It has been confirmed that Dee Caffari (GBR), Sara Hastreiter (USA) and Elodie-Jane Mettraux (SUI) will all be joining Team SCA, leading global hygiene and forest products company SCA’s, all-female team in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15.
Caffari (41) is no stranger to ocean racing having competed in the Vendée Globe Race, the Global Challenge, Barcelona World Race and four transatlantic races. She is the only woman to have sailed solo around the world in both directions (east about and west about) as well as being the only female to have sailed around the world three times non-stop. She also holds the female crewed monohull Round Britain and Ireland speed record, a record she established in June 2009, with Team SCA crew mate Sam Davies.
Hastreiter (29) has been working towards double-handed offshore racing on Class 40’s and other short-handed races as well as campaigning to do a Trans-Atlantic. She has sailed over 40,000 nautical miles and has competed in races including the Caribbean 600, Newport to Bermuda Race, IRC Nationals, NYYC Race Week, Antigua Race Week and the St. Thomas Rolex Regatta among many deliveries and working on various boats around the world.
Mettraux (29), whose sister Justine joined the team earlier this year, is one of four under-30’s in the squad. She joins the squad from a rich sailing background with the Geneva Training Center, which she has managed for a number of years. She won the amateur ranking in the 2012 Tour de France a la Voile and was instrumental in building the Swiss all-female match racing team in 2013, and joins the crew as the fourth under-30 in Team SCA.
The three new crew join a squad that includes: Sally Barkow (USA), Carolijn Brouwer (NED), Sophie Ciszek (AUS), Sam Davies (GBR), Abby Ehler (GBR), Stacey Jackson (AUS), Annie Lush (GBR), Justine Mettraux (SUI) and Liz Wardley (AUS). The team is based in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote and is due to complete two transatlantic passages in May as they ramp up their training in advance of the start of the Volvo Ocean Race in October this year.
“When SCA announced its participation with an all-female team in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015, its vision was a to see women competing in a race that has normally been reserved for men, conquering the unexpected and entering the future as a strong team,” says Joséphine Edwall-Björklund, SVP Corporate Communications.
For the past eighteen months SCA has been trialling candidates, and with some seven months left to the start, this selection has now been honed down to a current squad of twelve.
Typically in the Volvo Ocean Race a skipper selects a crew from an established group of male offshore sailors. SCA has turned the process on its head in a bid to select the very best female sailors to be part of its team. Eleven members of the squad will make up the actual race team with the remainder as reserves, paralleling a practice usual in most sports teams.
“It has been a long but very rewarding process and there is no doubt that there is a huge amount of female talent out there that has just not had the opportunity to break through the ‘glass ceiling’ of offshore racing. We very much hope that this team will set the benchmark for women’s offshore sailing and empower more able and talented female sailors to take part in this classic event,” comments Richard Brisius, Managing Director, Team SCA.