A sweet victory for Team SCA in Lorient
June 11, 2015 will be a day in history for female offshore sailing. The culmination of over two years of hard work came together for Team SCA, as they crossed the finish line after 3 days 13 hours 11 minutes and 11 seconds to take their first leg win of the Volvo Ocean Race. It was an intense 647-mile leg with a bit of everything, from light winds at the start to the brutal upwind conditions in the Bay of Biscay.
Conditions that saw several crew members hit hard with seasickness: “Sea sickness has taken its prisoners onboard. Luckily we were prepared for the Bay of Biscay. It has been 24 hours of endless bouncing around upwind. For some onboard it has been 24 hours of hell, a repetitive cycle of drinking, trying to eat, being sick, and trying again [but] the fact that we’re winning makes it all the more bearable,” commented Annie Lush from on board.
Team SCA led the fleet for more than half the leg and once in pole position, then dominated. A tactical decision to choose the more offshore course as they headed into the Bay of Biscay and forecasted 30 plus knot upwind conditions paid dividends. The fleet split with four boats taking the inshore route, hugging the coastline. For Team SCA it was a case of being the hunted rather than the hunter and holding their position over the others.