T3 interviews Samantha Davies: round the world sailor and inspiring with The Magenta Project

We learn about the tech in sailing, and whether Sam has ever dropped her phone overboard

Earlier in the year, Musto partnered with The Magenta Project which aims to inspire and challenge stereotypes, showcasing both physical and mental strength in women.

The initiative was started by former members of Team SCA - the first all-female team to complete the grueling Volvo Ocean Race in over a decade.

Leading Team SCA was Sam Davies - who is also renowned for single-handedly circumnavigating the world in the Vendee Globe.

T3 had the chance to catch up with Sam, and ask her a few questions about the technology involved in sailing:

How long have you been sailing?

I've been sailing since 2 weeks old with my parents on their cruising boat. I've been racing offshore professionally since I left Cambridge University in '97.

How has technology changed over that time?

Hugely! My first round the world record attempt was on a FAST (at the time in 1998) Catamaran going for the Jules Verne Trophy in a record time of 72 days. Now we do that same time SINGLE HANDEDLY in Monohull's - this is my best fact to prove the change. This year we are starting to “fly” with foils on offshore racing yachts, not just in the Americas cup.

What are the three most important pieces of tech you take with you?

The harness that attaches me to my boat, safety first! I would also say the MUSTO HPX Racing Trousers and Smock to stay dry.

Have you faced any challenges being a female in the sport?

Not really. Having proven that I am serious with what I do and the fact that I compete at top level, I get the respect from my fellow competitors, and also from the public. If anything, it is sometimes an advantage as we (girls) are still a minority in our sport at top level - that can be the difference when a sponsor is deciding who to work with.

What advice would you give to beginners?

Get the basics right first. If you want to race or sail offshore, then make sure you are at a level where you will be confident with yourself in all situations and conditions. Ideally, the Yachtmaster certificate will give you a great base to be able to go out there and sail safely and accumulate experience to get better and better.

What tech should beginners buy?

Prioritise the waterproof part (outside) if you are on a budget. The good gear is pricey, but it does last a long time if you look after it. If you are dry and comfortable then you will stay warm, sail better and enjoy the time out there.

Have you ever dropped your phone overboard?

Thankfully, no! But I do keep it permanently in a Lifeproof case, even on land!

How technical are the boats today (thinking mainly about the Volvo), or are they still reasonably simple?

They are very technical, there's hydraulics, electrics, electronics, composite… That makes them fun, fast and safe to sail. The Volvo boats are less technical than the IMOCA class (for example) as they are one-design, so you are not pushing technology to gain performance.

Here's a little documentary about Team SCA:

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Image Credit:©Vincent Curutchet/Saveol