by Ian Grant
Lauren Calder the Sunshine Coast mother of two and skipper of the Audi Sailing Girls SB3 sports boat racing team has promised to make her presence felt in the Audi Sydney Harbour regatta this weekend.
Audi A1 Sunshine Coast Girls
The two boat all female crews jointly sponsored by the Audi Centre Sunshine Coast and the Rod Jones managed OceanBuro yacht racing syndicate are race ready to prove a point when they confront the male dominated fleet over the Middle Harbour Yacht Club courses.
Both the A1 and TT teams named after their favourite Audi cars have completed their crew training off Mooloolaba and are ready to race in the fast lane.
Skipper Lauren Calder who has the career distinction of representing Australia at the SB3 World championships has an experienced crew with talented Noosa Yacht and Rowing Club teenager Ali Blundell (17) as tactician while Julie Grantham and Razz Smith make up the A1 team as the important sail trimmers.
They are well known on the race course for their mentally tough but fair attitude and have surprised many of the male rivals with an excellent knowledge of the racing rules.
Lauren Calder’s crew have become used to the screaming and shouting from their rivals to give way at the rounding marks but the 'boy Bluff’ is greeted with a defiant code of silence and a clear demonstration that the female sailors race by the rule book and are prepared to show them the protest flag.
'There have been some incidents where we have been known to shout back to simply exercise our right to protect our sailing space' Lauren Calder said.
Emily Watson the sister of teenage solo globe sailor Jessica will make her regatta debut as skipper of the TT racing team that includes skilful Maroochy River Laser sailor Casey Sutherland, Michelle Roberts and Rana Beadle.