Have you heard of the Volvo Ocean Race? I know I’ve heard of it before but never took notice – I am not into sailing, although very much love the water (beach, ocean, seas, whatever as long as it is not rough..). The UAE, having coastal cities is hosting one of the stops for this prestigious race in the capital city of Abu Dhabi.
The route of this race: started in Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa on to Abu Dhabi, UAE, to Sanya, China to Itajai, Brazil next to Newport, USA to Lisbon, Portugal to Lorient, France then to The Hague, The Netherlands and finishes at Gothenburg in Sweden.
What makes the Volvo Ocean Race unique this time that has caught my attention?
This time, there is an all female team to compete in a sailing race around the world – a first, since 2002!Team SCA with 11 crew members and 1 on board reporter is participating in this very tough and challenging race to sail around the world!
SCA, a leading global hygience and forest products company based in Sweden is supporting an all female team in the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race to build greater awareness of the company and its leading global brands TENA and Tork, and regional brands, such as Libero, Libresse, Lotus, Nosotras, Saba, Tempo and Vinda.
SCA is supporting a female team since globally more than 80 percent of SCA’s consumers are women.
Furthermore SCA supports women’s freedom to participate fully in society – socially, educationally and professionally – across the world by giving them access to and education about hygiene products and solutions. Through its participation, SCA also makes it possible for women to participate in an arena normally reserved for men.
At the Abu Dhabi Racing Village, I got to know what’s life (and challenges) on board: sleepless nights, surviving on freeze dried food, no flowing water for shower for weeks, not seeing land for a long time and sometimes (maybe most of the time?) the rough and unforgiving seas.
I can only imagine.
We get to try what the crew eat on board. Freeze dried food is quite a challenge to eat all the time – someone on board said, the minute they dock, all they could think of was food. And after tasting what they eat on board, I could understand why! Also, I get to try out their waterproof gear as well. Someone helped me putting this on but on board, everyone gets on their business by themselves and as fast as possible.
I may be smiling here but it was a real struggle to put this on, especially in the neck and wrist area where it’s made of really hard rubber that’s made to be snug fit so water can’t get in your body.
Head on to the Abu Dhabi Racing Village near the Marina break water to check out the participating teams as well as lots of entertainment for the whole family. Each participating team has a pavilion that provides information and entertainment to guests. There’s this cool “Take your selfie with the team” at the Team SCA Pavilion and I did take a selfie…of course you can recognize me in this pic?
I am not sure what’s my role here, it looks like I am just sitting and doing nothing but I am sure in real life, this is a very important crew on board! You can also see that the boat is tilted to one side which the crew said, is the case most of the time!
Photo credit: Jessica Pepper Peterson
Team SCA invited a me and other bloggers from Dubai to see check out the racing village in Abu Dhabi and meet the amazing women sailors. We went out to sea in a small motorboat to find the Team SCA boat who set out to train. I was excited we’d have a chance to get on the boat while it’s out at sea but unfortunately, we were not able to see them as it was foggy and we were pretty far from the shore already. We were only able to get on the boat and see what’s inside and talk to the crew when they came back to dock in the afternoon.
The Racing Village in Abu Dhabi is only open until 3rd January 2015. After then, the whole venue packs up as the boats leave for Sanyang, China for the next leg of the race. Many thanks to Team SCA for hosting us in Abu Dhabi!