WOMEN ARE BACK IN THE RACE!
A women's team will participate in the Volvo Ocean Race for the first time since 2001-02: SCA, a manufacturer of hygienic and forestry products, announced they will participate in the 2014-15 edition of the race.
This international team is the first to announce its participation in the next edition of the race. The race will start in Alicante, Spain in the fall of 2014. This all-women team is the first challenger to confirm command of the new 65-foot monohull racer announced last June.
This new boat is being built by a consortium of sites in the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland and Italy. It will reduce the budget significantly and allow teams to develop competitive campaigns at lower cost.
The Volvo Ocean Race will ensure the construction of at least eight ships - the goal is to have 8 to 10 units at the start of the 12th edition of the race. The first ship will be completed in mid-2013.
This new design will also be less physically demanding, meaning female crews will be able to perform at top levels in this event, one of the three major global yachting events with the America's Cup and the Olympics.
"I am delighted to see a women's team back in the race," says race director Knut Frostad. "Women have been absent from previous editions and because of that, we have not accounted for half of the human population.
"Furthermore, I am pleased to welcome the return of Sweden, which has a rich history in the Volvo Ocean Race. This is very good news. "
Richard Brisius participated twice in the toughest of ocean races. He will manage the team for Atlant Ocean Racing, a two-time winning organization with EF Language in 1998 and Ericsson Racing Team in 2009.
"SCA’s investment in an all-female crew is unique," says Brisius. "Taking part in the most extreme open-sea challenge for nine months inspires respect. This new ship allows for an all-female crew: our goal is to create a strong team with every element to succeed. "
The last all-female team to participate in the race was Amer Sports Too, skippered by Lisa Charles (now Lisa McDonald) in 2001-02. The first women's team was in 1989-90: Maiden, skippered by Tracy Edwards. The last female competitor was Adrienne Cahalan (AUS) in 2005-06 who served as navigator aboard Brasil 1 for one leg.
Six teams competed in the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, the closest race in its 39 years of history. Four rivals vied to win until the very last days of the eight month long event, and it was the French Groupama sailing team, led by Franck Cammas, who finally sailed to victory.
Complete list of female crews:
1989-1990 Maiden / Tracy Edwards / USA
1993-94 U.S. Women's Challenge / Nance Frank / USA became Heineken / Dawn Riley / USA
EF Education 1997-1998 / Christine Guilou / FRA
2001-02 Amer Sports Too Lisa Charles (now McDonald)/ GB / USA