The first all-female team to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race since 2001-02 has named its first five members. They include Carolijn Brouwer of the Netherlands, Great Britain’s Sam Davies and Annie Lush, and Australians Liz Wardley and Sophie Ciszek.
The five sailors, along with over a dozen other candidates, all recently went through a training camp at the team’s base in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote. The camp included fitness, stamina, and medical tests as well as sailing on the team’s VO70, SCA Care.
From singlehanded offshore sailing to match racing, these five members bring a wide range of skills to the team. For example, Davies’ resume includes two Vendée Globe campaigns, including one in 2012-13 when she had to drop out after being dismasted. Brouwer competed at the Sydney, Athens, and Beijing Games, while Wardley has numerous titles in Hobie Cat 16 and oceanic racing. Ciszek has crewed on some of the world’s most renowned racing yachts, most recently the Open 60 Hugo Boss. Lush has been racing full-time on the Olympic circuit since 2002.
As the only all-female team competing in the upcoming 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, the Team SCA crew and coaches see this an opportunity to change the norm in a stereotypically male-dominated sport.
“Team SCA is providing the tools and structure to give these sailors a chance at competing on an equal footing in…a classic round-the-world yacht race…A female team in this race should be the norm, not something unusual,” says Richard Brisius, the team’s Managing Director.
“There is a 10-year gap since the last time there was an all-female crew in this race, and the level of professional and competence is much higher now, so clearly none of us is underestimating the task ahead,” Brisius says.
For more on the team and the Volvo Ocean Race, click here.
Photo by Rick Tomlinson (top); courtesy of SCA