Australian Women's Keelboat Regatta kicks off in Melbourne

The 26 female skippers along with the majority of their crews filled the Harbour Room of the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron, 10th June, for the official regatta briefing of the 26th annual Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta.

Directed by chairperson, Dee Mason, the hilarious and entertaining briefing involved a catwalk of all skippers, a weather briefing by local meteorologist, Paige Butcher, and the official delivery of competitor packs.

Not only did the evening complete the official proceedings of the event but it was the perfect opportunity for competitors to size each other up in the prelude of the intense racing to come. Old rivals made friendly ‘chit- chat’ while secretly plotting their weekend ahead, while new skippers rejoiced in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

Jennifer Telfer, team manager for the Magnetic Maidens, is excited to begin racing after campaigning for this event since November last year.

“We’re a team of 17 from Townsville of all experience levels and are very excited to be a part of this great event. We began this campaign as a way of upskilling the women sailors at our yacht club. We hope the experience of the training we have done and the racing ahead of us can be shared with other women back at home. Hopefully this will get more women sailing and racing.

We couldn’t have got to where we are without the support of our home club, Townsville Yacht Club, along with our team sponsor, Bourke Marine, who have generously provided everyone with their own set of wet weather gear. Be sure to keep a look out for the blow- up palm trees and fluoro pink shirts as we’re the Magnetic Maidens.”

Along with interstate competitors an all- female protest committee, comprising of interstate and internationals, was announced. Danielle Watkins (AUS), Nadine Tietje (GER) and Alexandra Doran (AUS) bring a wealth of experience to the regatta.

The forecast for the weekend will certainly test the skills of all the competitors with a typical Victorian wintery weekend ahead. Saturday looks to be bringing a strong and choppy S/SW’ly with this easing off and swinging further north over the weekend.

If you’re interested in coming out on the water to watch the racing simply come down to Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron for the breakfast briefing at 8am any day and inform the spectator coordinator who will organise a boat for you.  

Racing commences at 0955 Saturday with two races scheduled. To follow the racing visit www.awkr.com.au or on Facebook.

– AWKR Media 

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