The all-womens crew of Team SCA have led the other six male crewed boats through the Straits of Gibraltar – the first major milestone of the Volvo Ocean Race.
A daring split with the fleet paid a big dividend for the womens crew and they picked up a handy lead of around 5nm, sailing in a 12kt breeze which looks set to hold through the Staits which mark the entrance to the Mediterranean.
At the 0340hrs UTC report, Team Vestas Wind has chopped a mile out of the Team SCA lead, who were making about 3kts average speed, about half that of the rest of the fleet. But GPS data showed that the womens crew were close to crossing ahead the six mens teams.
The team reported via social media: ‘Sailing through the Straits of Gibraltar. Rest of the fleet not in sight. An hour to go to find out if our strategy paid off!!
And later: ‘Just in from Libby ‘We have just had a very exciting moment on the boat having split from the fleet… we have a very happy boat!’
The loud laugher from their late coach, Magnus Olsson, could be heard around the world as the women’s crew led the other six men’s crews out into the Atlantic midway through the second night at sea.
Earlier Team SCA opted to split with the fleet and take an approach to Gibraltar up the Spanish coast, while the other boats stayed in a bunch on the southern side of the Mediterranean. When they crossed back Team SCA were well in the lead and had given the men a sailing lesson.
Now the mens crew’s can but follow Team SCA’s sternlight out of the Mediterranean – if they can even see it!
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