chemicals between us

chemistryOf many changes being made for the next Volvo Ocean Race it is the dramatic alteration to the crew format that is likely to have the biggest influence on the results. Blue Robinson talks wholesale revamp with Sam Davies and Sophie Ciszek of Team SCA and 2014 winner Ian Walker
Seahorse Magazine: What were your thoughts when you heard of the proposal from Volvo on the different crew ratios permitted in the next race?
Sam Davies: I was aware this was in the pipeline as I had spoken to Knut Frostad and Mark Turner at the Yacht Racing Forum in Geneva last winter, so I have had time to reflect on it. I know Knut and Mark have been considering it since before the end of the last race and initially I wasn’t so sure, as we had such a great team with SCA which was the second all-female crew I raced round the world with. Both crews promoted professional sailing for women, encouraging others to do the same. It was an honour to sail with such a talented group on SCA, with Olympic and world champions in the team; we finished third in the inshore series and won a leg, but we struggled with offshore experience.
Boat handling in the Southern Ocean is all about experience, the big loads and dealing with the inevitable wipe-out situations. Every single crash we did was a first for us, whereas the guys have done it all so often, during the VOR and on the big private campaigns on the offshore circuit that are hard for us to access – and if we do get onboard those boats we have no responsibility. Whenever it gets tough and decisions have to be made, it’s not women onboard who are making the calls. So on reflection, yes, I’m really pleased with what has been done for the next race.
SH: How will the male crews respond…
Read on. Title inspiration thanks to Bush. No, not the War Criminal Bush, this one.