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Val Hodge Trophy Race 2013 - Sweep in Melbourne

by Lennie Beattie on 25 Feb 2013
Le Cascadeur and Wild Child battle for third and fourth on PHD - Port Phillip Women's Championship Series (PPWCS) Mackenzie Charlton
Val Hodge Trophy Race 2013. The Royal Yacht Club of Victoria (RYCV)’s team Nouannie had a clean sweep in the second race in the Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series (PPWCS). The Nouannie girls sailed seamlessly in challenging light breezes to a first on PHD, AMs and IRC.

‘We had a brilliant day on the water,’ said skipper Cath Beaufort. ‘We made sure we had clean air all the time – so important in the conditions. Normally we sail with six people, but this time we only had five and it worked very well.’



‘We were spot on!’ added foredeckie Paulina Hryniewiecka. ‘Everything came together when it needed to today.’

Le Cascadeur’s Michelle Hemsley also had an excellent day. Second on AMS and third on performance, she’s one to watch in the coming races! So what does she put their performance down to? ‘It’s all about the team ,’ said Michelle. ‘This is only my second race on the helm but I have a dream team around me! Seeing more women out there in a male-dominated sport gives me confidence on the water. How can you not love it!’



It’s a sentiment that Val Hodge, whom the trophy is named after, agrees with. Val was the first female skipper at RYCV, joining the club in 1985. ‘Being a female skipper attracts more women into the sport’ she said. ‘I ended up sailing with four other women. The one man on the team married one of the girls!’

Novice skipper Britta Baade, helming Duckmobile, performed very well for a heavy boat, coming in second on PHD. ‘We had a fantastic day. Being a new skipper, I’m grateful for all the support I get from the crew [which include Royals Commodore Andrew Munroe]. I am very happy about how we did.’



Crew member Marisol added that it was a late present for Britta, who celebrated her birthday yesterday! ‘We are getting better all the time. It’s an incremental process for us and we are learning from our mistakes,’ said Marisol.

Although Kathy Macfarlane, helming 2x Squared, did not fare so well, she was pleased with the day. ‘It was awesome.
Half the crew have never been on a boat before – so under the circumstances, we are very happy.’ One of her crew members, Cate Fidler, is fresh out of a keelboat crewing course at RYCV. ‘The training really pays off,’ said Kathy. ‘You can tell that she learnt a lot from the course.’



RYCV Race Director David LeRoy said it was good to have such a high level of activity on the water, combining the Val Hodge Trophy Race, the Bluebirds and the Classics on the same course area. The buzz continued afterwards on the club deck, with participants from all the races getting together for a well-deserved lunch, and presentations from Club Captain David Ellis.



The next race in the Port Phillip Women’s Championship is on Sunday 7 April at Sandringham Yacht Club (SYC). The race is one of two races in SYC’s annual Women in Sailing Challenge (WISC), the first being on 3 March. Get your entries in!

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