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December 7, 2020

Women’s State Keelboat Championships

From the Helm

Fourth place doesn’t do justice to the intrepid crew of the WSKC this Saturday 5th December. A dedicated enthusiastic and driven group of women took on the best of the best in the F36 Women’s State Keelboat Championship.

After 8 weeks of gruelling sea breeze weekly training sessions, classroom sessions, and a fiercely competitive boat-on-boat morning with Neil Harrison- the King of Starts – and his crew, the team finessed their racing skills to provide a serious challenge in the regatta.

The teams, 2 from RFBYC, and one from RPYC, FSC and HYC, were tested in all conditions from light fluky winds to a very solid sea breeze over 6 races. For the majority of races, HYC were competitive from the starting gun with well-timed starts and good speed and height. Sail trim was tweaked with constantly changing wind conditions. Spinnaker hoists were seamless with the first hoist taking only 15 seconds. They started the regatta with a 4th and then a 3rd in 10 knot breeze. An altercation with a barging boat at the start of the 3rd race left them stranded but they managed to salvage a 4th place. The wind then dropped significantly but perseverance and quick thinking, when the wind shifted 180 degrees, resulted in 2nd place in the 4th and 5th races to raucous cheers from the 3 HYC support boats.

Then the sea breeze kicked in with a vengeance. A slightly late start left HYC in last place, but good spinnaker work on the last leg saw them overtake the overall 1st place RFBYC, who had infringed, to get 4th.

Overall it was a gutsy challenge from HYC and the hard work leading up to the regatta showed in the professional way they prepared and raced. They can hold their heads high for a job well done.

Thanks to Coach Ian Conboy, who did not take this challenge lightly and was key to a cohesive team effort as well as providing the coach boat each week, Deborah Fisk who managed the team’s logistics and finances with business like efficiency and our various support crew including Greg, Des and Gary. Also thanks to HYC for the financial, boat and media support and lastly thanks to our dedicated family and fans who supported us through all the training and came to cheer us on the day.
Whip it sailing sisters!

Laura Wheeler (Helmsman)

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