Ipswich-based two10degrees to provide tracking software for solo trans-Pacific rower Lia Ditton

Lia Ditton preparing for her attempt to row across the north Pacific, solo and unsupported

Lia Ditton preparing for her attempt to row across the north Pacific, solo and unsupported - Credit: Archant

Ipswich-based technology company two10degrees is supporting the attempt by a former Suffolk school pupil to become the first woman to row solo and unsupported across the north Pacific Ocean, from Choshi in Japan to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

Lia Ditton.
Picture: Julian Winslow

Lia Ditton. Picture: Julian Winslow - Credit: Julian Winslow

Lia Ditton, who went to Woodbridge School before moving on to sixth form at Northgate in Ipswich and then to the University of Suffolk, is now a professional sailor and artist.

She is currently training in the San Francisco Bay area, ahead of shipping her boat to Japan in December ready for departure in March 2018.

There will be no support vessel on the voyage – the closest human beings will often be those in the International Space Station, 90 miles overhead – but two10degrees will be helping Lia to source her on-board communications, such as satellite phones and trackers, alongside its own tracking and mapping software.

This vital equipment will enable her to provide updates on her journey and to raise an SOS alarm in the event of an emergency.

Lia Ditton with Simon Woodroffe, founder of Yo!, who is sponsoring her attempt to row solo across th

Lia Ditton with Simon Woodroffe, founder of Yo!, who is sponsoring her attempt to row solo across the north Pacific. Picture: Julian Winslow - Credit: Julian Winslow


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Richard Prodger, technical director at two10degrees, said: “To date, only 18 people have attempted to row solo across the north Pacific Ocean. Only two were successful – both were men.

“This is an excellent application of our global tracking software and will give peace of mind to Lia and her friends, family and supporters throughout her incredible mission.”

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The journey is expected to take from four to six 6 months and two10degrees will be supporting Lia throughout her training and her expedition.

two10degrees builds and operates the Global Alerting Platform, a hub for satellite and cellular messaging, providing tracking, telemetry, emergency alerting, message routing and storage.

Lia’s family moved to Suffolk when she was nine-years-old; her mother, Elizabeth Ditton, was the headteacher of Nacton Primary School before she retired in 2012.

Following her education in Suffolk, which also included time at Bealings Primary School, Lia gained a place at Chelsea College of Art in London to study sculpture.

Lia was the only woman to complete the OSTAR 2005 single-handed transatlantic race, an experience which formed the basis of her 2006 installation Absolute Solitude: One Woman, One Boat which saw her live on her boat next to the Tate Britain Gallery for 28 days – the same number of days as it took her to sail to America.

Simon Woodroffe, the former Dragon’s Den star and the founder of YO!, was the first business figure to back the historic attempt to row across the north Pacific.

“Lia is an inspirational woman,” he said. “It will be a difficult journey – some say harder than climbing Everest.”

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