Crafting a “less hierarchical” Volvo Open-65
AMSTERDAM _ Team SCA, Sweden’s all-women entry in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, will be a “less hierarchical” boat than its rivals, says Dutch crew member Carolijn Brouwer, 39, (left). In an interview with the online Dutch sailing monthly Zilt, she reveals how Team SCA hones a multi-tasking crew for the grueling round-the-world race.
Team SCA is what UK media, unaccountably, call an ‘all-girls’ boat. It was the first to announce its VOR participation and has been in training for a year now _ first in a Volvo Open-70, the former Puma, then on its own VO-65. In the VOR, an all-women team can have 11 crew members, one more than all-male boats.
When it comes to training, Brouwer tells Zilt: “We do it differently than the men. In all-male boats the skipper appoints crew (tasks). We’ll be rotating more. There’ll be a skipper and watch leaders, but our team is not as hierarchical. I love helming, but right now I’m focusing on mainsail trim. I’m also into navigation.” On Team SCA, Britain’s Sam Davies, an accomplished single-handed sailor, has the most navigation experience. “But several people must be able to handle navigation,” Brouwer tells Zilt. “The navigator is the on-board cop who calls people on deck to order when the boat’s performance starts to flag.”
Brouwer says a year of training has given Team SCA a “terrific lead over the other boats.” For one thing it has recorded all manner of weather and boat behavior data and visualized that into charts. Brouwer, the 1998 ISAF World Sailor of the Year, is a three-time Olympic competitor (2000, 2004 and 2008).
She would love to take part in the 2016 Rio Olympics in the mixed Nacra-17 class but “that would be more of the same.” She adds: “I searched for a new challenge. I’m a very competitive animal and when Team SCA approached me in 2013, I was immediately interested.”
For more Team SCA comments (in English):