[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] The new Volvo Ocean 65s are here to stay. They have been designed and built to withstand everything the oceans can throw at them over the next two editions of sailing’s toughest challenge, in 2014-15 and 2017-18.
Friday’s sail was nothing like a speed run or a race, more like a test of all systems and hardware, but it doesn’t matter – it’s a rare feeling to see a new boat going to sea.
We met up with SCA’s sailors Liz Wardley, Sam Davies and Annie Lush at the end of their second day of sailing their Volvo Ocean 65 with their coaches and shore crew.
“It’s amazing to be here,” said a salty Wardley on the dock at Williams Yard. “It’s the start of a new class and this boat has never been sailed before so it’s great to be involved from the beginning. Being one of the first people going out sailing on it is pretty cool!”
Aged 33, the Australian sailor is Team SCA’s bowman and boat captain. She liaises with all suppliers and boatbuilders, who are onboard during these first sailing sessions to finalise testing before the official handover to the female crew.
“You always have a bit of an apprehension when testing a new boat, because you wait for something to go bang,” added Wardley. “It didn’t happen – there’s been no big problem.
Plus the weather has been breezy in the Solent this week, making for a good test of the boat’s reliability.
“We haven’t really put it through its paces yet but it feels safe and sturdy, which is a great thing for a one-design class,” continued Wardley. “But we haven’t really lit it up yet!”