Today I’m reflecting on the power of sailing to forge friendships and teamwork after a full three day regatta on Port Phillip in the middle of a Melbourne winter. Over the Kings Birthday long weekend I’ve had the opportunity to compete in the Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta at Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron. It’s a tradition that RBYC member Vanessa Twigg started forming the Serious Yahoo team more than a decade ago.
Every year many sailors return from around Australia to take on the locals. 190 women ranging from 15 to 79 years of age on 30 boats, many generously lent by their owners to the interstate competitors. And every year there are fresh young faces, increasingly taking to the podium, which bodes well for the future of our sport.
This year’s winners were from Sydney. Claire Heenan skippered the Adams 10 Jungle Juice, closely followed by Clare Olding on Vertigo from the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria and Helen Willmer from South Australia.
Serious Yahoo was fifth on AMS and we had a lot of fun. The team( from LtoR Maria Vasandarni, Vanessa Twigg, Cath Hurley, Lou le Fevre, Dessie Hsitrova, Katie Holroyd (helm), Bronwyn McIlveen.) know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and makes the most of them. Over the years we’ve sailed in the Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series (including our own Bliss regatta) and built our skills and confidence. There were RBYC members crewing on other boats as well, and it would be great to see more women from RBYC taking part. So, when you see our new keelboat courses advertised, please give it a go. Let’s see if we can increase the number of boats representing our club in these competitive regattas.
Read more about the regatta here.
Photo supplied by Andrea Francolini