Sail, socalise and dine in the heart of Darwin
The 2017 Australian Women's Keelboat Regatta (AWKR) was held over the Queen's Birthday weekend (10-12 June) on Port Phillip Bay in Melbourne. Hosted by the Royal Melbourne Yacht Club in St Kilda the event attracted 24 keelboats and 130 female sailors.
The most popular one-design yacht, the S80 attracted 11 crews from all over Australia, including 3 crews from Townsville and one crew from Tauranga Yacht Club in New Zealand, as well as NT team 'Arafura Bubbles' Darwin Sailing Club members Fiona McManus (skipper), Carolyn Talbot, Vivian Eugster, Philippa Williams and Robin Knox, sailing on 'Outlaw'.
Unlike the conditions of battling 20+ knots in the past 3 years of participation by an NT team, this years wind barely reached 10 knots with some of the 6 scheduled races where the breeze dropped to virtually zero. The conditions were extremely frustrating!
The racing was very close, especially amongst the 15 Division 2 yachts comprising 11 x S80s, but not quite close enough for NT's 'Arafura Bubbles' who managed a few good races as well as a few disappointing ones.
Congratulations must go to Townsville skipper, Renee Cordingly, and her crew for winning both the Division 2 and S80 competitions, and to 'Envyus' (EK . who took out first place in Division 1.
Post race BBQs, a crew dinner and the presentation provided many opportunities to discuss tactics and mingle with the other crews. Everyone learnt new skills, made new friends from all over Australia and NZ, and declared they would return next year to make the 2018 AWKR bigger and better than before.
Townsville Yacht Club will be hosting a women sailors only regatta this August and there was also interest in a women's only match racing regatta if scheduled in Darwin for 2018.
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