All-women sailing crew Team SCA have recorded their first victory of the Volvo Ocean Race, clinching the eighth leg in the Bay of Biscay off the coasts of France and Spain.
The Swedish boat, skippered by Briton Sam Davies, won the eighth and penultimate 647-mile stage, from Lisbon to Lorient, by more than 48 minutes.
In an impressive performance the all women team crossed the finish line after 3 days 13 hours 11 minutes and 11 seconds to take their first leg win of the Volvo Ocean Race in Lorient.
Team SCA led the fleet for more than half the leg and once in pole position, then dominated. A tactical decision to choose the more offshore course as they headed into the Bay of Biscay and forecasted 30 plus knot upwind conditions paid dividends.
The fleet split with four boats taking the inshore route, hugging the coastline. For Team SCA it was a case of being the hunted rather than the hunter and holding their position over the others.
Team SCA is the only all-female crew in the current race, and the first to compete for 10 years. With one leg of the seven-team race remaining, they are in sixth place, with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing leading.
Behind them, another fairy-tale was unfolding as Team Vestas Wind closed to a second-place finish in their return to the race after six months out following a collision with an Indian Ocean reef on November 29 during Leg 2.
Astern of the leading pair, third-placed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker
/GBR) was approaching an ever bigger prize than the handsome silver leg trophy claimed by Team SCA.