October 4 2013 - Team SCA sailing trials in the English Channel
Taking the start line in the Volvo Ocean Race will surpass the wildest childhood dreams of Sam Davies, who was so in awe of the race she didn't dare imagine that one day she might get the chance to compete in it herself.
When Davies was a child she used to watch the starts and finishes of what was then the Whitbread Round the World Race from her parents' boat on the Solent.
Now 39, she is one of seven sailors confirmed for the all-female Team SCA and was part of the crew in Southampton last week to take possession of their brand new Volvo Ocean 65, and put it through its paces.
Davies is renowned as one of the world's leading solo sailors, having finished fourth in the Vendée Globe in 2008-09.
The Volvo Ocean Race is a very different challenge but having proved already that she knows plenty about competing on an equal platform with men she is eager to test herself once again when the 12th edition begins in October 2014.
'It's an amazing opportunity,' Davies said. 'I watched the Whitbread Round the World Race when I was a kid on my mum and dad's boat on the Solent. We used to go out and watch the starts and finishes and I was just intrigued and amazed by the whole thing.
'I was so much in awe that I could never have imagined that one day I'd be doing it. But in a way this is kind of my dream race. It's an amazing opportunity to go from a little kid watching the race however many years ago to this. It's great.'
Davies was one of the first five crew members confirmed, meaning she has been working with SCA since January. The schedule has been gruelling and the workload will only get heavier over the final year before the start of the race, which will take the teams almost 40,000 nautical miles around the world in sport's ultimate test of character.
'I don't think too much about sacrifices,' is the Briton's take. 'It's not a 9-5 job, Monday to Friday, but I'm so lucky to be able to do my passion, my hobby, my sport as a job. That makes up for any sacrifice that you have to make to do it.
'For sure we have long hours and physically it's very hard and sometimes we drag our family around the world after us but I see this as such a huge opportunity and a privilege to be able to do it that any sacrifice is way made up by all the benefits of being part of a project like this.
'I have a little boy and a very kind husband who is supporting me to do this project. I also see it as an opportunity for my son as well to see things most kids don't get to see at that age. We have to work very hard, and it is very hard, but it's all part of the reward at the end.'