Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta - Outstanding victory for Tasmania

Tasmanian women on day two - Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta 2012
The 22nd Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta was sailed over the weekend of 9th to 11th June 2012 on Melbourne’s Port Phillip. Bellerive Yacht Club sailor Colleen Darcey has led a crew of Hobart yachtswomen to an outstanding victory.

Sailing the borrowed Archambault 31, Penfold Audi Sport, the Tasmanian crew won all three handicap categories, AMS, IRC and PHS, against a strong local line-up of mainly Victorian teams.

The regatta is the only major keelboat series for all-women crews in Australia and is hosted by the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron.

Going into today’s sixth and final race, the Tasmanians had already won the IRC rating category but held only slender leads in the other two handicap categories.

Displaying excellent tactics and crew work in the very light, 5-6 knot north-easterly breeze, they finished third in fleet to record a second place on corrected time under both AMS and IRC rated handicaps and win both categories. A fifth under PHS was also sufficient to also take out that category.

Penfold Audi Sport finished with a four point winning margin under IRC, a three point margin under AMS and four points clear under the arbitrary PHS handicap.

The Victorian yacht Top Gun, an Adams 10 skippered by Erin Foster from the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, was runner-up in the three categories, winning today’s final race.

The winning crew comprised skipper Colleen Darcey, Sally Rattle and Michelle Edwards who normally sail in Hobart on Sally’s yacht, Archie, Lauren Davison, who crews on Archie and Taspaints, Caroline Walker, who races on Invincible and Pisces, as does Sarah Baldwin, and Heather McCallum, who crews on Ramrod.

The women are variously members of Bellerive Yacht Club, the Derwent Sailing Squadron and Geilston Bay Boat Club.

Consistency was the key to success in the regatta, with Penfold Audi Sport notching up an IRC scorecard of 1-1-1-1-[4]-2 for 6 points, while Top Gun’s card was 2-2-3-[4]-2-1 for 10 points. Third overall went to Jungle Juice, another Adams 10 helmed by Janet Dean from the host club, on 14 points with a card of [4]-3-2-2-3-4.

In the AMS category, the Tasmanian crew sailed the Archambault 31 to placings of 1-1-2-3-[6]-2 for a net 9 points, winning from Top Gun on 11 points with a score of 2-2-4-[6]-2-1, with Jungle Juice third on 15 points from placings ot 3-4-3-2-3-[8].

In the PHS category, Penfold Audi Sport finished with 18 points from a score of 1-1-3-[9]-8-5; Top Gun with 22 points from placings of 2-3-8-[15]-2-7; third placegetter Duckmobile [Kathy Macfarlane] on 24 points from a score of 10-[12]-4-2-5-7.