by Shane Smith
Australian Women's Match Racing Championships - Southport Yacht Clubs Jessica Hansen, Melissa Turner, Stacey Jackson and Georgia Cronin have won on home waters in the all SYC final. The first races of the day were the best of three series to decide Women's Champions with both teams backing up for the semi finals for the open title.
Hansen (52) and crew defend lead into top mark. - Australian Match Racing Championships
In race one the lead changed five times with one of the closest finishes in the regatta to date. It came down to the last gybe on the finish line with the Hansen crew winning by less than a second. Fellow SYC sailors Sophie Lahey, Kodey Sherring, Georgie Toner and Ali Blundell returned serve in the second race to come from behind in the second race to take the win by 10 seconds with the title decided in the last race.
Lahey's crew won the start all be it by small margin but a nice lee bow from Hansen forced Lahey past the lay line to the mark and despite all efforts they couldn't make up the time as the Hansen crew defended intensely. Hansen went on to win by 14 seconds and win the Women's Championship. A small celebration followed before refocusing on the open semi final to follow.
The semi finals kicked off with CYCA's Ash Rooklyn and team choosing to race Sophie Lahey and again some close racing and downwind luffing duals that saw Rooklyn's experience shine through to win the series 2 -0.
Semi final two was an all SYC battle between Jack Sherring and Jessica Hansen and continuing the good day, Hansen got the better of the early umpire calls and despite the close races the high spirited Hansen crew went on to win the series 2 - 0.
Tomorrow Rooklyn will race Hansen for the Open Championship and the Petit Finals will be Sherring vs Lahey.
Results are available online.
Southport Yacht Club website