Richard Brisius on Team SCA - part 2

The Atlant boss discusses the issues with putting together an all-female Volvo Ocean Race team
This article follows on from part 1 here Significantly for the next Volvo Ocean Race, the organisers have recognised that for a female team to be competitive on a grunty heavyweight canting keel monohull then they need to be allowed to take several more crew. As a result, while the male crews will sail the Volvo 65 one designs eight up, all-female crews will be allowed to go with 11 (plus the OBR media crewman). Brisius says that they are aiming to train up a squad of more than 11 in order that they can have some reserve crew in case of injury or burn out. Here again running a women’s team is an issue compared to a male team. While there is a pool of male sailors with recent Volvo Ocean Race experience from which to choose, there is no such female equivalent. Further crew will be trialled over the course of this year with the aim of gathering the best team together and unlike past campaigns, they are in no hurry to appoint a skipper. Brisius says that because there are no stand out candidates for skipper (what about Sam Davies???!) they are aiming to have a flatter management structure. “We are not stressed about making that decision and so far the group hasn’t been either. I think we can work for another year without appointing a skipper, so don’t expect that to be announced soon...” Saying that, Brisius acknowledges that the sooner they finalise the crew line-up, the sooner they can focus on training them up to compete in the race. To help pick the crew, as well as to man the ex-Puma VO70 that they have as their training vessel, Atlant has brought in several old hands. These include hugely experienced Kiwi hand Brad Jackson and Joca Signorini (both ex-Ericsson 4),