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Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race. ’We’re here to lead – not follow’

It wasn’t the arrival they wanted – but despite the frustration, they managed a smile or two. As Team SCA finally reached Abu Dhabi in the middle of the night to a chorus of cheers from their adoring fans, who had been waiting patiently in the dark for the arrival of their heroes, the sigh of relief was almost audible. Crossing the line at 2223 UTC, 0123 local time in Abu Dhabi, celebrations on board were muted – every lost mile, every lost minute, etched in their exhausted faces. And having finally ended this tricky and drawn-out leg, the girls were looking forward to some much deserved rest and recuperation before the start of the next leg to Sanya on January 3. “It’s tough when you can’t see anyone,” admits navigator Libby Greenhalgh. “But in the first leg, we were miles behind MAPFRE and we came back to beat them. “You know that things can always change.

Volvo Ocean Race-saThere was a chance coming into the Gulf that we possibly could’ve caught them up, but it was a question of timing. If we’d have got there three or six hours earlier it would’ve been a different kettle of fish.” She continues. “In two legs now, we’ve started so well, and we’ve not finished so great. “Hopefully we’ll have a good break, some time to reflect, and come back firing on all cylinders – to show the world what we can do.” Onboard reporter Corinna Halloran spoke for them all in her last blog from the boat on the final day before they completed the leg in 25 days 6 hours and 23 minutes. “We are here to race, not to watch,” she wrote, the defiance reflected in every word. “We are here to lead, not to follow. Yes, we are paving a road for the future of everyday women who dare to dream big. “But we are also competitive athletes and coming in last, regardless, is always tough.” By the time they had crossed the finish line not long after midnight in barely a breath of wind, they had mustered some smiles to greet their welcoming shore crew, decked out in blue and magenta and holding aloft Team SCA battle flags.

By three-quarters of the way through the 5,200 nautical mile leg, it was a game of catch-up with the five other boats still in the stage after Team Vestas Wind’s grounding. “It’s still a learning process. We’re all learning together, applying what we learned from Leg 1 and putting that into practice for Leg 2,” said skipper Sam Davies. “Every condition is a good opportunity to keep learning and keep making the boat go a bit faster. We made a navigational mistake which put us behind and then it became a procession. That was hard. “We’re focusing on everything. It’s all used to us. Our debriefs are packed with everything you can think of.” “The hard bits (as a skipper) are the communications, maybe that’s because I come from single-handed sailing. There are a lot of things I’m trying to learn and trying to do better.” Nobody said offshore sailing was easy and certainly not the Volvo Ocean Race. But these women will never give up. They will be back, wiser, tougher and more determined than ever.  Team SCA finish time: 22 23 34 UTC / Elapsed time: 025d 06h 23m 34sIt wasn’t the arrival they wanted – but despite the frustration, they managed a smile or two.

As Team SCA finally reached Abu Dhabi in the middle of the night to a chorus of cheers from their adoring fans, who had been waiting patiently in the dark for the arrival of their heroes, the sigh of relief was almost audible. Crossing the line at 2223 UTC, 0123 local time in Abu Dhabi, celebrations on board were muted – every lost mile, every lost minute, etched in their exhausted faces. And having finally ended this tricky and drawn-out leg, the girls were looking forward to some much deserved rest and recuperation before the start of the next leg to Sanya on January 3. “It’s tough when you can’t see anyone,” admits navigator Libby Greenhalgh. “But in the first leg, we were miles behind MAPFRE and we came back to beat them. “You know that things can always change. There was a chance coming into the Gulf that we possibly could’ve caught them up, but it was a question of timing. If we’d have got there three or six hours earlier it would’ve been a different kettle of fish.” She continues. “In two legs now, we’ve started so well, and we’ve not finished so great.Volvo Ocean Race

“Hopefully we’ll have a good break, some time to reflect, and come back firing on all cylinders – to show the world what we can do.” Onboard reporter Corinna Halloran spoke for them all in her last blog from the boat on the final day before they completed the leg in 25 days 6 hours and 23 minutes. “We are here to race, not to watch,” she wrote, the defiance reflected in every word. “We are here to lead, not to follow. Yes, we are paving a road for the future of everyday women who dare to dream big. “But we are also competitive athletes and coming in last, regardless, is always tough.” By the time they had crossed the finish line not long after midnight in barely a breath of wind, they had mustered some smiles to greet their welcoming shore crew, decked out in blue and magenta and holding aloft Team SCA battle flags. By three-quarters of the way through the 5,200 nautical mile leg, it was a game of catch-up with the five other boats still in the stage after Team Vestas Wind’s grounding. “It’s still a learning process. We’re all learning together, applying what we learned from Leg 1 and putting that into practice for Leg 2,” said skipper Sam Davies. “Every condition is a good opportunity to keep learning and keep making the boat go a bit faster. We made a navigational mistake which put us behind and then it became a procession.

That was hard. “We’re focusing on everything. It’s all used to us. Our debriefs are packed with everything you can think of.” “The hard bits (as a skipper) are the communications, maybe that’s because I come from single-handed sailing. There are a lot of things I’m trying to learn and trying to do better.” Nobody said offshore sailing was easy and certainly not the Volvo Ocean Race. But these women will never give up. They will be back, wiser, tougher and more determined than ever.  Team SCA finish time: 22 23 34 UTC / Elapsed time: 025d 06h 23m 34s

by Jon Bramley

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