October 28 - November 3, 2012: Issue 82
Firefly with seaplane overhead
Second Jan Gillies
Third Rosemary Malone
Lady Skippers Race
by Robyn McWilliam
Skies were grey and course number 19 was displayed on the tower as seven monohulls started in the Royal Motor Yacht Club’s Lady Skippers Race on Sunday 21 October 2012. Ladies must helm for the race duration but men are permitted as crew.
A light northerly breeze of two to three knots saw the faster boats move ahead towards Towlers Bay mark. Up’n’Adam, skippered by Rosemary Malone, Electra, skippered by Anne Worsley and Firefly skippered by Jan Gillies then unintentionally parked in a hole near the first mark allowing Supernova, skippered by Karen Davenport to round first. Then the three found a breath of wind to continue followed by Red Red Wine, skippered by Robyn McWilliam then That Boat, skippered by Jenny O’Neill and bringing up the rear Kayo Ozaki skippering Here’s Trouble. Sailing is so much easier in a consistent ten to fifteen knot wind.
The leg across to Taylors Point saw Electra take the lead and Supernova drop back to fourth place. In these light conditions it’s essential to keep the boat moving. On the way to the Mackerel Beach mark the breeze picked up to six or seven knots and That Boat snuck past Red Red Wine.
Pittwater was unkind to sailors on the downwind leg back to Taylors as the wind dropped to under five knots. Sails hung listlessly; crew sat on the gunnels to increase the angle of heel. Earnestly looking for any puff from behind, skippers of the smaller yachts watched as the bigger ones increased their lead. They ghosted out of sight beyond Taylors heading for the finish line back off the club.
The race duration of three hours was becoming a concern to the back markers. Finally, on the last leg the breeze picked up to around ten knots and Red Red Wine finished with eleven minutes of time remaining. Here’s Trouble followed right on the gun.
Scratch boat was Electra and boat crews gathered in the Quarterdeck for some finger food and the presentation. Kirk Watson, the race organiser, presented the prizes. First on handicap again this year was Jenny O’Neill on That Boat. Second place went to Jan Gillies on Firefly and third to Rosemary Malone on Up’n’Adam. They received their prizes but the winner will have to wait for the trophy presentation at the award night in March next year. Jenny’s name will be engraved on the shiny silver trophy for a second time.
The winners - First – Jenny O’Neill
Light airs sailing is a challenge. Ten to fifteen knots provide much more fun. Let’s hope more boats with lady skippers are on the water in October next year.
Report and Photos Copyright Robyn McWilliam, 2012. All Rights Reserved.