Only all-female team sets sail in Volvo Ocean Race

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Bill Evans rode along with the only all-female team in the Volvo Ocean Race, known as the world's toughest water race. (WABC)

It's known as the world's toughest water race, referred to as the "Everest of Sailing."

The Volvo Ocean Race covers nearly 40,000 nautical miles.

Teams race for a grueling 9 months around the globe, stopping in 11 countries on 5 continents.

They've just completed their sixth leg from Brazil to Rhode Island.

In a sport dominated by men, this year's race features only one all-female team.

Team SCA is comprised of women from all over the world, racing for 20 days at a time with little contact with the outside world.

They experience temperatures from 23 to 104 degrees; there's no fresh food, little water, and little rest, a rotating schedule of 4 hours on and 4 hours off.

Each sailor is expected to lose around 17 pounds over the course of the race.

And then of course there's the danger.

"It's like driving down the road at 30 miles an hour and hitting a deer or hitting a brick wall. It stops you in your tracks," said Sara Hastreiter, a Team SCA crew member.

One of the three American sailors aboard, Hastreiter grew-up in land-locked Wyoming on a ranch and only started sailing a few years ago while doing humanitarian work in the Caribbean.

"I didn't actually know that these types of races around the world existed but I think it just instilled in me to not be afraid of trying new things and doing things that scared me," Hastreiter said.

The conditions of ocean sailing can be so rough, with blasting wind and blistering salt water, the ladies wear foul weather suits for up to 15 hours a day.

The team made a stop in New York Harbor on the way to the next leg of the race in Newport, R.I.

The team is backed by SCA, a global hygiene and forest products company.

They would love to win the race but they have a bigger goal in mind for women.

"I'm not out there trying to just inspire women to become offshore sailors. It's about getting out into an environment that women are slightly marginalized, being competitive and showing that there's actually no reason that we're not in that arena."

The race ends June 27th in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Follow Team SCA's race around the world:
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