Sam was born on 23 August 1974 in Portsmouth, England, to a family of sailors. Her grandfather was a submarine captain and she learnt to walk on her parents’ boat. An engineering graduate who studied at Cambridge university, Sam began her career in competitive sailing at 24 with her 1st crewed round the world (Jules Verne Trophy 1998).
An engineer with a degree from Cambridge University, Sam began her career in competitive sailing at the age of 24, with a first round-the-world crewed race (Jules Verne Trophy 1998). She then chose to move to France to pursue her passion. She learnt her trade in the Mini 6.50 and then on the Figaro circuit. Sam became known to the general public during the 2008 Vendée Globe where she brilliantly finished 4th on the IMOCA Roxy. Her experience and attitude led to her being recruited as skipper of Team SCA in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, an all-female round the world race.
After two Transat Jacques Vabre races alongside Tanguy de Lamotte, Sam was chosen in 2018 to take over the helm of the IMOCA Initiatives-Cœur. Within the project, Sam is actively involved in the technical development of the red IMOCA. She clearly displays her sporting ambitions, without forgetting the raison d'être of the Initiatives-Cœur project. The boat carries the colours of Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque, a foundation that allows children with heart defects to be operated on in France and who have no access to treatment in their own country.
On 8 November 2020, the Initiatives-Cœur project set off on its third Vendée Globe, the third for Sam Davies. After starting the race as well as she could, the British skipper was forced to retire on 5 December off Cape Town after a collision with a UFO caused structural damage to the keel of her boat. However, Sam did not give up and chose to finish her round the world race out of the race. She completed the race on 28 February 2021, achieving a personal victory, but also a victory for the cause she supports with Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque, as her voyage raised enough funds to save 102 children.
She finished 5th in the Transat Jacques Vabre in 2021 with Nicolas Lunven. The same year, she sold her boat to Arnaud Boissières and launched the construction of a new IMOCA, still in the colours of Initiatives-Cœur, with a view to the next Vendée Globe in 2024, an IMOCA that she launched on 28 July 2022. Six months later, she was at the start of the Route du Rhum, where she finished 28th in the IMOCA fleet.
At the beginning of 2023, while her boat was in winter refit at Lorient La Base, Paul Meilhat called her to participate in a leg of The Ocean Race on his IMOCA Biotherm. She accepted, on the condition that she would race one leg: Leg 3, the one between Cape Town and Itajaí. Alongside experienced skippers, she experienced the adventure of the Deep South in an IMOCA crew.
Back to her project, she embarked Damien Seguin on her 60-foot boat, a sailor with whom she had shared 37 days at sea aboard Biotherm, to race the Guyader Bermudes 1000 Race.
She will then be taking Nicolas Lunven on board for the rest of the 2023 season and the Transat Jacques Vabre, who will ultimately be at the helm of Holcim-PRB. Jack Boutell will be Sam's co-skipper for 2023.