Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Dinghy Wetsuits

Volvo Ocean Race - It's a family Affair

by Agathe Armand on 11 Apr 2014
It’s a family affair - Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Rick Tomlinson / Team SCA
It’s September 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland. Elodie-Jane and Justine Mettraux are exercising together – both sisters grew up sailing with their dad on the Leman Lake nearby before becoming professional sailors.

The first one manages the local sailing club. The second one competes in the Mini 6.50 circuit while trialing for Team SCA, the all-female crew for the Volvo Ocean Race.

'The coaches are still looking for some girls, you know,' Justine tells Elodie-Jane.

Six months later, both are confirmed crew members of the team, gearing up for the race starting in October.

'We have a stronger bond than the rest of the team,' says Justine, 'but we do try to behave normally onboard. We share the things we know, we speak about our experiences. It’s easy to talk about our feelings and our sensations. I can tell her things in confidence.'

Aged 27, Justine trained with SCA for a year while racing her Mini boat. She made it through the selection process in January. Elodie-Jane, 29, joined the trials shortly after her sister told her to send her resume. Late 2013, Justine took second in her Mini transatlantic race while Elodie-Jane quit her job and moved to SCA’s training base in Lanzarote. She officially joined the team mid-March.

Justine admits they sometimes 'speak French to each other simply because it’s quicker,' but she says it doesn’t change the way they sail. Elodie-Jane sees it as a positive, her sister having a lot more experience than her offshore and sharing some precious advice. The family bond only makes them stronger, it seems, and the two girls are genuinely happy to share an adventure.

'We lived in the same house for 22 years but we went our own ways these past years,' says Elodie-Jane. 'I’m delighted to spend some time with her again. I helped her getting ready for her transatlantic last fall – I cooked for her and worked on her boat. This new adventure will bring us even closer.'

Both sisters are quiet and reserved; they share the same blue eyes and discrete charisma. Both have a strong bond with their Swiss heritage – Elodie-Jane loves nothing like cheese and cured meat, Justine enjoys snowboarding and long walks in the snow.

Their entire family is behind them. Their parents have already visited them at the team base in Lanzarote and their siblings are planning to come to some of the stopovers.

'They are happy to see us doing what we love and to see us growing in this sport,' says Justine.

'I think my mom worries a bit when she sees Justine and I building arm muscles and doing this kind of stuff,' adds Elodie-Jane, 'but the others are fine with it. All of them are very happy for us, and very proud.'

There is another sister, a younger one, and a sailor too. Are we going to see a third Mettraux girl in the SCA crew?

'Oh, you’re speaking of Lolo,' laughs Elodie-Jane. 'She is over the moon about it but she keeps saying we are nuts to do this!'

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Kilwell - 4T Clewring - GenericBarz Optics - Kids range