11 June 2015: It’s an historic win for Team SCA in Lisbon as the Swedish boat crossed the finishing line in Lorient in the early hours of this morning, claiming the first leg victory in 25 years for an all-women crew in the Volvo Ocean Race!
Only four female crews have competed in the race’s 41-year history, and Team SCA’s victory was the first since Tracy Edwards’ Maiden won two legs in 1989-90.
Leading from the start of Leg 8 from Lisbon, Portugal, it was a comfortable win for Team SCA who showed excellent sailing skills as they battled against tough sea conditions and strong winds to keep their lead throughout the 647-nautical mile stage.
“Thanks to everybody for all your support. It’s not really sunk in yet,” said skipper Sam Davies. “It’s a reward for all the hard work we have done. It’s a great confidence booster. It’s going to be huge for us. We’ve had a mountain to climb to get here.”
In second place was Team Vestas Wind – marking an incredible return to the Volvo Ocean Race for skipper Chris Nicholson and his crew following their dramatic shipwreck in the middle of the Indian Ocean last November.
“It’s a very special moment,” said the team’s Onboard Reporter Brian Carlin and the smile on Chris’s face was testament to that.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing came in third and has now all but secured overall victory in the 12th edition of offshore sailing’s toughest challenge. They now have an eight point lead on the scoreboard with just one stage to go and could only be scuppered in the unlikely event that they come in last at Gothenburg with a two point penalty!
It would be the realisation of a dream for Ian Walker – to become the first British skipper to win the overall trophy in the race’s 41-year history.
“It’s not really sunk in yet,” he said. “When we passed the finish line we all went quiet and asked ourselves ‘is that it? But I can’t thank our team enough. We made a plan one-and-a-half years ago and we just carried out that plan.”
The boats will now have a short maintenance period before the in port race on 14 June, with the fleet setting off on the final leg of the race two days later to Gothenburg via a pit-stop in The Hague.
Throughout the nine-month Volvo Ocean Race, teams have been relying on Inmarsat’s satellite connectivity for race logistics, weather reporting and safety services. Each boat’s Onboard Reporter has also been able to send back footage, photos and blogs – made possible by our satellite connectivity
We will be recognising the important and challenging role of the OBRs in Gothenburg at the Inmarsat Onboard Reporter Awards when one overall winner will receive €20,000, along with runner-up prizes of €8,000 each.
For more details and news from the boats go to www.inmarsat.com/vor.