Published: Thursday, 11 June 2015

Skipper Sam Davies (GBR) and her Team SCA crew struck a resounding blow for women’s offshore sailing when they clinched Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race.

All Female Crew Wins Leg 8 1

(Photo: Ricardo Pinto/Team SCA)

It took them three days 13 hours 11 minutes and 11 seconds to make race history.

The victory was the first leg win in offshore sailing’s toughest challenge since Tracy Edwards’ Maiden clinched two stage wins in Class D of the 1989-90 race.

"Thanks to everybody for all your support. It's not really sunk in yet," says Davies. "It probably won't hit us until we hit the dock and we see there aren't any other boats there.”

All Female Crew Wins Leg 8 

(Photo: Ricardo Pinto/Team SCA)

"It's a reward for all the hard work we have done. It's a great confidence booster. It's going to be huge for us. We've had a mountain to climb to get here."

Behind them, Team Vestas Wind (Chris Nicholson/AUS) closed to a remarkable second-placed finish. This comes in after returning to the race after six months out, following a collision with an Indian Ocean reef, during Leg 2.

All Female Crew Wins Leg 8 2

(Photo:Ricardo Pinto/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing)

Coming in third, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) simply needed to finish ahead of their nearest overall pursuers in the standings: Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) and Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA), to be all but be sure of winning the 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. The third place finish leaves the team with an eight-point lead with only one leg to go.

All Female Crew Wins Leg 8 3

(Photo: Ainhoa Sanchez/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing)

The boats will have a short maintenance period before Sunday’s SCA In-Port Race in Lorient, before the fleet set sail for Gothenburg via a pit-stop in The Hague, on Tuesday, June 16.

Leg 8 Results:

1)    Team SCA: 03d 13h 11m 11s

2)    Team Vestas Wind: 03d 13h 59m 38s

3)    Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing: 03d 14h 05m 17s

4)    MAPFRE: 03d14h 09m 51s

5)    Team Brunel: 03d 14h 18m 17s

6)    Team Alvimedica: 03d 14h 22m 11s

7)    Dongfeng Race Team: 03d 14h 37m 46s