BLiSSful racing for final day of Port Phillip Women's Championship Series

Yesterday marked the final race day of the 2017 Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series (PPWCS) and was hosted by Royal Brighton Yacht Club. This series was completed with the two-day Brighton Ladies Skipper’s Series (BLiSS) Regatta with only the Sunday race counting towards the overall point score for the PPWCS.

There was only one long race scheduled yesterday, adding a great mix to the type of racing supported by the PPWCS. Yesterday’s breeze light and variable meaning teams needed to focus on the strategic placement of their boats for the long upwind.

This variable breeze seemed to affect some of the competitors’ start-line forcing them to tack away from the predominant pressure lines and requiring them to work hard to make gains for that upwind.

Monica Jones, skipper of ‘Salamander III’ and winner of the PPWCS Race 5 IRC and also overall winner of the 2017 PPWCS in IRC, AMS and PHS, had this exact experience in racing yesterday. Monica said,

“I think we did pretty well yesterday despite having a slow start. We lost ground on the first short tack so needed to work and find where the pressure was coming from. We chose to go out further West and it paid off. We ended up gaining and picking up some places before reaching the top mark. We just tried to stay in the pressure on the downwind.”

The Race Management team shortened the course when the breeze dropped. With the shortened course, skipper of ‘Martini Racing’, Juliet Schilling, and winner of the PPWCS Race 5 PHS worked hard as a team to keep their position for the passage race. Juliet said,

“Racing went really well yesterday; our crew work was solid and we were just aiming to stay in the pressure lines. I think it was a good call by Race Management to shorten the course when they did. It kept everyone engaged and enjoying the race. I’d like to say a big thanks to Jeremy Larkin and the Yoti team for sponsoring ‘Martini Racing’ for this race.”

Sailing together for several years builds team work and trust within crew. Winner of the PPWCS Race 5 AMS, ‘Jake’, skippered by Louise Cotter also sailed a great race yesterday and also based their success on their strong crew work. Louise said,

“We had the crew who usually sail on ‘Jake’ so everything went pretty smoothly. We had a great start and were able to hold our lead for the entire race. We did have to change our kite to a Code 0 part way on the downwind and this helped up keep our lead. We thoroughly enjoyed the BLiSS regatta and was great to have our regular Skipper, Stuart, on board picking the wind shifts which definitely helped our race! I just wanted to say thanks to the skipper and crew who have been supportive of me doing these races; it’s been three years now with Jake and I’ve really loved it!”

The past three months have seen some exceptional racing by female Victorian sailors. It attracts new faces into the Keelboat scene and encourages women to take part in a fun and friendly environment. Overall winner in all three divisions of the 2017 PPWCS, Monica Jones, is a strong advocate for this series event. She said,

“I like to get as many people participating in this event as possible so I invite those who don’t usually get to compete to have a go on my boat. For example, yesterday we had some crew from Warrnambool and Safety Beach join the team and they loved it! I think it’s great to get more women into the sport and this series certainly helps do that but it’s important to compete in every event of the series and outside the series also to do well and to improve your skills, it’s such a great event to get more people active. I also think this series is a great way to get experienced women to transition to Keelboats, say after dinghies. Well done everyone!”

A huge thank you goes out to the Race Officers for the season along with the many volunteers who assisted them. You may have also noticed the great pictures taken over the course of the season by Alex McKinnon- a huge thank you goes out to her. Please visit her website if you wish to purchase any of these pictures for yourself. Finally, we wish to thank our sponsors Kingston Trophies, Custom Yacht Covers, North Sails, Club Marine Insurance and Australian Sailing for supporting this event and making it possible for everyone to enjoy.

The Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series now comes to an end with the final presentation evening being held on Sunday the 28th May at the Royal Brighton Yacht Club. This year the presentation evening is being combined with the Club Marine Series. Entry is free but RSVP is mandatory and closes two weeks before the event. To register for this evening click here.

Overall scores for PPWCS:


1. Salamander III – Monica Jones
2. Jungle Juice – Cylia Dymond
3. Up'N'Go – Cath Beaufort


1. Salamander III – Monica Jones
2. Jungle Juice – Celia Dymond
3. Wild Child – Marg Neeson

YV Performance Handicapping

1. Salamander III – Monica Jones
2. Jungle Juice – Cylia Dymond
3. Up'N'Go – Cath Beaufort

Click here for the overall results.

– Port Phillip Women's Championship Series Media

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