Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

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.

Wildwind 2016 660x82Ancasta Ker 33 660x82North Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Vendée Globe – Thomson and Le Cleac'h cross Tasman Sea
Weather files suggest it will be Saturday evening before they are into better conditions as low moves east with them. Weather files suggest it will be Saturday evening before they are into better conditions as the low moves east with them.
Posted today at 5:51 pm
RORC Transatlantic Race – Day 14 – Aragon watches the clock
Aragon crew are a blend of family, friends and professional sailors and the youngest sailor was at the helm of Aragon. The crew of Aragon are a blend of family, friends and professional sailors and the youngest sailor, Anna Van Nieuwland was at the helm of Aragon as the team crossed the line.
Posted today at 3:03 pm
52 Super Series – Great strides towards sustainability
The 2016 season represents the second complete year in partnership with sustainability sponsor 11th Hour Racing. The 2016 season represents the second complete year in partnership with sustainability sponsor 11th Hour Racing.
Posted today at 12:24 pm
Strong winds continue on Day 4 of Sailing World Cup Melbourne
Matt Wearn enjoyed the strong winds today, winning both races in the Laser fleet. Wearn is currently leading overall. Matt Wearn enjoyed the strong winds today, winning both races in the Laser fleet. Wearn is currently leading overall, three points ahead of Cypriot Pavlos Kontides. Rio Silver medallist, Tonci Stipanovic finished second in both today’s races and is currently lying third overall, while Australia’s Tom Burton is in fourth overall. Burton scored a 12 and a five in today’s two races.
Posted today at 12:02 pm
Extreme Sailing Series – Oman Air close gap on Alinghi
Oman Air took every opportunity today and cornered the podium to close the gap at the top of the Act eight leaderboard. Team Oman Air took every opportunity on the Sydney Harbour race course today and cornered the podium to close the gap at the top of the Act eight leaderboard as the rivalry with Alinghi intensifies.
Posted today at 11:09 am
SWC Final – Badloe and Squires pick up where their countrymen left off
Badloe holds the lead after nine races and Squires pushed himself into contention after two bullets and a second. Badloe holds the lead in the men's windsurfer after nine races and Squires pushed himself into contention after two bullets and a second. The pair, and the sailors across the ten Olympic and Open Kiteboarding fleets battled against a south westerly wind in excess of 20 knots coupled with a big sea state.
Posted today at 10:38 am
ESS Sydney - second day images from Beth Morley
The Open Water session due for 4pm to 6pm today but it was cancelled due to the wind Beth Morley was back out on the water to capture the second day of Act Eight of the Extreme Sailing Series. An Open Water session was due for 4pm to 6pm today but it was cancelled due to the wind, so these are from the Stadium race. Enjoy!
Posted today at 10:09 am
Alinghi and Oman Air neck and neck at Extreme Sailing Series finale
Swiss crew Alinghi remain in pole position after two days of breathtaking action on the iconic waters of Sydney Harbour. Swiss crew Alinghi remain in pole position after two days of breathtaking action on the iconic waters of Sydney Harbour, but it couldn't be tighter at the top as the battle between the two Series frontrunners intensifies.
Posted today at 10:08 am
Tom Squires 'dab's' while skydiving at Sailing World Cup - Melbourne
Tom Squires from the British Sailing Team is in Melbourne jumped out of a plane as part of the event earlier this week. Tom Squires from the British Sailing Team is in Melbourne for the Sailing World Cup Final sailing on the RS:X jumped out of a plane as part of the event earlier this week. He took the opportunity to do his first 'dab' and managed to hurt his shoulder.
Posted today at 7:25 am
Vendee Globe - Dealer's choice - Antipodean duel in stormy low
Armel Le Cleac’h and Alex Thomson have throttled back to preserve their boats and equipment as best they can Gusty, squally winds averaging 40kts, big, confused seas compounded by an awkward wind angle are all contributing to the worst period yet for two leaders of the Vendee Globe as they deal with a nasty, messy low pressure system. Armel Le Cleac’h and Alex Thomson have throttled back to preserve their boats and equipment as best they can but even so speeds are still averaging between 18 and 20 kts.
Posted today at 6:11 am