A Girl Against the Odds Page 2

The Mount Everest of Sailing. The most grueling race a sailor can enter. An outrageous challenge and an epic adventure. The Vendee Globe race is all of these. Saying it’s a tough race to win is hyperbole; it’s a tough race to merely compete in. Every year, world-class sailors in state-of-the-art boats are forced to abandon the race for a variety of reasons. In 1992, British sailor Nigel
Author:
Publish date:

Home sweet, Roxy

Sam relishes her one-chocolate-bar-a-day routine, but last week she began to feel that her chocolate-to-fibrous greenery ratio was becoming skewed in the chocolate direction. So she planted beans. Yes, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Sam Davies began to grow beans. She’s hoping they will rebalance her diet but—never fear—she still plans to consume one Cadbury Dairy Milk bar a day until the finish line. (This routine was threatened at the International Date Line when Sam had an eight-day week with only seven chocolate bars. She solved the problem and survived, but just barely.)

When she’s not craving chocolate, says Sam, she’s craving a nail file. Keeping her girly demeanor at sea has been a challenge, but she’s found ways to make it work. She wears a specially designed sports bra with pockets for warmers, an invention she adopted after the old warmers slid out of her bra and down her drysuit, burning her bum. At the beginning of the race, Sam washed her hair daily with a lathering Kerastase shampoo. But as her body grew weaker, she had to limit her showers to conserve energy. Now she keeps her blonde locks in braids and proudly reports that, “so far I haven’t gotten itchy-head syndrome.” During the cold weeks, she bundled up in “a feather puffa jacket and moonboots.” During the sunny weeks, she ditched the down for her favorite Roxy bikini, excited to let the sun kiss her freckles again.

Sam’s proud of her temporary home and takes measures to make it her own. The pink sails and polka-dotted hulls of Roxy are neither sexy nor sleek, like those of its competitors, but what it lacks in style, Roxy makes up for in personality. Belowdeck, Sam sleeps with pink beanbag pillows. Photos and cards from home frame her nav station and her good luck charms Lucky the flamingo and Foxy the duck look over her chart table. Where most sailors might keep a commemorative map to chart their progress, Sam charts hers with a permanent marker on the surface of an inflatable globe.

Related

Before-and-after-1_silo

Know How: Cleaning Stainless

Without a doubt, the best way to “clean” stainless steel parts is to have them electropolished. Electropolishing is an electrochemical process that cleans the stainless and removes any surface iron particles, leaving a shiny and far more rust-resistant surface. The downsides of ...read more

catstory

Cruising: Sailing With a Young Family

The dark is alive when you are surrounded by water. Black is tinted blue and silver, and sky meets surf with electricity and the lapping sounds of silence. Inside our 36ft catamaran, moored off Cooper Island in the BVI, the raw nature outside, just now settling down from a late ...read more

IslandPacket349

Boat Review: Island Packet 349

After years of quiescence in the wake of the Great Recession, iconic Island Packet is back with its new 349, a re-boot of the old Estero that not only looks great, but takes the Island Packet style of sailing performance to a new level. Design & Construction First among the many ...read more

190219NEEL51

Video Tour: Neel 51 Trimaran

At this past fall’s Annapolis Boat Show, SAIL magazine had a chance to corner Neel Trimarans founder Eric Bruneel and have him give us a tour of the accommodations aboard the new Neel 51, winner of the “Multihull over 50ft” category in the 2019 Best Boats contest. For a complete ...read more

IMG_0173

Electronic “Flares” for Cruisers

The United States Coast Guard requires that all boats operating in coastal waters or on the high seas carry a selection of visual distress signals. Almost invariably, such signals include the pyrotechnic type, either handheld or fired from a flare pistol, but surely there are ...read more

M2-HOOK-TOP-AND-CHAIN-1

Gear: M2 Chain Hook from Mantus

Stay Hooked Chain hooks on anchor snubber lines tend to fall off when you least want them to. Not so this latest example from Mantus. The M2 Chain Hook is secured to the chain by a simple elastic strap, so it won’t come off when the snubber loosens. Made from corrosion-resistant ...read more