The B&G Navigators’ Prize – Libby Greenhalgh of Team SCA Comments

Published on November 13th, 2014

A first time competitor in the Volvo Ocean Race, much has been made of Libby Greenhalgh’s ‘family’ pedigree in relation to the race and Libby herself has been quick to confirm that the support and advice that she has enjoyed from older brother Rob, who is currently winging his way to Cape Town in order to join MAPFRE for Leg Two, has been invaluable.

However, what has been very clear from the moment that Libby joined Team SCA (ahead of their pre-race transatlantic practice) is that this girl is clear of thought, scientific in approach, an extremely skilled meteorologist and ferociously (albeit quietly) confident in her navigational abilities. And rightly so.

Take a look back at Leg One and just enjoy once more the moment when Libby and Team SCA took the lead on the Volvo Ocean Race fleet through the Straits of Gibraltar. And then, when you’ve finished marveling at that first magical move, consider if you will the smack-down that Team SCA delivered to MAPFRE in the closing stages of the first leg, bringing the beautiful pink boat into Cape Town in sixth position.

B&G asked Libby to talk to us in relation to the B&G Navigators’ Prize for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. Here are a few choice words from her as she reflects on Leg One. Be prepared, this girl has got way more to give; her comments here are literally bristling with anticipation of great things to come.

B&G: In your opinion, which navigator pulled off the most significant and successful tactical or strategic move during this leg?

LG: In a long leg like this there were many ups and downs and people making and losing miles. I feel that Team Vestas Wind had the balls of the race and held on to their decisions and made good gains with some diverse decisions from the fleet. I am fairly sure they covered more miles than anyone. Their decision both in the Doldrums to the east and their move fairly west in the approach to the Southern Ocean also showed great navigational confidence.

However overall, I feel that Dongfeng Race Team probably sailed the best race. Cutting what could have been a potential big loss in the Doldrums and then clawing their way back to the lead bunch and sailing round two out of three boats in the Southern Ocean showed good consistent skills and minimum risk.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Team Brunel probably, in my mind, sailed the safest and most solid races, with the more classic/ historical routes taken and with Team Brunel showing some good positional play particularly off the African Coast to get in the bunch. They then raced solidly. MAPFRE and Team Alvimedica (much like us on Team SCA) had their moments in Leg One but are yet to truly shine.

Read on for remainder of interview

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