Only woman in the 2012-3 Vendee Globe

Photo: Vincent Curuchet/DPPI
Sam Davies updates us on her campaign with Saveol
Sam Davies goes into the 2012-3 Vendee Globe not only as the top placed British finisher from the last race, when she came home in an impressive fourth place sailing a 2000 generation boat, but this time round will also be the only woman taking part. Indicative of the hard economic times we live in, Sam has had an extremely tough time putting together her latest campaign, not that this seems to have had any effect on her being her usual chirpy self. With partial backing from Saveol - a Brittany-based co-operative principally of tomato growers, who originally were her partner Romain’s Figaro sponsor – she has had to gather together her own collective of backers for this winter's solo non-stop round the world race. Needs must, and she now has 15 companies on board with her to varying degrees and she is still hoping that that elusive British company will also sign up at some point before the race to help oil the wheels (and help service the debt) of her campaign. “It would be nice if there was a British sponsor that wants to come and give me a little bit of help,” she says. “They would always be welcome and there is still space on the boat even if they decided to do that two days before the start of the race. That Brit sponsor would get the Transat Jacques Vabre as well if he did that. And if he gave me a little bit more, Saveol will share the name of the boat next year...” The IMOCA 60 Sam has chosen as her solo round the world steed is Roland Jourdain’s former Veolia Environnement. This was designed by Marc Lombard and suffered some substantial 'flutter' issues with her cutting edge carbon fibre keel soon after launch. These appeared to