After the disappointing cancellation of the Helly Hansen Women’s Challenge at Manly in 2020, there was a strong fleet out on the water for Sunday’s running of the 2021 edition.
This was the final race of the Sydney Harbour Women’s Keelboat Series, wrapping up the inaugural four-race season across four clubs on Sydney Harbour.
Racing was conducted over two divisions using the PHS handicap and was split by a Female Helm subseries and an All-Female Crew subseries.
Despite the deep chocolate colour of the water – a legacy of last weekend’s major storms – the breeze filled in to a steady 12 knots plus with perfect timing as the race got under way in bright sunshine.
Leaving the startline off the Fairlight foreshore, the course took the 32 teams in various configurations to marks at South Head, Grotto Point and back to Manly, giving plenty of opportunity to test crew work for the Female Skipper and all Female Crews.
Justine Anson on the TP52 Smuggler took out line honours.
In the All-Female Crew section, Tracey Richardson and the crew onboard the Adams 10 No Friends took the Division 1 win from Corinne Feldmann and the crew on the MBD 41 The Banshee second and Pam Davis and crew on the Etchells Wildlife (MYC) third.
Division 2 was won by Wendy Tuck and her crew aboard the J/24 Pacatack while Jules Lawson and crew on the Force 24 Allsail/Aqualuna placed second and Robertina Varga and crew on the J/24 Innamincka was third.
In the Female Helm section, Division 1 victory went to Nicola Wakefield Evans on the Seaquest RP36 Whistling Kite with Smuggler second and the Azuree 46 Kayimai helmed by Liz Charles coming in third.
Division 2 was won by Johanna Adriannse on the Beneteau First 31.7 Pinta 11, while second went to Bridget Canham on the Payne 38 It Happens and third to Janette Syme on the J/24 Okavango Delta.
by Bow Caddy Media