BYS Women’s Sportsboat Regatta – Day 1

Laura Harding one point clear after first day of 2024 Women’s Sportsboat Regatta

A strong fleet of female sailors has taken to the water for the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron’s 2024 Women’s Sportsboat Regatta, racing in the club’s fleet of J70s.

The event was an initiative by the club that aimed to provide more opportunities for women in sailing and further grow female participation in the sport.

The opening day saw a total of six races in challenging conditions with a long day on the water in order to complete all the racing.

Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron sailor Harriette Singh said the event had brought together an amazing group of women who were all incredibly supportive of each other.

“I think it’s a really special event and at BYS we have a really big focus on getting women involved in sailing and making sure that everyone has a fair go,” she said.

“This regatta has been really special, we get to sail with an all female crew, which is lots of fun and it keeps the mood pretty light sometimes, and I think it also gives people an opportunity to try roles that they might not normally feel comfortable trying.

“I think it’s really vital for the future of sailing that women are involved in these events, so that clubs around Australia are offering this for everyone.”

This weekend teams are racing in flights of four-boat races and changing in and out of the boats to give all teams the same amount of racing.

After the first day, Blairgowrie’s own Laura Harding sits atop the rankings by just one point, with the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron team skippered by Sara Ladd in second place.

Fresh off a fifth place in the 49erFX World Championship earlier this week, Harding has returned home and jumped straight into the J70 alongside friends Philippa Danks, Hannah Danks, Sally Danks and Kate Richardson.

In the only three-race flight where the top two teams sailed against each other, Harding won two races while Ladd won the other, setting up a tantalising battle on the final day tomorrow.

With plenty more racing scheduled for the final day tomorrow, it’s shaping up to be a great finish, so stay tuned to the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron social media channels for all the updates.

For full results, and more information about the event, head to 



Host club:                    Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron
Event dates:                16-17 March 2024
Story author:              Harry Fisher, Down Under Sail
Photo credit:               Alex Dare, Down Under Sail
Video credit:               Alex Dare, Down Under Sail

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