SCA, the Sweden based, leading global hygiene and forest products company behind last year’s viral “Happy Period” Bodyform video, is looking to claim yet another win for women everywhere. The company has entered the only all-female team in what many consider to be the most dangerous race on earth… the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race.

The biggest challenge facing the 11 woman crew of “Team SCA” won’t be their male competitors, but the nearly 40,000 nautical miles of the most challenging oceans and weather conditions that make up the sailing race around the world.

Just this week, the company announced the addition of their first American crewmember, Sally Barkow (pictured in lead image). The former Olympic sailor and Nashotah, Wisconsin native joins an international crew of women sailing champions who will compete together in the nine-leg race, which launches from Alicante, Spain in October 2014.

Team SCA Crew

To date, the Team SCA crew includes: Carolijn Brouwer from the Netherlands; Sam Davies, Abby Ehler and Annie Lush from the United Kingdom; Liz Wardley, Stacey Jackson and Sophie Ciszek from Australia; and Justine Mettraux from Switzerland. They have been undergoing a rigorous training program at the Team SCA base in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands since September 2012.

Amy Bellcourt, Vice President of SCA Americas said, “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.”

Team SCA_2The Volvo Ocean Race is one of sailing’s “Big Three” events along with the America’s Cup and the Olympics. An all-female team is uncommon for this 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. While this will level the playing field, it certainly won’t change what these eleven courageous women will face.

Here’s a jaw-dropping taste:

Over half of the race’s nine legs last in excess of 20 days, and the crew will have to work 24 hours a day in shifts of four hours on and four hours off as they battle to win one of the greatest prizes in ocean racing.

On top of this grueling schedule, the crew will experience life at the extreme during the race: no fresh food is taken onboard so they live off freeze dried food, experience temperature variations from -5 to +40 degrees Celsius and will only take one change of clothes. They will trust their lives to the boat and the skipper and experience hunger, fatigue and sleep deprivation.

UNBELIEVABLE! Go ladies! We’ll be watching and cheering you on to what will hopefully be a history making victory!

More About WYSK Sally Barkow:

The 33 year old Woman You Should Know 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.

Team SCA_1

The women of Team SCA engage in rigorous training at their Volvo Ocean Race Training Base in Lazarote