8.1.14

SAILING ALL AROUND THE WORLD.

Wisconsin scow sailor Sally Barkow finds a new challenge.
When Barkow heard in 2012 an all-female team was being formed to compete in what was formerly called the Whitbread Round the World Race, she submitted an application.

She was invited to the team's base in Lanzarote, Spain, in late 2012 and early 2013 for a trial sail, essentially a tryout. She was contacted again last summer and asked to come back for more sailing. Last month she learned she had been chosen.

"We see a lot of potential in Sally. She brings a competitive racing pedigree to the team, and although she is inexperienced in offshore racing, she is a fast learner and a very good team player," Team SCA coach Brad Jackson said in an email. "She is a good communicator and very motivated to do this race."

Hundreds of applications were submitted by female sailors from around the world. Around 40 have been invited to participate in sailing trials in the Canary Islands.

All Volvo Ocean Race teams will use the same boats — 65-foot-long high-performance racing yachts that are five feet shorter than those used in the race three years ago. The difference in length and lighter sails have evened the playing field somewhat for an all-female crew, Barkow said.

Her job on the boat is driver/trimmer, meaning she's sometimes at the helm steering the ship and sometimes controlling the sails through winches that resemble coffee grinders on pedestals. Like everyone on the crew, though, Barkow is learning how to perform all jobs onboard.

While Team SCA is spending as much time as possible on the water getting to know the pink-and-blue-painted vessel and learning to work together as one unit, the sailors are also in the gym every day lifting weights to build muscle and boost upper-body strength.
Fair winds. To sail around the world implies rounding Horn and Good Hope.  We've seen what happens with powered vessels that venture into the Roaring Forties, even at midsummer.

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