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Mooloolaba Yacht Club Women's Keelboat Regatta Hits the River, May 31 to June 2

by Kerry Lorimer 20 May 02:19 PDT 31 May - 2 June 2024
Mooloolaba Yacht Club Women's Keelboat Regatta © Bruno Cocozza

After last year's feisty competition - which saw the top three teams barely separated on points - the 2024 Mooloolaba Women's Keelboat Regatta will be hotly contested on the Mooloolah River from May 31 to June 2, by crews from up and down Australia's east coast.

The round-the-buoys fleet racing will be held on a tight and challenging course on the Mooloolah River, with great spectator viewing from The Wharf precinct and foreshore. Eight teams will compete on the MYC's fleet of Elliott6 keelboats, with the 'Battle for the Bubbles' held on Friday 31st; a Qualifying Series on Saturday and a Gold and Silver Fleets Final on Sunday.

With a limited number of entries available, all places were snapped up within a week by three local MYC teams, as well as teams from Richmond River Sailing Club (NSW); Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club; two teams from Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron and Wynnum Manly Sailing Club (Brisbane); and one team representing Townsville Sailing Club and Townsville Yacht Club.

"The Mooloolaba Women's Keelboat Regatta - now in its sixth year and with a national Australian Sailing award under its belt - has become one of the most popular fixtures on the women's sailing calendar, and our team of volunteers is looking forward to welcoming back old friends and new teams for this year's event," commented MYC Commodore, Kerri Smith, who will be sailing as part of the Lunasea Team, skippered by former Laser Olympian, Danielle Kennedy, which placed second in 2023.

"Each year sees exciting tactical racing on the river - which is one of the best venues anywhere for spectators who can easily watch the action from on shore. We welcome a broad range of skill levels and ages, and the event has come to be known for both the challenging racing and the very special camaraderie between a great group of women."

This year sees the return of a Townsville team - aptly re-named, "Unfinished Business" - skippered by Renee Cordingley, whose three-woman team has competed in every MWKR since 2019, and who was narrowly beaten into third place last year when racing was abandoned on the final day due to lack of wind.

The Mooloolaba Women's Keelboat Regatta is the culmination of months of work by club volunteers, and is run in association with SheSails, the Australian Sailing campaign running in yacht clubs across the country to increase women's participation in the sport of sailing.

The regatta has grown out of the Mooloolaba Yacht Club's successful Women's Skills Development program, which aims to promote pathways for women to build their racing, cruising and skippering skills in the traditionally male-dominated sport of sailing. The program has seen well over 100 women sign up for sailing at the club since its inception in 2017. In 2022, the Regatta won both the QLD and the prestigious National Australian Sailing SheSails Award.

For details: www.mooloolabayachtclub.com.au or see the Mooloolaba Women's Keelboat Regatta Facebook page.

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