Exclusive: Sam Davies on what’s in store for her in 2018 and beyond
We caught up with Musto Ambassador Samantha Davies, as she prepares for a busy 2017. Sam exclusively reveals her sailing plans for the year ahead and her opinions on the new Volvo Ocean Race rules.
Will you be returning to the IMOCA class with the aim of competing in the Vendée Globe 2020?
Having watched the Vendee Globe and resting during 2016, I’m definitely fired up. The Volvo Ocean Race is opening up for women: there will be some great opportunities, but the Vendee is in my heart. I would love to go back and do it again competitively, so now is the time to start. You will see me racing in the IMOCA this year. It’s a project that hasn’t officially been announced yet. I’ll be lining up for the Fastnet Race and the Transat Jaques Vabre with one of the current IMOCA skippers. It’s going to be a busy 2017 on the water and on the land, as I need to secure a sponsor for the Vendee 2020 start line!
What are your thoughts on the 2017 rule change for the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR)?
Mark Turner, the Volvo Ocean Race CEO is doing a brilliant job. As a woman that has skippered in the VOR, it’s important our hard work with Team SCA in 2014/15 helps improve the involvement of women in the race. When I was at school there were very few women who had raced around the world. Then Tracey Edwards MBE skippered her all-female crew around the world. That was probably the turning point of my career – it made me realise that it was possible. I’m a good example as to what role models can do for someone’s life and career.
Is Magenta inspired by your own experience of having female role models?
Absolutely. At Magenta, we are trying to create these positive female athletes by opening up opportunities for them. Hopefully the new rule will further support and encourage our sentiments for women in professional sailing. As we’ve seen in the International Nacra 17 Class Association, at the beginning it can seem strange, but now in the Olympics it’s very normal. That’s an example the VOR should follow. The rule has great flexibility and will allow for a crew change depending on the type of leg. There are some legs that you may want to be light and have less crew, and some where an extra pair of hands will really help and ensure the crew get time to rest.
With the VOR starting in October, how many teams do you think will be on the start line?
I haven’t been following it very closely as I’ve been so busy at home and supporting my partner Romain in the Vendee. But I know Volvo have built an eighth boat, which means they’re going to be trying pretty hard to get that boat full. I’m looking forward to hear the team announcements, come October.
What has been your favourite Musto product of 2016?
My favourite Musto products, not just for 2016, are my HPX GORE-TEX Pro Series Smock and Trousers. Mainly because I spend a lot time out at sea, as you may expect! I’ve been wearing it since 2006 and every new version seems to get better and better. It’s a strange feeling – like your favourite pair of jeans, but much stronger. Once you’ve sailed around the world you become quite attached to your gear. These have kept me dry, warm and ultimately safe: you can trust in their performance.
Have you got any favourites outside of our sailing collection?
Recently I’ve become a fan of the Evolution range- it’s practical and stylish. It works well on the boat and also on land, especially in the gym as we have to do a lot of physical training to sail these boats. I basically live in that gear, otherwise I’d end up changing 100 times a day.
Have you had a chance to try out the new BR2 Offshore Jacket?
I haven’t had the chance to try it on yet. Looking at it right now, the important thing is that it’s pink! That’s very exciting, because Musto usually tend to focus on darker colours, so I’m very happy to see that Musto are branching out and taking colour risks! Rule number one for me is performance and comfort, but to have a jacket that is stylish and wouldn’t look too out of place when picking my son up from school or going food shopping is ideal.