Victorian Keelboat Awards 2017 a winner for CMS and PPWCS
by Rosie Colahan
In a first ever collaboration, the Victorian Keelboat Awards Presentation for 2017 combined the Club Marine Series (CMS) and the Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series (PPWCS) into a single event on Sunday 28 May. Hosted by Royal Brighton Yacht Club (RBYC), the event showcased the range of interclub racing activities available for Victorian keelboat sailors and the opportunities for further inclusion and participation across the sport.
Not only across the major keelboat events, but also across the signature women’s keelboat regattas, this season has seen a new collaboration between the Women & Girls in Sailing (WGIS) Committee, home of the Port Phillip Women's Championship Series, with Australian Women's Keelboat Regatta (AWKR), Brighton Lady Skippers Series (BLISS) and Women in Sailing Challenge (WISC) to establish a comprehensive Women's Keelboat Training program. Across the summer season, this initiative has delivered a female focussed, full training program with a mix of shore-based theory, on-water coaching sessions and multiple racing opportunities from short course sprints to longer distance passage racing, building valuable skills and confidence amongst our female sailors, translating into greater participation across the board.
Sandringham Yacht Club’s Commodore’s Challenge, the only one design all female keelboat event on Port Phillip, had its second running on Sunday 21 May with teams from seven clubs competing and overwhelming positive feedback and demand from the girls for more one design events.
The recently completed fifth edition of the PPWCS has confirmed its ‘coming of age’. Starting out in 2013 as the initiative of the Victorian Women & Girls in Sailing (WGIS) Committee as a ‘female helm’ series with any crew mix, the PPWCS 2017 has seen a new norm with the majority of boats now participating fielding crews with greater than 50% females in their mix.
The PPWCS Awards this year were dominated by female boat owners stealing the podium, taking out all major awards in all divisions - AMS, IRC and Performance (Event Handicap). Congratulations to all these women for their skill, commitment, support and inspiration they provide for our female sailors.
Cath Beaufort at the helm of her S80 Up ‘N (RYCV) took out 3rd in AMS, with Marg Neeson (RBYC) taking out 2nd AMS and 3rd IRC at the helm of her Elan 310 Wild Child.
The front and centre battle at the head of the fleet, saw Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron’s (RMYS) Adams 10s Jungle Juice and Salamander 111 vying for the top honours in a replay from 2016. Celia Dymond, at the helm of Jungle Juice owned by former RMYS Commodore Janet Dean, put in a strong bid placing 2nd AMS,2nd IRC and 3rd PHS. But it was the defending Overall Champion from 2016, Monica Jones on Salamander 111 who had a clean sweep with 1st place in all divisions, retaining her PPWCS Overall Champion crown and receiving the Kingston Trophies Perpetual Trophy for another year. Monica also took out the Best performed boat in PHS with greater than 50% female crew, and as is her modus operandi, signed on several crew members from a variety of more distant clubs to experience the event.
Beyond the podium, PPWCS also recognises endeavour by female sailors in stepping up to helm, learn other new skills or bring more women to the event. Our long term sponsors, Sam Haines (North Sails) and Sue Bumstead (Custom Yacht Covers) have provided Encouragement Awards since the beginning of the series to recognise the commitment of female crews and to reward boat owners whose generous provision of their boats has provided the opportunity for participation and learning for our female sailors.
North Sails Daily Encouragement Awards recognise those who finished outside the podium but suffered hardship or demonstrated sportsmanship on the day with $200 vouchers for each of the winners. Congratulations to Frenzy (SYC) Stephanie Strong, Serious Yahoo (RBYC) Vanessa Twigg, Rose of Wyndham (HBYC) Edel Doyle, Calypso (HBYC) Marija Groen and Amazing Grace (RBYC) Philippa Webley.
Custom Yacht Covers Series Encouragement Awards were presented by Sue Bumstead, recognising those who committed to the full series, who did not make the podium, but stepped up to lead roles or increased participation of others. Vouchers for $200 each went to – Up ‘N Go (RYCV) Cath Beaufort, Saelida (RMYS) Robyn Brooke/Rosie Colahan, Summer Wind (RBYC) Angela Woodman and Tigris (RYCV) Jan Fielding. Also recognised was Nadine Huels at the helm of Archambault 32 Remedy (RMYS) who brought along a boat load of female sailors and took out the Best Performing new skipper to the series.
The Kingston Trophies Perpetual Teams Trophy donated by Ian Mann recognises ‘club spirit’ and the support received from the host keelboat clubs in encouraging and enabling their female sailors to participate in the event. Awarded annually to the club with the highest level of participation, the scoring formula includes the number of boats participating from each club as a percentage of the total number of boats on their keelboat register, the number of races in the series sailed by each boat with bonus points for boats competing in all five races. Additional bonus points are added for crews with greater than 50% females, Youth helms (under 25yrs) and Senior helms (over 60yrs). Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron held the honours for the second year running.
For our women keelboat sailors, the summer season is coming to an end, but it is not all over yet.
The Queen’s Birthday weekend 10-11-12 June will see RMYS host its 27th Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta (AWKR) with all female teams including many familiar faces from PPWCS competing against interstate crews from most Australian states, Northern Territory and New Zealand. Good luck and fair winds to all those competing.
Sunday 18 June will see the Victorian Sailing Awards hosted by Sandringham Yacht Club, a celebration of our own home grown Victorian Champions of our sport, whether on or off the water, in race management or racing. Amongst the awards will be Female Sailor of the Year and WGIS Local Hero Award. Book here now to attend.
Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series 2017-18 will be off to an early start with Hobson’s Bay Yacht Club leading off on Sunday 17 December 2017 with the 100 year celebration of their Lady Skippers Race, more recently named the Shirley Freeman Trophy Race. A Non Spinnaker Division and another legendary international themed luncheon to follow racing will also be provided. So bookmark your calendar now and start planning.
To view the 2017 Victorian Keelboat Awards PPWCS, click here.
Keep up to date with opportunities and event information on the Women&Girls in Sailing website and Fb.
Thanks to all our host clubs and sponsors for their generous support. We could not have done it without you!