Dutch sailor Carolijn Brouwer has become the first woman to win the round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race following a dramatic finish in Scheveningen on Sunday.
Brouwer’s Dongfeng Race Team passed Team Brunel in the final hour of the last stage from Gothenburg to The Hague on Sunday, denying her countryman Bouwe Bekking a first victory in eight attempts.
‘It was an insane race. The main thing was to keep a cool head and we managed that,’ said Brouwer, 44, who was trimmer in a crew skippered by Frenchman Charles Caudrelier.
‘It was the most important race of my career,’ she said. ‘It’s a dream come true. We pulled it off.’
Originally from Leiden, Brouwer currently lives in Australia and has competed in the Olympics with both Dutch and Belgian crews.
The Volvo Ocean Race lasts eight months across 11 stages spanning 45,000 miles. The rules were changed this year to encourage more mixed crews by restricting the size of all-male teams to seven. Mixed teams could have up to 10 members while all-female crews had a maximum of 11.
Brunel, which finished fourth in the stage and third in the overall standings, was one of two Dutch crews participating in the nine-month race. The other crew, sponsored by AkzoNobel and skippered by Simeon Tienpont, took second place on the final stage to secure fourth place overall.
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