Article by Niesje Hees and RBYC Sailing Office
RMYS hosted the 29th Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta (AWKR) over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, in challenging conditions.
There was some hot competition, with the fortieth boat to enter being Ocean Respect Racing, skippered by Katie Spithill, with many of the Sydney-Hobart all-women’s crew from Wild Oats X on board, including our very own RBYC member Jade Cole. Crews were present from every Australian state, as well as New Zealand, and included Olympians and Volvo ocean racers.
RBYC had several sailors participating as crew and skippers, and two boats competing, Serious Yahoo and Cavarlo. Participants were thrilled about how it all went. Laura Harding skippered the SYC J24 Gridock winning 2nd division overall in AMS. Serious Yahoo had their best results ever as first Victorian team on AMS and IRC (4th overall in AMS and 3rd overall in IRC) and in Division 1, and won two of the races on EHC. The boat had crew from 5 different yacht clubs and was skippered by Cowes Club Captain Katie Holroyd. According to Vanessa Twigg “All the sailing together in PPWCS has really paid off”. Next stop for the Serious Yahoo crew is the Townsville Gals Regatta on Rampallion.
Marnie Irving was also happy with Cavarlo’s mid-fleet results, and her crew of eight, all of whom sail at RBYC. “Like Serious Yahoo, we also benefited from participating in PPWCS as well as from training with Adrian Finglas, and the considerable experience brought by Rosie Colahan. Most of the regatta was in winds of 20 – 30 knots, and the worst that happened to us was an unplanned round-up, with the wind speed showing 36 knots once I had a chance to look down at the instruments.”
Finally, the Ocean Respect Racing team with Jade Cole on board won AMS Div 1 and placed second in both IRC and EHC Div 1. Sadly, they couldn’t compete on the last day due to damage caused by a collision with another boat on the start line. All crew from both sailboats are safe and sound though!
We hope to get more RBYC boats and crews participating next year for the 30th!
Photos by Bruno Cocozza
For a more in-depth coverage of the whole event, you can check out these great articles by Down Under Sailing
You can also check some very good video highlights, also from Down Under Sailing.