The final countdown is on for the 2016 Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta and with 177 competitors across seven states registered, everyone is looking forward to some high quality racing. Sailing Instructions have now been released that provide all critical information for the event.
Held at the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron (RMYS) from the 11 – 13th June, the Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta is an all-women’s keelboat regatta. Last year this event celebrated its 25th year with 25 boats; this year 26 boats have entered. Dee Mason, Chair of the Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta, is happy with this increasing trend:
“I like the symmetry of having 26 boats in our 26th year…… but it is more about providing high quality racing in a fun and supportive environment for all women who love the sport of sailing. The increasing interest in the AWKR, to me, is reflective of the broader trend to increased female participation in sport. I think we will see women in sailing skyrocket in the next five years and I think that this is due largely to the work that RMYS and my predecessors have done with this regatta over 26 long years … and also the more recent efforts of Yachting Victoria through its Women and Girls in Sailing Initiative.”
Coverage for this regatta has spanned across social media, newspapers and even TV this year; of the 2 QLD teams competing in this event the Magnetic Maidens were interviewed by Channel 7’s local news team and have become event celebrities!
Interstate competitors have local boat owners to thank when they lend their yacht to them for this event. Boats have been lent from nearly all our major Port Phillip yacht clubs- some boat owners know the crew well while some volunteer their boat for interstate skippers they’ve never met before. But with a number of the competitors’ pedigrees spanning multiple Sydney to Hobart skippers and world class sailing champions, why wouldn’t they?
As there are quite a number of interstate visitors the AWKR have recruited the ‘Logie-Smith Lanyon Boat Buoys’ who are there to help. Logie- Smith Lanyon Lawyers have been supporting this event for ten years and jumped at the opportunity to be a part of it this year. The ‘Boat Buoys’ are a group of men made up of RMYS members, partners and sailing enthusiasts who are there to support the competing women. Their roles include greeting all competitors, assisting in launching and docking the boats and of course, manning the sausage sizzle after racing for the day.
Friends and family members are welcome to join in the daily celebrations at RMYS; there will be a BBQ, beer and raffles every evening. Raffles help raise money for the Think Pink Foundation who provide practical support to those who are impacted by breast cancer.
For more information contact Liz Haines, Sailing Coordinator at RMYS 03 9534 0227. Alternatively you can visit www.awkr.com.au or their Facebook page.