STOCKHOLM // An all-women's crew will contest offshore sailing's Volvo Ocean Race in 2014-15, the new team's Swedish backers announced yesterday.
They will be the first team of women to take on the 39,000-nautical mile race since 2001/02.
The 10-strong, international line-up will be chosen over the next year and are backed by SCA, a Sweden-based multinational maker of hygiene products.
The first all-female team to enter the race was Maiden, skippered by Tracy Edwards in 1989/90. The last was Amer Sports Too.
"It's been too long," Volvo Ocean Race chief executive Knut Frostad said.
"There's 50 per cent of the population there we haven't been representing so this is a great day for the race."
The team are the first to enter the 12th edition of the race which is run every three years and began life as the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973.
The most recent edition was completed in July with victory for French team Groupama. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing came fifth out of sixth.
The 2014/15 race will be contested in new one-design, 65-foot boats which organisers said in June was a way of bringing down costs to enter and putting less of an emphasis on physical strength, effectively reopening the race to women sailors.