Team SCA crossed the finish line in Abu Dhabi in the early hours of Monday 15th December concluding the second leg from Cape Town to the Emirati capital city in 25 days, 6 hours, and 23 minutes.

“We were on a big learning curve after Leg One and we took away a lot of things that we brought into Leg Two. I think we achieved that and worked on the areas that we needed to work on. This leg has again been a learning curve, but we have been sailing the boat really well and love what we do, so we just have to keep on pushing,” commented Abby Ehler (GBR), shortly after arriving in Abu Dhabi.

Her fellow crew member Dee Caffari (GBR) agrees, although she points out that “the faster way we will learn in this race is to be sailing alongside another boat so we need to find the boat speed, stay with the pack and increase our learning as fast as possible that way.”

“The tough thing I think firstly was that the weather wasn’t exactly what we thought it was going to be, we didn’t actually have the forecasted, predicted weather that we thought we would have on this leg, it was a lot lighter, which made it a lot more difficult. Strategically and tactically it was a lot different because we had to try and find passing lanes and opportunities, which were even more difficult once we lost touch with the pack,” concludes Caffari.

5, 220 NM

 On the sidelines Team Coach Joca Signorini (BRA) said: “It has been a very long couple of months for the girls. On October 11 they started from Alicante, and today December 15 they finished in Abu Dhabi, so in a little over two months they have done two very long and very different legs of the race.

“I think, overall, the girls have been showing that, in some conditions, they can be very competitive and in other conditions they find it more difficult. In a way it is a good thing that they are disappointed because that is the only way they will get better. This is a very long race and we are only on Leg 2 and to have the crew arriving here in Abu Dhabi is great. They are doing a fantastic job and they have a very tricky leg coming, so I am glad we have a long stopover where they can rest, we can talk through and prepare well.

“In a sport you always have the physical side, the technical side, and then you have the mental part. This is one of the most important parts of the game when you get to the top end of sport, the main difference between a very good sportsperson compared to an average one is not always the technique, sometimes it is how they can deal with the mental side.

I think right now the crew is beginning to feel this pressure. In training it is very difficult to simulate the mental part of the Volvo Ocean Race – just being on the boat is hard enough and then you need to compete and if you are not on the right end of the fleet it is even harder. This leg has been a good learning for them in terms of how tough this race will be, so we just need to keep it real and keep it within our limits and slowly progress from there.”

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