First round of Team SCA trials

Olympic sailors to Vendee Globe skippers set sail this weekend

Sunday February 3rd 2013, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Team SCA, which intends to send an all-female crew around the world in the next Volvo Ocean Race, is departing Southampton this weekend aboard its training vessel, the former Puma

Those being trialled in what is believe to be the first of two groups includes London 2012 women's match racer Annie Lush (GBR), long term Olympic and cat sailor Carolijn Brouwer (NED), French Figaro sailor Jeanne Gregoire (FRA), match racer Klaartje Zuiderbaan (NED), former Amer Sport bowgirl Liz Wardley (AUS), Vendee Globe skipper Sam Davies (GBR) and match racer Stacey Jackson (AUS).

The crew will sail under the guidance of coaches Magnus Olsson and Brad Jackson, who have an impressive 12 Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Races between them.

Jackson, who's winning streak with ABN AMRO and Ericsson 4 ended with Puma's third place in 2011-2, said: “Access throughout the year to a full range of sailing conditions opens the door for some quality training opportunities and with some highly experienced people, this looks to be an exciting campaign.” Magnus Olsson, who first sailed the race aboard Simon le Bon's maxi Drum in 1985-6, added: “We all have a lot of hard work ahead of us but this is a thrilling opportunity. I’m looking forward to the challenges presented by training a new team and it is great to see support for women in sailing.”

The team will represent only the fifth female crew, where all-women entries haven’t been seen in the event for a decade and the last female participant took part eight years ago. Shore team manager Anthony Spillebeen laid out the project’s aim: “Team SCA is focused on developing the best prepared and resourced women sailing team ever to have participated in the Volvo Ocean Race. To facilitate this we have put together an experienced group of shore crew and veterans of this race to guide the development of the selected crew over time.” He affirmed that the choice of Puerto Calero and Lanzarote created “the ideal environment to fast-track the learning curve.”

Team SCA is bound for Puerto Calero, Lanzarote 1500 miles away, which is where Ericsson and then Groupama used as their base in past races. “We had no doubt about returning to Puerto Calero after our positive experiences with the Ericsson campaign," said Team SCA’s Managing Director, Richard Brisius. "The marina offers everything we need to prepare well for the race and the climate in Lanzarote makes a considerable difference in terms of using time effectively.”

José Juan Calero, MD of Puerto Calero Marinas commented: “The fact that the first team to sign up for this coming Volvo Ocean Race has elected to train in Lanzarote, following the footsteps of four other teams over the past two races, serves to consolidate the island as an internationally acclaimed destination for high-performance race-training; a reputation that we will continue to work to maintain with completion of our new project Marina Lanzarote, a facility that will be specially designed and equipped to meet teams’ most stringent requirements, in particular teams preparing for offshore regattas such as the Volvo Ocean Race.”

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