SCA has confirmed the first five crew members to officially join Team SCA. Team SCA is the only all-female team in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race.
(Left to right) Sophie Ciszek (AUS), Carolijn Brouwer (NED), Sam Davies (GBR), Liz Wardley (AUS) and Annie Lush (GBR) will joining as crew members from early April.
Some 20 candidates have been through a rigorous training ‘camp’ at the team’s base in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote. The schedule has included tests of their fitness and stamina as well as medicals and sailing onboard the team’s VO70 training boat, SCA Care. All under the watchful eyes of the team coaches who have experience of some fifteen round the world races between them.
“We have been really impressed with the quality of the candidates coming through. There is a ten-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,” commented Richard Brisius, Managing Director, Team SCA.
All five women have a wide range of experience in sailing, from single handed offshore to Olympics and Match Racing. They have each carved their own niche in what is still considered to be a male-dominated sport.
“They are all very talented natural sailors, gender does not come in to 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. A female team in this race should be the norm, not something unusual,” concluded Brisius.
The squad will be based in Lanzarote until the start of the race in autumn 2014. Delivery of the Team SCA VO65 race boat is expected in the early autumn this year.
Only four other all-female teams have competed in this event in its 40-year history and the last all-female entry was Amer Sports Two in the 2001-02 edition of the race.
Jan Johansson, President and CEO of SCA, comments: “For SCA this project not only forms an integral part of our marketing and communications activities. Our crew will be strong, high-performing role models internally as well as for our consumers worldwide, of whom 80 percent are women. As a sustainability leader, we know the important everyday roles women play to raise sanitation, hygiene and health standards in communities around the world. That is the core of SCA and our brands."