed thousands of miles with Lia over nearly 20 years including the Transpac race to Hawaii on a 60’ trimaran where she was captain and I was navigator. I have built software companies and am on the board of a number of companies where I coach entrepreneurs to build the businesses they envision. This is also what I try to help Lia do.
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Lia has a tremendous depth of experience and very sound judgement and skills, but its hard when you are sleep deprived, alone and without access to the all resources of the internet and need to row at the same time. Each morning I wake up to prepare a weather, wave and current forecast for Lia and then work on whatever is critical in the coming days or weeks like destinations, ballasting, electronics, medical, structural issues etc. We then have a series of texts to discuss. I also analyze her performance data and health data and in my spare time I work on the website with the help of Michele, Danielle and Raimer. It has been great to work with such a professional team and an inspiration to work with Lia.
I have a wonderful mix of a spirit of adventure and a drive to help others. This has led me to bicycle racing (college), traveling the world (teaching), and becoming a homicide detective with the Portland Police Bureau (odd but interesting career choice). I was a white-water raft guide for many years on the Deschutes River in Oregon, so I have done the rowing action itself a good bit. But trying to equate rowing a raft down the Deschutes River in Oregon with what Lia is doing on the ocean would be like equating my nightly walks with my dog to climbing Mt. Everest.
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In other words, no comparison at all! Along the way I had the good fortune to become Lia’s friend and the honor to help with Team Lia. Randomly, I was a mermaid in an underwater show (Aquarena Springs) in College, maybe this says something! My roles include helping with communication, organization, and messaging.
I am a High Performance Psychologist with The Gauge Group. After 20 years of supporting the most elite warriors in military special operations, I finally feel prepared to dip my toe into the world of elite sport and in particular, ocean rowing. In addition to elite sport I also work across Executive coaching, leadership development, assessment and selection. In my spare time, I enjoy wood-working and composing punk and electronic music with my kids. My favorite color is green, and my favorite food is a well-crafted cheeseburger. I am here to bring high-functioning harmony for Lia and her team, and when needed, a voice of reason in the midst of the storm.
Social media and communications
I am a UK based documentary film maker specialising in women’s sport and adventure and have been collaborating with Lia on short films since 2018. We first met in 2016 when I interviewed Lia for sportsister.com, a women’s sports website I co-founded in 2008, and we hit it off immediately, maybe because we both have art school backgrounds. Prior to learning filmmaking, I worked in the sports industry first as a designer and trend forecaster, then journalist, before working with the Women’s Sport Trust as Visual Campaigns director, working towards equality for women’s sports. Back in the day I represented Great Britain as a canoeist
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and set several records in the annual 125-mile Devizes-Westminster race, Now I’m very much a recreational athlete and enjoy cycling, swimming (outdoor and in), surfing and running. I’m in charge of all thing’s social media, content and press, working hard to make sure the world hears all about Lia and this epic challenge.
Graham "Beardy" Kelly
Endurance and adventure have always fascinated me. Both have been a major part of my life for well, most of it. A railway signalling engineer to trade but qualified Mountain Leader, spare times are based in the Scottish Mountains – a habit that has led to a full round Munro & Corbett summits, a passion for fell/hill running, scrambling and the occasional graded technical route. Given a winter, I can be seen on alpine or cross country skis and on a good day, sometimes skinning up a hillside on old touring kit. Firmly in the “never won anything and never will” category, I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in ultra and mountain races around this wee planet
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including; Marathon des Sables (Morocco), Ultramarthon Caballo Blanco (Mexico). Based in Glasgow or wherever the van is parked up for the night. I met Lia through her work on the Marathon des Sables so looking after the Believers channel for her Hawaiian row makes for a lovely polar opposite.
I immigrated to Albuquerque, NM from Mexico when I was 6 and enlisted in the Army after high school. I served over 20 years, spending most of it working at two of the military’s premier special operations organizations, as well as leading global assessment programs designed to select the best applicants for critical national defense positions. I completed an MBA and pride myself on positing logic first when approaching complex problems and seek to develop high functioning teams. I love family, rescue pups, and a spicy slice of pizza and I’m a light beer enthusiast. I hate heights. I’m directing the education resources for Lia.