The switch to a new one-design boat was crucial to the decision to launch an all-female team for the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, according to team manager Richard Brisius.
"You can't close such a beautiful sport as ocean racing to become something only for men" - Richard Brisius
The Swede, who is running the international team announced by SCA on Tuesday, knows they will face a huge task to be successful in the race starting in Alicante in 2014 but he is confident the new 65-foot one-design boat gives them a chance that would not have existed under the old Volvo Open 70 class rule.
"I reckon that with the old boat, the Volvo Open 70, we would not even have thought about this," said Brisius, who sailed in the Volvo Ocean Race twice himself and has been involved in the running of two victorious campaigns since then.
"The new 65-foot design is still a monster -- still a huge boat -- but it's now at least possible, even though you could never say it's going to be easy."
Only four all-women's teams have contested the Volvo Ocean Race, which began life as the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973. The last was Amer Sports Too under Lisa McDonald in 2001-02 and Brisius said it was crucial to get women back in the race.
"This Race as we all know has got tougher and tougher and harder and the typical crew you find for the race are becoming bigger and even have nicknames for the size of their muscles," he said.
"You can't close such a beautiful sport as ocean racing to become something only for men. I hope that through this team that SCA has put together we will restart that process of developing a new generation of ocean racing women."
- 4 Apr 2013The first five: SCA reveal quintet for all-female team
- 30 Nov 2012Catching up with Charles Caudrelier
- 26 Nov 2012SCA to start PUMA training in New Year
- 26 Sep 2012All-women's team can inspire – and compete
- 19 Sep 2012Thinking logistics – It's not all about the boat
- 21 Aug 2012All-women's team first to enter 2014-15 Race