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SCA and Tork participates in the Volvo Ocean Race
Global hygiene company SCA and its brands, including the global B2B brand Tork, will participate in the 2014-2015 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race - the toughest open ocean sailing regatta in the world. The extreme environment and conditions of the race will provide extreme challenges, for example when it comes to hygiene, the core business of Tork.
"Through this initiative we get an opportunity to work in close collaboration with a designated team facing extreme challenges over a long period of time," says SCA UK & Ireland marketing director Jenny Turner. "The challenging conditions of the race mean that every detail matters to maximise performance. The Volvo Ocean Race will certainly put our business model and products to an ultimate test."
Tork is a global B2B-partner providing end-to-end hygiene solutions across several sectors such as restaurants, hotels, airports, healthcare, various industries and facilities service companies.
"Tork provides away-from-home solutions and this is truly away from home," says Jenny. "Managing the challenging conditions of the race will result in unique learnings for critical business factors, such as teamwork and operations excellence - relevant both for us and our customers - but also for future product development."
Current status: Final preparations
Later this year, four grittily determined British women will take on the challenge of their lives; taking part in the toughest ocean race in the world - the Volvo Ocean Race.
Annie Lush, Sam Davies, Dee Caffari and Abby Ehler will be four of the 11-woman international Team SCA crew taking part in the 44,580-mile circumnavigation of the globe, starting in Spain in October 2014 and finishing in Sweden in June 2015.
Right now the crew is in the final stage of the 18-month preparations period for the race. The preparation includes everything from physical training to detailed planning on what quantity of equipment and products to bring on board. Weight is the most important decision factor since it directly impacts on the performance and speed of the boat. Product teams from Tork and SCA's other brands are working in close collaboration with the boat crew to adjust and customise products and packaging to fit the specific conditions on board - for example repacking products in waterproof vacuum-packaging to keep them dry and reduce weight.
Team SCA boat captain Liz Wardley says: "The things we use on board are quantified on a level that might seem absurd, but when it comes to planning, every detail matters. For example we have shifted from counting rolls of toilet paper to sheets of toilet paper in terms of what to bring on board."
Examples of extreme conditions of the Volvo Ocean Race
The Volvo Ocean Race features a variety of the most challenging sailing conditions in the world - covering everything from enduring open ocean crossovers to tricky routes navigating through hazardous icebergs and close-quarter shipping channels. Temperature differences are immense, ranging from extreme heat to arctic cold.
The race lasts nine months from start to finish covering approximately 40,000 nautical miles (65 000 km), equivalent to 1.6 laps around the globe. The race is divided into nine stages called legs. The longest leg from Auckland (NZL) to Itajai (BRA) takes 31 days. During this leg, the crew will reach 'point nemo' - the most remote and inaccessible spot on the planet. In fact, at this point the closest living human being is one of the astronauts at the international space station.
For nine months the crew lives together in a 65 sq m world, sharing bunks and living off freeze-dried food. The crew works in four-hour watches, 24 hours a day. During the 'off-watch' time the crew has to fix those things that need to be maintained or repaired onboard. In addition, big manoeuvres instantly require the whole crew on deck, making periods of extended rest hard to find.
The Volvo Ocean Race is the ultimate hygiene challenge. Extreme heat, constant sprays of salt water and strict limitations on fresh water makes hygiene a big challenge on board. Sickness and injuries might force crew members to cancel the race (so far only two teams have completed the race with the same team they started off with). The limited amount of fresh water is strictly used for drinking. Therefore the crew generally will not shower for up to 20-30 days. If it rains the whole crew runs up on deck and strips to get rid of the salt water. To facilitate the most basic hygiene needs the crew uses wet-wipes, toilet paper, non-water soap and non-water-shampoo-hair-caps.
About the Volvo Ocean Race
The Race will start on October 4th 2014 in Alicante (ESP). Stopovers will be held in Cape Town (RSA), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sanya (CHN), Auckland (NZL), Itajai (BRA), Newport (USA), Lisbon (POR), Lorient (FRA) and Gothenburg (SWE), where the race will finish on June 27th, 2015. Throughout the race Tork will share updates, knowledge and inspiration connected to the Volvo Ocean Race.
For more information about the race and Team SCA, visit: www.team-sca.com
22nd May 2014