Team SCA, along with Azzam, Campos, Alvimedica, and Dongfeng, are leading
the fleet up and around Muckle Flugga, the northern tip of the Shetland
Islands. Currently Team SCA is 35nm behind Alvimedica and Dongfeng, and we
are gaining on them quickly with every passing minute.
On the first day out we found ourselves in a tricky position, Libby
explained. The other boats were still using the A3, the downwind sail,
even though we had reached the maximum safety wind limit for the sail. We
changed the sail but that forced us to put in more gybes along the Dover
Coast, and the other boats sailed past.
We then found ourselves in another situation with wind farms. According to
Libby, there was only a mile of safe gybing area, to the West, so we made
the call to go outside the wind farms. We thought there was a gap between
two large farms but it turned out there was another wind farm! This forced
us to go 30 miles in the wrong direction. It goes without saying, that it
was a massive learning opportunity for all of us, and we are now gaining
back some lost miles on the other Volvo Ocean 65s.
We had quite the day in the North Sea as well. Up here the seas are very
cold and weve had the biggest sea state we've encountered so far in our
training. Sam kept saying it reminded her of the Southern Ocean.
Yesterday, Annie was hit by a wave with such force that she had trouble
hearing out of one ear. With the sea state this large, everyone and
everything is wet and chilly. When asked how to explain life at the
moment, the girls can only say one word: wet. To do a maneuver on the bow,
the girls need a snorkel. To trim the sails, a snorkel is preferred but
the girls have opted for ski goggles. Inside the boat, we are constantly
bailing cold water out from all corners of the boat. Fortunately, for most
of us, despite a few damp arms and jackets, our toes and bodies are warm!
It goes without saying further that it's very fun and very (very) wet!
The waves are relentless! Abby said.
One particularly interesting thing about our current location is we are
300nm further north of our most southern point when rounding the Cape Horn
in a few months. The sea is cold and we have been trailed by curious sea
birds gliding through the air. (I wish I had my birding book!) Needless to
say, being this far North, is quite an exciting milestone for all of us on
This is some of the best driving ever, Sophie exclaimed, This is so
I feel exhilarated, Dee said, Were all a little bit fatigued, but
were loving what we are doing and everyone is giving it 100%, so its a