Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 40+ 728x90

TP52 women grinding smarter not faster

by Lisa Ratcliff on 10 Feb 2013
TP52SCC Jade Mackay hard at work on Calm 2 Teri Dodds © http://www.teridodds.com
The muscle factor comes into play in the TP class, one of the reasons these hard core racing machines are handled predominantly by men. At the inaugural TP52 Southern Cross Cup being held on Port Phillip in Victoria this weekend there is a handful of women among the 100 crew contesting the grand prix series opener.

John Williams and Graeme Ainley’s Calm, Michael Martin’s Frantic from Newcastle and Jason Van Der Slot’s Calm 2 all have a woman on the team, and all bring different expertise to the campaign.



Jade Mackay’s role is mid bow on Sandringham Yacht Club boat, Calm 2, managing sails and sail changes. She believes she’s completed the most Rolex Sydney Hobarts on a TP for a woman – five – and has been on the Calm program for the past three years, sailing the original TP Calm and now Van Der Slot’s new toy.

'Mid-bow is pretty challenging when the breeze is up,' she admits. A regular weekly gym session with the crew is part of the commitment to racing a boat of this pedigree.

'The more these boats develop the more muscle they take,' Mackay reckons.

At this regatta the owners introduced a crew limit as well as a cap on the number of professionals each of the eight boats could carry.

For Elizabeth Williams, navigator on Calm, this means as well as running the computers and stepping in to call tactics when her dad, John, takes a break from the wheel, Williams is down inside the boat in the ‘sewer’ pulling the enormous kite back into the boat at each drop.

Navigating is less physical than Mackay’s role, but long days on the water and the mental drain of hours of concentration take their toll.

'Dad and my brothers have always sailed big boats and when they needed a fill in they could rely on me to turn up, even in foul weather, because I’m family,' said Liz dockside at SYC.

Her advice for women wanting to enter this league of sailing is, 'know what you can offer and put yourself out there. These are not the sort of boats you get a ride on randomly.'

Emma Wilson does ‘strings’ on Frantic, the 2004 model TP, which means she pulls the halyards that hoist the sails. Going into day three Wilson says the energy level is still high. 'It’s great being so active. We have found the level of competition here really exciting; we are picking up new things every day.'

Gavin Brady, helmsman on Karl Kwok’s Team Beau Geste from Hong Kong, has plenty of Northern Hemisphere experience in the TP52 class and says the United States is where women are chiefly racing TPs.

'It’s technique more than grunt. These boats are about finesse and on our boat we say ‘grind smarter not faster’', says Brady from his perch at the top of the pointscore going into today’s final races. 'It’s great to see a few women getting in the mix at this regatta.'

Mackay hopes to see a few more at the next stage of this exciting new series, 'I’m all for supporting more women in sailing.'

A new Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series endorsed by Yachting Victoria and created by the Women and Girls in Sailing Committee is receiving great support from the major clubs. The umbrella pointscore is designed to develop participation and more skilled women who could very well find themselves part of a TP52 crew down the track.

Zhik ZKG 660x82Protector - 660 x 82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Less than a month to go to 8th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth
To date, 66 teams have signed up for the event, which bodes well for an exceptional vintage Péan will be casting an expert eye over the event that occurs 10-15 April. A seasoned and talented sailor, he boasts one of the most prestigious track records in French sailing, with victories logged in the Solitaire du Figaro in 1983, then the Whitbread (a crewed around-the-world race with stopovers) in 1986.
Posted on 22 Mar
Transat Jaques Vabre – Oman Sail takes on Class 40 challenge
The new campaign is the latest stage of the relationship between Al Hasni, one of Oman's most promising sailors Oman Sail has revealed a new adventure for 2017 as the pioneering national initiative takes on a double-handed Class 40 challenge pairing up mentor and long-term skipper of various Oman Sail projects, Frenchman Sidney Gavignet, with his protégé and Oman Sail’s most successful offshore sailor, Fahad Al Hasni.
Posted on 22 Mar
RORC Easter Challenge – Free expert coaching
A coach can optimise practice time, provide detailed analysis via both stats and video, can examine specific issues If you want to do better out on the race course, you could buy yourself a newer, more competitive boat. Or sail with a better crew. Or could buy some new sails. Or put in some practice. But keelboat crews frequently forget that one of the best value methods is to employ a coach.
Posted on 22 Mar
Vestas 11th Hour Racing launch Volvo Ocean Race campaign
Vestas are returning for a second edition, after launching their 2017-18 campaign in partnership with 11th Hour Racing Vestas 11th Hour Racing will be led by the American duo of Charlie Enright and Mark Towill. The team are the fourth to announce for the upcoming edition, which begins on 22 October, and they will use the race to promote a sustainability message around the world.
Posted on 21 Mar
St. Barths Bucket Regatta – More action shots by Carlo Borlenghi
Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images
Posted on 21 Mar
St. Barths Bucket Regatta images by Carlo Borlenghi
Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images
Posted on 21 Mar
Mini Transat - The most feminine of offshore races
For this 2017 edition, ten women will be at the start and have no intention of letting their tickets go to waste. Decidedly, the Mini Transat is not an event like any other. In the offshore racing world, where women often struggle to carve out a niche for themselves, the Mini wrong-foots accepted ideas. For this 2017 edition, ten women will be at the start and have no intention of letting their tickets go to waste.
Posted on 21 Mar
Antigua Bermuda Race welcomes schooner Eleonora
The Antigua to Bermuda Race starting on Friday 12th May is proving highly popular with a huge variety of competitors The Antigua to Bermuda Race starting on Friday 12th May is proving highly popular with a huge variety of competitors eager to take on the challenge of a true ocean race to Bermuda; the home of the 35th America's Cup.
Posted on 21 Mar
Extreme Sailing Series heads to Mexico for the first time in history
SAP has been Official Technical Partner to the Extreme Sailing Series™ since 2012, providing cutting edge insights Today the owner and organiser of the Series, OC Sport, is delighted to announce that the German software giant SAP – a longtime supporter of the world's leading Stadium Racing Series - will be the Host Venue Partner for the Mexican Act.
Posted on 20 Mar
Winds of change at the Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR
634 boats, 842 sailors from 53 nations will participate in the different Olympic classes, according to confirmed entries Around 700 boats will participate in this edition of the Majorcan regatta, which kicks off on Friday 24 for ORC, J80 and Dragon (with three racing days until Sunday) and on Monday 27 for Olympic Classes.
Posted on 20 Mar