HAMBLE’S Sam Davies is leading a historic all-female bid to win the Volvo Ocean Race.

The Hampshire woman is skipper of Team SCA, the first all-girl crew to enter the race in more than a decade.

Davies sprang to worldwide fame in early 2009 when she finished the solo round the world Vendee Globe race in third place.

After 96 days, 12 hours, 39 minutes and 1 second at sea and 27,470 miles of racing, she became only the third Briton ever to achieve a podium place finish in the infamous race that starts and ends in Les Sables d’Olonne. Davies was also only the second British female sailor to complete the epic round the world adventure.

Prior to that, she was part of the all-female Jules Vernes Trophy attempt in 1998, sailing with Tracy Edwards.

“This is a great opportunity for women’s sailing and it is the right time to do it with the change in the Volvo Ocean Race rule,” she said.

“I really believe we have the opportunity to achieve some amazing results in the next race.”

Among Davies’ crew is Gosport’s Dee Caffari, another high-profile Hampshire-based sailor who has competed in the Vendée Glob.

Caffari is the only woman to have sailed solo around the world in both directions (east about and west about) as well as being the only female to have sailed around the world three times, non stop.

She also holds the female crewed monohull Round Britain and Ireland speed record, a record she established in June 2009 alongside Davies.

Poole-born Annie Lush is also part of Davies’ crew.

An Olympic match racer who competed at the London Games in the Elliott 6m class, she was Women’s Match Race champion in 2004, 2005 and 2010 and topped the ISAF World Ranking in 2010.

Brighton’s Libby Greenhalgh, the crew’s navigator, and Plymouth’s Abby Ehler are also on board Team SCA.

Ehler was boat captain and bowman on Amer Sports Too in the 2001-02 Volvo Ocean Race under her maiden name of Seager.

Most recently, she has been working with the America’s Cup on shoreside logistics, while still staying active as a sailor.