Please select your home edition
Edition
Sea Sure 2021 - Transom Fittings - LEADERBOARD

Ocean Respect Racing makes it a record 40 entries for Australian Women's Keelboat Regatta

by Di Pearson / AWKR media 3 Jun 2019 23:13 PDT 8-10 June 2019
Wild Oats X - Ocean Respect Racing finished second overall in the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart © Carlo Borlenghi / Rolex

A record 40 entries will take part in the 2019 Australian Women's Keelboat Regatta (AWKR), hosted by Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron (RMYS) over this long weekend; the 40th entry coming from Ocean Respect Racing and to be headed by well-known sailing identity, Katie Spithill.

Numbers far exceed last year's record haul of 27, thanks to the hard work of the Club and in particular Kristen Buckland, the AWKR Committee chair and competitor on Monica Jones' Adams 10, Salamander III.

"I've always wanted to do this regatta; it's just never happened," said Spithill, an elite match racer from Sydney's Northern Beaches.

"I think it's fantastic to know there are 40 competitive female boats and crews. It shows times are changing for women in sailing and we have to keep pushing. It's also a real testament to those boat owners who have loaned their boats, allowing so many more to compete," she said.

Spithill says there are five from Ocean Respect Racing's 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart crew (including herself), who finished the 628 nautical mile race second overall in 2018: "It's a very strong team and I'm pretty excited about having five from the original program and to continuing its message."

The other four are: Carolijn Brouwer (multiple Olympian and Volvo Ocean Race sailor who won the 2017-2018 edition. She has twice been named World Female Sailor of the Year, including 2018 as one of two of the first women to win the VOR; on Dongfeng); Sophie Ciszek (bow woman on numerous elite Sydney Hobart boats and two VOR's, the latest on Mapfre in 2017/2018 and a guest speaker for the AWKR lecture series); Sarah Crawford and Jade Cole.

"We also have Nina Curtis (Australia's match racing 2012 Olympic silver medallist who made her VOR debut on Brunel Sailing in the last edition) and Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club Youth Match Racing sailors, Rachel Bower and Alice Tarnawski."

"We were lucky to be offered a choice of two boats by the organisers, but then Jade (Cole), who lives in Melbourne, said we could use her father's M.A.T. 1010. It's a great opportunity for us to get back on the water together to race and keep the message going about Ocean Respect," Spithill ended.

The Ocean Respect message is one RMYS members are also across, conveying to competitors; "We're trying to cut down on single use plastic this year, so please bring along reusable water bottles."

Other high-profile sailors entered include triple Olympian Karyn Gojnich, the first female flag officer in Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's 156-year history. She will be at the helm of the J/70, Spike.

"I have a great bunch of girls sailing with me, regular Yngling crew; Sarah Ladd who came with me to Yngling Worlds in Lake Garda (they were the only all-female crew there) and Olga Skatkova. We're looking forward to sailing the J/70. We haven't sailed one before, so we're practicing on one here at RSYS before heading to Victoria," she said.

Gojnich contested the AWKR in 2017 and says of the event, "The camaraderie blows me away and they are all so enthusiastic. It's amazing - it makes you want to be part of it and I'm looking forward to returning."

There are also a number of newcomers, those who were new in 2018 and past winners returning. It is a regatta for women of all standards and an opportunity for newcomers and club racers to mix it with some of the best in the world. The AWKR encourages women of all ages and standards to compete.

Among those this year is Lieutenant Commander Kirstin Norris, who is bringing a team from the Australian Defence Force. Norris, a RAN Marine Engineering Officer, is a competitive Moth sailor and match race who helmed Rock N Roll to Division 2 victory at the 2016 AWKR.

"We have members from Navy, Army and Airforce across all ranks whose sailing experience varies dramatically. One crew (Flight Lieutenant Narelle Sheridan, an RAAF Weapons Systems Officer who flies Super Hornets) is brand new to sailing, while Major Candice Cushway (an Army Logistics Officer) completed the 2017 Sydney Hobart in the Army Sailing Team and skippered the return," Norris said.

