VOLVO OCEAN RACE - British pair Sam Davies and Annie Lush, Australians Sophie Ciszek and Liz Wardley and Carolijn Brouwer of the Netherlands are the first sailors selected by Team SCA to be part of the all-female team for the next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.
“They are all very talented natural sailors; gender does not come into it” – Richard Brisius
Around 20 women sailors have so far been through a rigorous selection process at the team’s base in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote.
The first five to win their places have a wide range of experience, from single handed offshore sailing to the Olympics and match racing. They proved their skills while sailing on board the team’s training boat, the repurposed Mar Mostro now named SCA Care.
“We have been really impressed by the quality of the candidates coming through,” said team managing director Richard Brisius.
“There is a 10-year gap since the last time there was an all-female crew in this race and the level of professionalism and competence is much higher now, so clearly none of us is underestimating the task ahead.”
Only four other all-female teams have competed in the Volvo Ocean Race since its first edition in 1973 and the last all-female entry was Amer Sports Too in the 2001-02 race.
For 2014-15, all-female teams will race with 11 sailors, compared to eight in all-male teams.
“They are all very talented natural sailors; gender does not come into it. Team SCA is providing the tools and structure to give these sailors a chance at competing on an equal footing in what is a classic round-the-world yacht race.
“It would be great to think that through all our efforts we could engage a new generation of women to break into competitive, crewed offshore racing,” added Brisius. “A female team in this race should be the norm, not something unusual.”
This first squad will be based in Lanzarote and will continue training there until the start of the race in autumn 2014. The delivery of their Volvo Ocean 65 One Design boat is expected in the early autumn this year.