World records tumble as Hampshire’s stars shine

Sam Davies

Sam Davies

First published in Sport Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by

HAMPSHIRE’S ocean racing stars are celebrating after toppling a host of world records during a non-stop sprint around Britain.

Warsash skipper Ian Walker's Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing crew smashed the monohull record in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race in what was their debut race on their brand new Volvo Ocean 65 Azzam.

They completed the 2,000 mile course in four days, 13 hours, 10 minutes, 28 seconds shaving a whopping one day, eight hours, 16 minutes and 27 seconds off the previous record set by French team Groupama in 2010.

Hamble's Sam Davies led her Team SCA crew to a new world record for the fastest all-female crew, smashing the record she set with Aviva in 2009.

Dee Caffari, from Titchfield, was onboard five years ago and was again part of the jubilant record-setting crew this year.

There were also celebrations for Southampton's Brian Thompson who set the record for the fastest monohull under 60ft on Artemis.

Double Olympic silver medallist Walker, who will take his third tilt at winning the Volvo Ocean Race later this year, said the race showed how good his team is.

He said: “This win is great for the team, it shows us that we are on the right track and really pleasing.

“This race has been a great test for our main event and it is always better to win than lose.

“We have good people and we have trained well and you have to 'big-up' the shore team as well, because we have had very little go wrong with the boat and when you are moving at such a speed in a race, even if a little thing goes wrong, you lose miles.

“The boat preparation was close to faultless.

“The race crew have got a few bumps and bruises, sail changes were excellent and navigator Simon Fisher didn't put a foot wrong all race.”

Davies and Caffari finished 13 hours behind Azzam but still managed to knock 38 hours from their record time in 2009.

Team SCA will also line up on the 40,000-mile Volvo Ocean Race start in Alicante, October.

They are the first all-female crew to compete in the race in ten years.

“It was a pretty full-on ride around doing the trip in less than five days, which was awesome,” Caffari said.

“Everything is really good on the boat which is great but maybe also a sign that we could push harder next time.

“It is really nice to break the record again with Sam, and a great group of girls who worked hard to make it happen.”

Southampton's Sam Goodchild finished second on Team Campos, the late Spanish entry into the Volvo Ocean Race.

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