First all-female crew challenges for MC38 Australian Championship

Nine MC38s will vie for the class Australian Championship this weekend, among them the first all-female crew, as a trophy trifecta is dangling in front of the defending champion, Shaun Lane and Quentin Stewart’s Lazy Dog.

The national title will mark the end of another season of high-end one design racing with top results shared between Lazy Dog, Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan, Steven Proud’s Swish, Indy Beck’s InfoTrack and Leslie Green’s Ginger.

Act 5 Hooligan bow-on_credit Marg's Yacht Photos
Act 5 Hooligan bow-on_credit Marg’s Yacht Photos

The competition really took it to the Middle Harbour Yacht Club team of Lazy Dog across this year’s lead up regattas, staged between Pittwater and Sydney Harbour, and they are plotting to spoil Lane and Stewart’s championship three-peat.

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron is regatta host for the premiere three-day series this coming weekend, November 4-6. Twelve races are scheduled on Sydney Harbour starting daily at midday, weather permitting. The trough that has Sydney shivering in gusty westerlies is moving away and the early forecast indicates light conditions, no more than 10 knots out of the northeast.

Making their class debut at the national title is Katie Spithill and her all-female MC38 team on Leap.

The A-grade talent on Leap includes Spithill on helm, round-the-world and offshore yachtie Stacey Jackson and SailGP’s Nina Curtis, another round-the-world campaigner. Olympic sailor Mara Stransky plus Juliet Costanzo and Jemma Hodgson, fresh from their clinical win at last weekend’s Australian Women’s Match Racing Championship on Sydney Harbour, jumped at the chance to be part of the first-ever all-female MC38 team.

“It’s a great group and we are excited for the opportunity Christian has given us in lending his boat,” said Spithill. “We are happy with the light forecast. From a physical point of view it’s better for us as we’ll race marginally underweight and as a new team pulled together from other classes on a new boat we’ll be making it up on the fly.”

MC38 Australian president Christian Beck says the 2022 MC38 Australian Championship is shaping up as a battle royale between Lazy Dog, winner of the last two Australian titles, and this season’s top performers, who equally have multiple MC38 seasons under their belts.

“Amazingly, there were five different pointscore winners across six acts leading up to this weekend’s nationals so it’s wide open in terms of the favourite,” says Beck.

“The final result will be well-earned and it will be great to connect with everyone socially before the class takes a break over summer and some owners and many of the crew turn to offshore events.”

Law Connect chasing the pack downwind on Sydney Harbour_credit Tilly McKnight
Law Connect chasing the pack downwind on Sydney Harbour_credit Tilly McKnight

A second female skipper in Rachel Beck will lead the Law Connect team.

List of entries for the Australian Championship.

Results will be available daily at https://www.mc38racing.com/results-2022 and updates will be posted to the class’s social media channels. Sunday’s races will be livestreamed on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MC38Class

Lisa Ratcliff/Australian MC38 Association media

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