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sail-world.com -- Here, there and everywhere for the Port Phillip Women’s Championship

Here, there and everywhere for the Port Phillip Women’s Championship    
Mon, 18 Feb 2013

Melbourne based photographer, Alex McKinnon, was on station to witness a magnificent Melbourne Sunday that marked the start of the new Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series. Designed to incorporate a lot of races from the various clubs around the top of Bay, the new series has its zenith with the Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta (AWKR) in the middle of Winter.


That particular event is an all-female crewed regatta, whereas some of the other rounds of the series are Lady Skipper races. Such was the case with this inaugural round, the Jennifer Goldsmith Perpetual Trophy, conducted by the home of the AWKR, the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron (RMYS).

Whilst this race was a Lady Skipper’s event, there were quite a few nearly-all-girl-crew vessels out there and one all female crew, who were aboard 2XSquared.


In addition to Alex, the Race Officials and crews, the sun was there, as too, the RAAF Roulettes joined in for a while, as they trained in readiness for the impending Australian Grand Prix. Now the breeze was there, as well, but then went over there and over to here and on to yet another location all together after that. Holes were evident and marked by some reasonably clear signs of desperation from some of the competitors.

By way of example, there was a rounding at the RMYS B mark quite close in to St Kilda beach. By the time some of the now very separated fleet got there on the second lap they had to deploy a headsail, whereas earlier crews had popped a kite to head South again.


If desperation had set in for some, camaraderie and good times had not been lost along with it. For the team on board the media vessel, beer had all of a sudden become very cheap. All one had to do was give a vessel a tow and food was also thrown into the bargain by many of the competitors, as well. In all, it was a lovely sign of the fact that a good time had been had by all present. Fun and games for sure with the breeze, but really, that old adage seemed to pretty much sum up the day.


Winners are grinners, and from the 26-boat fleet, the 11m One Design, Frenzy, got the gun in the end over the Radford 35, Silk. Monica Jones stepped over from the Adams 10, Salamander III, which she usually drives to do helming duties. Crew Boss, Robyn Brooke said of their victory, 'We won it for Kate Mitchell (Vice-Commodore of Sandringham yacht Club), who could not be with us today and we were delighted to get in front of Silk and stay there.'


Special mention has to be made of Lennie Beattie, who borrowed David Ellis from Penfold Audi Sport fame and took the Nolex 25, Footloose, on to wins in IRC, Australian Measurement System and also Performance Handicap.




by Alex McKinnon



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