Seven boats left Alicante, Spain on Oct. 11 to take part in one of the epic events in sports: the Volvo Ocean Race. The teams will spend over nine months at sea covering more than 38,000 nautical miles as they compete for one of the most coveted prizes in professional sailing.
Sweden and Denmark both have entries in the race as an all-female crew will represent the blue and yellow while racing on a pink yacht sponsored by the hygiene and forest products company SCA. It’s the first all-female crew to enter the race in over a decade.

May 12, 2015 - Sailing Festival in Newport, RI

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Team SCA is led by 30-year–old sailor Samantha “Sam” Davies, who has sailed in the Open 60 class for the past 10 years. She was part of the all-female Jules Verne Trophy attempt in 1998, then sailing with Tracy Edwards, and was named 2009 YJA Yachtsman of the Year after placing fourth in the single-handed race Vendée Globe — by many considered the ultimate in ocean racing. Chris Nicholson leads the Danish boat under the sponsorship of wind energy provider Vestas.

Each of the entries has a sailing team of nine professional crew, who race day and night for more than 20 days at a time on some of the legs. They each have different jobs, and on top of these sailing roles, there are sailors who have had medical training, as well as a sail maker, an engineer and a dedicated multimedia reporter crew member. All-women teams can race with 11 sailors plus one non-sailing multimedia reporter and each team must have two crew members under 30, born after Oct. 1,1984.
No fresh food is taken on board, so the crew lives off freeze-dried fare; they will experience temperature variations from -5 to +40 degrees Celsius and can only take a limited change of clothes.

The Volvo Ocean Race, formerly the Whitbread Around the World Race, traces its origins to the great clipper ships that once “raced” from Europe and America to China and Japan, carrying exotic goods and spices. Today, crews use high-tech one-design yachts, the Volvo Ocean 65, that can reach speeds up to 25 knots (29 miles per hour), to sail from Europe to Africa to China, New Zealand, Brazil, the United States and back to Europe. There will be nine legs and a total of 10 in-port races along the way. The race ends in Göteborg, Sweden at the end of June 2015. For details see below.

Royal Visit

On Friday, October 3 to Sunday, October 5, Prince Carl Philip was in Alicante, Spain, to be present at the start of the twelfth edition of the offshore Volvo Ocean Race. The race started with an in-port race on Oct. 4 with a first leg to Cape Town starting on Oct.10. The prince, who is patron of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015, visited the Volvo Ocean Race Village and the Volvo museum pavilion. At the Museum of Alicante, visitors take part in the competition's history, from its inception as the Whitbread in 1973 until today. While touring the village, the prince, who’s been in car races in Sweden, admired the all-new XC90.

Two Scandinavian flagged boats


Team SCA
SCA is a global leader in personal care and has a portfolio of baby diapers, feminine care products and incontinence products. Brands you may have encountered on U.S. shelves include TENA and Tork. Within these product segments, SCA also offers such products as wet wipes, soap, baby oil, lotion and cotton pads.
According to corporate management, Team SCA participates in the Volvo Ocean Race because “it is a unique global platform for building greater awareness of SCA as well as its brands.” In its introduction to the all-female team’s efforts, SCA says, “[It’s] the world’s toughest sporting challenge on water, but for SCA the challenge on water is also a constant aspect of daily operations. Water is an elementary part of paper production, while water scarcity is increasingly becoming a reality of the modern world — fueled by population growth and global warming. UN figures show that water scarcity already affects most continents and 40 percent of the world’s population. SCA is working actively to reduce water usage in paper mills, especially when located in water-scarce regions."
In her presentation to Volvo Ocean Race, Sam Davies says, “This is a great opportunity for women’s sailing and it is the right time to do it with the change in the Volvo Ocean Race rule. I really believe we have the opportunity to achieve some amazing results in this race.”
For more info on SCA, see www.sca.com and about the team, see www.teamsca.com

Team Vestas
The Danish Vestas, a company with roots in the 19th century, started developing and experimenting with its successful wind turbine technology as early as the 1970s with a first installation of a turbine in 1979. It is among the leaders in its field in the world. And although wind energy currently accounts for less than two percent of the world’s energy production, Vestas expects it to account for 10 percent by 2020. Headquartered in Aarhus, Denmark with a sales office for North America in Portland, Oregon, the company’s U.S. installations account for a wind power production of 11,574 MW or over 20 million MWh per year from over 12,000 turbines. More info, see www.vestas.com

For more info on the races, see www.volvooceanrace.com