Media folk are beginning to ask if Sam is 'the new Ellen'


Is Sam Davies the next big thing in sailing?

That’s a good question, and one I was asked yesterday by a journalist from the Guardian who is writing a profile of her. Who knows – the media is unruly and pitilessly random – but let’s hope so. Sam deserves it.

Her unfailingly upbeat reports felt a little insubstantial in the early stages of the Vendée Globe but they have blossomed during the race and have been funny, interesting, informative and quirky. She’s worked hard at media communications and put a lot into it, and her positive demeanour and determined enjoyment of the race is a great breath of fresh air.

Sometimes it only takes a spreading rumour that this is a big story in the making to tip the balance. Or the sense that this is the ‘new Ellen’ everyone keeps asking about (don’t they know the old one is still in the wings?).

Funny thing is (not that you can compare exactly) but Sam is probably going to be considerably quicker than the ‘old’ Ellen. In fact, if she finishes in 87 days, as is quite possible, she will equal the boat’s record time four years ago, despite a course 1,200 miles longer.

And as for her top daily mileage of 481 miles, the boat never did that as PRB in either Riou’s or Desjoyeaux’s hands.

I can’t say I’m surprised. I always thought that if anything happened to Mike Golding Sam would be the best British result. In fact, a few of my pre-start predictions seem to have come to pass. Read them here