January 9, 2014: ALICANTE, SPAIN - SCA, a leading global hygiene and forest products company based in Sweden, today announced the first American sailor to join Team SCA, the only all-female crew to compete in the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race. Sally Barkow, a former Olympic sailor and Wisconsin native, joins an international crew of eleven women who will compete in a nine-leg race around the world, covering more than 39,000 miles of the world's most challenging oceans and conditions.
The Volvo Ocean Race is one of sailing's "Big Three" events along with the America's Cup and the Olympics. "Team SCA," the official name for the crew, was the first to announce an entry for what will be the 12th edition of the race, which will launch from Alicante, Spain, in October 2014. An all-female team is uncommon for the sailing competition (there hasn't been one in more than a decade) due, in part, to the intense physical challenges of the race. However, all boat entries this time are using the exact same boat design, leveling the playing field.
"Sally Barkow (R) joins all female crew on 'Team SCA' for the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race" - photo credit Rick Tomlinson | Team SCA
"The Volvo Ocean Race offers us a great opportunity to raise the profile of SCA and its brands in the U.S. in a way that supports our B2B customers," said Don Lewis, president of SCA in the Americas. "Team SCA's participation aligns strongly with a key focus of our company – respect for nature – and underscores our connection with our consumers worldwide, 80 percent of whom are women."
SCA global hygiene brands include Tork® dispensers, napkin, towel, tissue and wiper products used in commercial settings, and TENA® incontinence care products used by consumers at home and in healthcare facilities.
"SCA offers products that improve care of life for families and individuals at home and in the public settings where our products are used. Additionally, SCA has a strong sustainability focus as a company with carbon-neutral operations, as our growing forestlands absorb more carbon than we emit in our production each year. Care of life is a key concept for our company worldwide," said Amy Bellcourt, vice president of SCA. "Our participation in the Volvo Ocean Race is an inspiring example of this. We're putting the resources behind the courageous women of Team SCA to empower them to live out a lifelong dream and compete on a team with women who share their passion."
American sailor Barkow, an Olympian, joins Team SCA
Barkow joins a growing team of international sailing champions. Team SCA crewmembers to date include Carolijn Brouwer from the Netherlands; Sam Davies, Abby Ehler, and Annie Lush from the United Kingdom; and Liz Wardley, Stacey Jackson and Sophie Ciszek from Australia.
Justine Mettraux from Switzerland was also announced today as joining the crew.
The crew has been undergoing a rigorous training program at the Team SCA base in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands since September 2012.
"Joining the first all-female team that has a strong ability to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race is very exciting," said Barkow, native of Nashotah, Wisconsin. "The women of Team SCA represent many places in the world. I am proud to represent my country and to give SCA employees and customers in the U.S. a personal connection to the team and the race."
Barkow, 33, began sailing at the age of five on Pine Lake, where her home is located. She has been on and off the Olympic circuit for the past 10 years and has also been involved in several other offshore races, including the 2011 Women's Match Race Championships and Princess Sofia Trofeo, for which she was awarded gold medals. At the 2012 French Olympics Sailing Week, Barkow's "Team 7" collected the silver medal. She loves sailing for the competition and the excitement and focus while racing. In 2008 she competed for the U.S. in the Summer Olympic games in Beijing.
To learn more about the Volvo Ocean Race, follow along with Team SCA crew training and race updates, please visit TeamSCA.com. You can also follow Team SCA on social media via their Twitter handle, @team_sca, and Facebook page.