Saturday, 9 August 2014

Mistake came as a wake-up call for women on Team SCA, says Caffari

One ‘silly’ mistake that cost the all –women’s crew on Team SCA a podium place in the Artemis Challenge has served as a wake-up call ahead of the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race starting on Sunday.

A tactical error at the start of Thursday’s limbering up race around the Isle of Wight saw Sam Davies’ 14 strong crew, which comprises five British women, trail in last behind the two other Volvo Ocean 65s which will compete in the Volvo Ocean Race starting from Alicante in October.

“It’s only now we are seeing how costly a silly mistake can be,” admitted Dee Caffari, the British round the world solo sailor who joined the campaign in April.

“We have been training on our own in Lanzarote but being exposed to the other teams, it’s clear you will get punished if you make a mistake so it is good for us to have a wake up call.

There has not been any women racing in the Volvo Ocean Race since 2005 when Adrienne Cahalan was navigator for one leg on Brasil 1. The last all-female crew Amer Sports Too, skippered by American Lisa McDonald, campaigned the 2001-2 Race following in the footsteps of Tracy Edwards and her Maiden crew who raced around the world amid blaze of publicity in 1989-90.

“None of us have any experience of the Volvo Ocean Race and are up against other crews who have a lot of experience on board,” said Caffari.

“So this is just the start of things and we are confident we will grow as a team as we learn the boat and roles.”

Team SCA  is one of 27 boats taking part in the 1800 nms Round Britain and Ireland Race which starts in Cowes and is likely to take six days, but a forecast for heavy weather for the first night which will see the fleet battle against uncomfortably strong headwinds, will rule out any chance of setting a new RBI record.
These Team SCA girls mean business

"We are quite excited about the heavy weather forecast because we have done quite a lot of nice sailing so far and have not done long upwinds in big seas so it will be a good time for us test the crew and boat’s performance,” said Caffari after a general abandonment of all classes at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week.

Veteran sailor Sir Robin Knox Johnston, who at 75 is the oldest competitor, will use the race as part of his preparations for the solo transatlantic race, the Route du Rhum, in November but his 16 year old IMOCA Open 60 Grey Power will struggle for speed in a pedigree fleet of some of the fastest boats on the planet including the Omani MOD70 Musandam-Oman Sail, the favourite for line honours.

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