Rick Tomlinson Photography / www.rick-tomlinson.com

Victory for Team SCA!

Fabulous victory for Sam Davies' crew in the Volvo Ocean Race Abu Dhabi in port race

Friday January 2nd 2015, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Arab Emirates

Team SCA led virtually from start to finish to romp to a convincing victory in the Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race in Abu Dhabi. Due to a lack of wind, the race was postponed by 1 hour 40 minutes – another 20 minutes and racing would have been cancelled for the day.

Finally, at 1540 local time/1140 UTC, race officials judged that the breeze had picked up to lay on a start.

In the searing heat of the afternoon, Team SCA led the five other Volvo Ocean Race teams over the start line and shortly after tacked to the starboard side of the course. This was the call that proved to be the key to their success. The Swedish-flagged boat found a good breeze in the light and fickle winds. By the first mark in the 3.2 mile, two-lap race, Team SCA had established a lead of some 100m over Team Brunel, while at the second, with the wind remaining stable between 5-8 knots, they had doubled this. Ultimately, they made victory look easy, crossing the line, 1 minute and 28 seconds ahead of second-placed Team Brunel.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing claimed the final podium spot, finishing 43 seconds further behind, but Ian Walker’s crew still leads the overall In-Port Race standings by two points ahead of Team Brunel, with Team SCA now up in third.

Sam Davies and her crew had shown their In Port Race skill with their third place in Cape Town and now have to repeat the process in the offshore legs. "There's no 'woman of the match', it's the 'women'!" explained Davies. "We're a team, and we did it together. We're really happy, and it's a great way to boost the whole crew's morale before we leave tomorrow for Sanya."

With Olympians Carolijn Brouwer (NED) on the helm and Sally Barkow (USA) calling tactics, the team led the fleet from the start line.

"It's an awesome feeling," comments Carolijn Brouwer, "we had the practice race a couple of days ago and won that but it was great to go out and do it all again exactly the same, with the same result.

"Everyone onboard did such a great job, we didn’t come off the start line too well but we made up for it. Our coach said to us this morning “just do the same as you did in the practice race” and we literally did - we tacked in the same spot, we jibed in the same spot, and we finished in the same spot.

"We have always been moving around a little bit and figuring out the best positions onboard and I think that has worked well for us but its just everyone having their input and gelling together which makes a difference."

Fellow crew member Annie Lush agreed: "It is great to get a race win, get that winning flag and to prove that winning the practice race was not a fluke and we can do this – now we just have to embrace this feeling of leading the fleet and try to sustain it for the next 24 days!"

Abu Dhabi In-Port Race results:
1 Team SCA (Sweden) 1 pt
2 Team Brunel (Netherlands) 2 pts
3 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 3 pts
4 Dongfeng Race Team (China) 4 pts
5 Team Alvimedica (Turkey/USA) 5 pts
6 MAPFRE (Spain) 6 pts.

Overall standings in the Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Series:
1 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 6 pts
2 Team Brunel 8
3 Team SCA 10
4 Team Alvimedica 12
5 Dongfeng Race Team 13
7 Team Vestas Wind 20.


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