Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta - Tasmanians dominate

Penfold Audi Sport - Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta 2012
Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta, organised by the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron, got underway today on Melbourne’s Port Phillip. Tasmanian yachtswomen have dominated results winning the first two races on corrected time in all three handicap categories, AMS, IRC and PHS.

Sailing the borrowed Victorian yacht Penfold Audi Sport, they got the gun in the third race, winning the IRC category on corrected time, beaten by just five seconds in AMS, and placing third in the PHS category in which handicaps are adjusted after each race.

A fleet of 16 yachts of various design and size, crewed by women sailors, mainly from Victoria, but with one crew each from Tasmania and New South Wales, are contesting the six race regatta sailed over the long weekend.

The Tasmanian crew, variously members of the Derwent Sailing Squadron, Bellerive Yacht Club, the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and Geilston Bay Boat Club comprises Colleen Darcy [BYC], Sally Rattle [BYC], Caroline Walker [RYCT], Heather McCullum [BYC/DSS], Lauren Davison [BYC], Michelle Edwards [DSS] and Sarah Baldwin [GBBC].

The women, who race regularly on various Hobart yachts, including Sally Rattle’s Archie, David Taylor’s Pisces and Ian Stewart’s TasPaints, put the crew together after a close second overall in this regatta two years ago.

Penfold Audi Sport is an Archambault 31 owned by former Hobart yachtsman David Ellis who now races out of the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, who has loaned the well-performed yacht to the Tasmanian women for the regatta.

After yesterday’s three races, skipper Colleen Darcy described the weather as 'miserable, with regular rain squalls which produced some sharp gusts that blew out a spinnaker in the second race.' Penfold Audi Sport finished second across the line in the first two races, winning all three handicap categories in each race.

A fleet of 16 yachts of various design and size, crewed by women sailors, mainly from Victoria, but with one crew each from Tasmania and New South Wales, are contesting the six race regatta sailed over the long weekend.

The women, sailing as a Tasmanian team, are variously members of the Derwent Sailing Squadron, Bellerive Yacht Club and the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, Colleen Darcy [BYC], Sally Rattle [BYC], Caroline Walker [RYCT], Heather McCullum, Lauren Davison [BYC], Michelle Edwards [DSS] and Sarah Baldwin.

The Tasmanian women got the gun in the third race despite losing their bearings temporarily in a ‘white-out’ in a heavy rain squall. 'We were out in the middle of the bay and co' race shortened, but we beat Silk which had got the gun in the first two races,' skipper Darcy said.

'We got lovely starts at the boat end of the line, with clear air, in each race and managed to outsail the strong line-up of Adams 10s in the fleet. 'The larger Radford Sprint 35 beat us across the line in the first two races but we beat it in the third race.

'Even when we ripped the spinnaker our girl on the bow,Lauren quickly had a second kite up and we lost little ground,' she added.

In the first two races, Penfold Audi Sport won all three handicap categories from the Adams 10, Top Gun, skippered by Erin Foster from the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria. Jungle Juice, another Adams 10 skippered by Janet Dean from the host club, the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron placed third in two races.

In race two Penfold Audi Sport again won all three categories with Top Gun second in AMS and IRC and third in PHS.

In race three, Penfold Audi Sport took line honours and won IRC on corrected time but had to be contect with a second to the veteran Scampi 30, Nouannie, skippered by Tanya Stanford from the RYCV under AMS handicaps. The winning margin on corrected time was just five seconds.

PHS category winner of race three was Gatsby, a J24 skippered by NSW yachtswoman Tara McCall, from Nouannie and Penfold Audi Sport.
http://www.sail-world.com/98235