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Team SCA: Meeting the Challenge Stylishly

Team SCA: Meeting the Challenge Stylishly

Of the seven teams competing in the grueling nine month Volvo Ocean Race, it’s all female Team SCA that consistently draws the largest and most enthusiastic crowd in each port.

enthusiastic team sca fans in newport

Enthusiastic fans greet Team SCA in Newport, photo: Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race

team-sca-sendoff-lisbon

Fans giving Team SCA a nice sendoff in Lisbon, photo: Marc Bow / Volvo Ocean Race

Team SCA has captured the imagination of so many people, women and men, sailors and non, with their message of empowerment and passion for realizing a dream.

Helly Hansen, Team SCA’s apparel sponsor, is charged with keeping the women safe, comfortable and looking good both and off the water. They have created a collection that is both functional and attractive.

Fans are taking note. During the Newport and Lisbon stopovers the Helly Hansen/Team SCA tent was constantly busy. It’s easy to see why; it’s beautifully branded, well made and captures their spirit of these adventurous women.

The SCA girls were involved in the design collaboration between Team SCA and Helly Hansen from an early stage. They tweaked things like pocket and velcro placement, length of jackets and material choice as well as adding a drop seat to foulies.

sara hastreiter of team sca

Team SCA’s Sara Hastreiter, photo: Kara Hugglestone/Sail Couture

I talked with Team SCA’s bow girl Sara Hastreiter to learn more about the collaboration and her favorite pieces.

challenging conditions in the volvo ocean race

Some of the challenging conditions Team SCA encounters, photo: Corinna Halloran/Team SCA/Volvo Ocean Race

abby ehler at the helm, team sca, volvo ocean race

Series conditions require serious gear, Abby Ehler at the helm during Leg 5, photo: Anna Lena Elled/Team SCA/Volvo Ocean Race

winds up to 46 knots on team sca today

Sophie Ciszek on the helm during a wet and eventful day – winds up to 46 knots, photo: Anna-Lena Elled / Team SCA / Volvo Ocean Race

A particularly stylish sailor, Sara is quick to point out fashion is not the first priority for serious gear. “If you are wearing a piece that is flattering, you’re not on a VOR boat – it’s meant to save your life. I’m worried about frostbite and windburn, not looking good.”

team sca give themselves fish gut facials

A light-hearted moment aboard, the girls giving themselves ‘fish gut facials’. Sara’s favorite piece of gear is their ocean top, made for challenging conditions, photo: Corinna Halloran/Team SCA/Volvo Ocean Race

That said, HH does a great job of making their heavy duty gear look good. Sara’s favorite sailing gear pieces are her dry top and salopettes. The SCA pieces for the public are just as appealing if not more so given they don’t have the constrictions of having to meet the most rigorous sailing conditions.

helly hansen point jacket

Helly Hansen’s Point Jacket, deigned for insure racing, is available in Team SCA magenta and blue, photo: Helly Hansen

helly hansen salopette

Helly Hansen Salopettes, photo: Helly Hansen

The SCA Bay Jacket from the Helly Hansen Team SCA Collection is a great choice for the recreational sailor, and for those interested in showing support in a more subtle way there is the Point Jacket in the team’s signature magenta and blue without the SCA logo and tagline. The Point Jacket is tailored for insure racing with an ergonomically shaped design.

Fashion is more of a consideration on the shore wear. The HH cotton stretch skirt and jeans are Sara favorites in this collection. “Helly Hansen has done a great job of making sure what we wear on shore is quite feminine,” Sara said. “There are two extremes on the team, girls who wear dresses and girls who never wear dresses.”

team sca with victoria, crown princess of sweden

The team with Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, photo: Team SCA

Most of the team chose to wear their team skirt to meet Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden during the Lisbon stopover. “Everyone who wears the skirt looks great, it’s very flattering,” Sara said.

helly hansen jeans and gaia skort

Helly Hansen Jeans and Gaia Skort, photo: Helly Hansen

The consumer version is the team skirt is the Gaia Skort in an attractive dark quick dry stretch denim. The jeans are available in eight colors including the team’s stone grey.

team sca quick dry long sleeve base layer

The Team SCA Quick Dry Long Sleeve Base Layer, photo: Helly Hansen

Rounding out Sara’s favorites is the team quick dry long sleeve base layer. “It’s so cute you can wear it with jeans on shore,” she said. Indeed, the v-neck and creative cut of different fabrics makes it particularly flattering. Sara added that it’s great for travel when space is limited.

team sca, finish of leg 7 to newport

Team SCA in Newport at the finish of Leg 7, photo: Rick Tomlinson / Team SCA

Even today sailing remains a male dominated sport. It’s both thrilling and inspirational to watch the women of Team SCA as they race around the world in the Volvo Ocean Race. How wonderful we can support them – and own a little bit of history – with Team SCA gear.


Kara Hugglestone is Founder and Editor of Sail Couture. She is also a San Francisco-based branding professional, sailor and traveler. When time permits, she indulges in her passion for things classic: cars, movies, wine and fashion. You can follow her on Instagram at @gallerykara.

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