Apart from the overall winners of the two Open division and the S80 Division in AMS (which decides the winners), IRC and EHC, the event offers trophies for Novice Helm The person must not have helmed regularly for more than 12 months and their first time helming at the regatta; Most Improved; Sportsmanship; the Rohan Brownlee Leadership and Endeavour Award and Best Performed Owner/Skipper.

To be held over the long weekend, from 8-10 June, two races per day will be sailed starting from 10am. The fleet represents every Australian state, the Northern Territory and New Zealand.

Prospective entrants have until 1700 hours on Friday 31 May, 2019, to enter. However, late entries may be accepted at the discretion of the event's Race Committee.

All information at www.awkr.com.au

Related Articles

America's Cup Hall of Fame Induction announcement
Larry Ellison, Dirk Kramers and Dawn Riley will be welcomed to the NYYC The Herreshoff Marine Museum / America's Cup Hall of Fame is happy to announce that the 2022 America's Cup Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Dinner will be in the iconic Model Room at the New York Yacht Club. Posted today at 4:57 pm
American Magic partners with SHOCK-WBV
Suspension seats and OMEGA seat inserts are on their way to the America's Cup team SHOCK-WBV Ltd are proud to announce that the first batch suspension seats & OMEGA seat inserts are on their way to American Magic's base in Pensacola, USA where they will be fitted to the chase boat fleet and in operation later this month. Posted today at 4:00 pm
Looking forward to the Golden Globe Race 2022
David Schmidt muses on racing that demands old-fashioned seamanship skills It's no secret that Sail-World loves adventure racing. We also love regular racing, of course, but there's something cool about events that shift the emphasis away from equipment and technology and instead place it on old-fashioned seamanship skills. Posted today at 3:00 pm
Zeke's J70 tips to the podium
Lessons learned at the Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta - Marblehead As usual, the town of Marblehead pulled out all the stops for competitors to descend upon the quaint New England town for a weekend of racing in multiple one design classes. Posted today at 1:11 pm
America's Cup: Ready, Steady, Build!
America's Cup teams take over after base allocations determined - construction commences The final base allocations have been confirmed as Barcelona begins preparations for the 37th America's Cup and soon, the builders will move in as each team constructs their own base with a concentration on form, function and fan engagement. Posted today at 12:06 pm
Project Land Speed goes on 'temporary hold'
Glenn Ashby gives an update from Lake Gairdner as Project Land Speed goes on "temporary hold" A lot of the lake is now dry, but not all of it. What does it mean for Project Speed? Glenn gives an update from Lake Gairdner. Posted today at 11:56 am
Boating royalty on display at Uffa event
Coweslip returns to its original home in Commodores House In her heyday she was probably one of the most photographed boats in the world, though good looking as she is, it was her skipper who was the centre of attention. Posted today at 11:47 am
Harken Youth Match Racing Championship preview
Four days of racing in Sydney Harbour for this World Sailing Grade 3 event International Youth Match Racing is set to return to the waters of Lower Pittwater in Sydney's north, with host club and Organising Authority the RPAYC, now accepting applications for invitations, to the 2022 Harken Youth Match Racing Championship. Posted today at 10:58 am
2022 ILCA 4 Youth Worlds at Vilamoura day 1
An incredible start for the 426 helms taking part in Portugal Two races were completed on Monday in each fleet at the 2022 ILCA 4 Youth World Championships, hosted by Vilamoura Sailing. All 426 boats launched efficiently in under 45 minutes for a smooth start to the day. Posted today at 5:13 am
An on-water festival comes to Auckland in 2023
The Auckland Boat Show will return in late March 2023, bringing a festival on the water to the City New Zealand's largest boat show will return to Auckland from 23-26 March, 2023. The Auckland Boat Show, scheduled for March next year, will run directly after Sail GP's March regatta. Posted today at 2:30 am
RS Sailing 2021 - FOOTERSea Sure 2021 - RED - FOOTERDoyle Sails 2020 - Pure Brilliance 728x90 BOTTOM