Val Hodge Trophy 2018 ready to Up ‘n Go


The Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series 2017-18 moves to Royal Yacht Club of Victoria (RYCV) on Sunday 4 March for the sixth running of the Val Hodge Trophy, the host club’s signature female helm race.

The establishment of the PPWCS in 2013, combining the ‘lady skippers’ races from the five keelboat clubs at the top of the bay into a single series, provided the stimulus for RYCV to create the Val Hodge Trophy, to recognise the skills of their local female sailors. Val was the wife of former Club Captain Arthur Hodge, who whilst her husband was busy officiating at the club, took the helm and successfully raced the family boat.

In her wake, the Royals girls have more recently proven their talent with several wins in the prestigious Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta (AWKR) held annually at Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron. Their skills also came to the fore in the inaugural PPWCS, taking out all the honours with Lennie Beattie on the helm of Noelex 25 Footloose claiming IRC and sister club member Cath Beaufort winning both  AMS and PHS divisions.  

Cath Beaufort has since become owner of S80 Up ‘n Go and has consistently recruited female sailors to campaign not only in women’s events, but also in mixed keelboat events including Nautilus Marine Series and Festival of Sails regatta, as well as being the only all female crew in the recent S80 state titles.

Cath has been a stalwart leader and mentor in both her sailing and professional life and in January 2017 was awarded a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia for service to radiotherapy, to international relations, and to sailing.

On board Up ‘n Go, a pool of 7-8 female crew fill the five crew spots. A relative newcomer, Liesl Pettard is relishing the opportunities to progress her sailing on the S80. Liesl takes up the story -

‘Being from Hobart I had been interested in sailing  for some time, but only began sailing keelboats five years ago after doing a weekend sailing course and attending a Women in Sailing day at Sandringham Yacht Club. I was lucky enough to be placed on the Beneteau 40 Dry White with girls including Sue Bumstead, Rachel Cameron, Nicole Heales and Paula Ewington. Dry White was regularly entrusted to us by Don Fraser with some great mentors including Rosie Colahan, Simon Dryden, Christie Alberts and many others that volunteered their time and shared their knowledge.

In September 2016, I crewed on the Bavaria 36 Clipper 111 for the Ocean Racing Club of Victoria’s (ORCV) Women Skippers & Navigators Race with Susan Tuma on the helm and myself as navigator and we won both AMS and PHS divisons for the passage race from Geelong to Melbourne.'

Leisl has not only embraced the on water activities, but has also become the Women & Girls in Sailing (WGIS) Club Representative at RYCV and has been appointed to the board of Yachting Victoria - the only state / territory board of Australian Sailing with a predominance of five females amongst the nine board members and led by the first ever female state president in Australia with the appointment of Cherry Birch in 2016.

‘Whilst I am only quite new to these roles, I am keen to become more involved in contributing to the sport in a volunteer capacity, particularly focussing on accessability and participation. Sailing can be such a social sport – I have met some great people and made new friends, several of whom I have since sailed with, at or to new holiday destinations. I really enjoy learning new skills and team work.  I am very appreciative of the time and patience that so many experienced sailors are willing to give to mentor and teach newbies. I have been lucky to have been mentored by Sue Bumstead, Cath Beaufort, Robyn Brooke and Rosie - all great contributors to women’s sailing in Victoria’

With the Val Hodge Trophy coming up this weekend, Liesl’s final advice to aspiring female sailors– ‘Get some basic skills and embrace opportunities to sail on a variety of boats and with different crews. Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series and the Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta provide great camaraderie and opportunity for women and girls to get out and sail and improve their skills

Come and join us for another great day of racing on Sunday 4 March.

Sailing Instructions and online entry for the Val Hodge Trophy are now posted. Presentations will be at RYCV after the race, with meals available for purchase from the bar menu.

Information including Notice of Series and Results for the Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series can be found on the Women & Girls in Sailing website with updates on WGIS Fb.


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