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2024 Women's Sportsboat Regatta at Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron - Overall

by Harry Fisher, Down Under Sail 17 Mar 07:04 PDT 16-17 March 2024
Laura Harding's BYS team clinched victory in the Women's Sportsboat Regatta © Alex Dare / Down Under Sail

Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron's Laura Harding has clinched the 2024 BYS Women's Sportsboat Regatta during a whirlwind trip back to her home club.

After finishing an incredible fifth overall at the 49erFX World Championships earlier this week alongside Annie Wilmot, she returned home and sailed exceptionally well to win the event.

Harding said events like the Women's Sportsboat Regatta were important to promoting greater female participation in sailing, while also getting like-minded people together both on and off the water.

"These events are so good to have only females here and it means it's a super supportive environment for all levels, including those that are just getting into racing that have learned how to sail in the past few years," she said.

"I think we need to do more of these events and it's so good that we're getting a lot of teams out on the water."

Coming back to her home club, Harding teamed up with Philippa Danks, Hannah Danks, Sally Danks and Kate Richardson and clinched wins in all four finals races this afternoon to claim the title.

She said it was satisfying to come back to her home club and be part of such a great event.

"It's pretty cool to be coming back to my home yacht club to do a regatta after having a Worlds overseas," she said.

"I head back again in a week and a half or so, but super happy to be able to get in and sail with the Blairgowrie girls."

The final day of racing saw the last of the qualifying races, as well as a five-team finals series that saw the podium completed by Sara Ladd's Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron team in second, and Katie Holroyd's combined Royal Brighton and Sandringham team in third.

Principal Race Officer Glenys Hitchen said she thought the event was a fantastic way to bring women together on a level playing field in what was a really supportive environment.

"There's a huge camaraderie with women against women and it's just an extension of your knowledge all the time," she said.

"Whether you're coming first or last it's just the fact that you're competing and it brings you up every time you compete in a regatta like this and it is just a fabulous environment.

"I know that a lot of girls here do it year after year, anybody can win, but we all encourage everybody else to do the best they can."

For full results, and more information about the event, visit here

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