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Sally Garrett 2020 - Melinda Henshaw - 2020 NZ Womens Keelboat Nationals © Andrew Delves/RNZYS
Sally Garrett 2020 - Melinda Henshaw - 2020 NZ Womens Keelboat Nationals © Andrew Delves/RNZYS

NZ Womens Keelboat Nationals

Eight all female teams are locked in and ready to race at this weekend’s always hotly contested Barfoot & Thompson NZ Women’s Keelboat National Championship hosted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Headlining the entry list is defending champion Karleen Dixon and her experienced crew. Dixon came out on top in 2020 to win her sixth title after an intense weekend of racing in strong breeze, and she will not doubt be aiming to make it seven this weekend.

Another experienced sailor in this event, and on the entry list again this weekend, is Melinda Henshaw. Henshaw made it a hat-trick of second place finishes last year after also finishing runner up in 2018 & 2019, so she will be doing her utmost to go one better this time around.

Megan Thomson 2020 - Melinda Henshaw - 2020 NZ Womens Keelboat Nationals - photo © Andrew Delves/RNZYS
Megan Thomson 2020 – Melinda Henshaw – 2020 NZ Womens Keelboat Nationals – photo © Andrew Delves/RNZYS

2019 champion Sally Garrett will also be back for another crack. Garrett had tried to win this event for twenty years before claiming her maiden title in 2019 and will be hoping it only takes two years between drinks before notching up her second.

Megan Thomson and her RNZYS Performance Programme 2.0 Racing Team finished one point off third last year, so at the least will be hoping to give the older teams a run for their money and push onto the podium in 2021.

Melinda Henshaw - 2020 NZ Womens Keelboat Nationals - photo © Andrew Delves/RNZYS
Melinda Henshaw – 2020 NZ Womens Keelboat Nationals – photo © Andrew Delves/RNZYS

The other four entries who will be doing their best to push last year’s top four off their perch are: Sarah Reynolds, Jo Lowrey, Holly Farmer and Nuria Ferres.

Racing will be completed at Northern Leading in the MRX fleet. Racing will take place on Saturday and Sunday from 1025am, with up to six W/L races per day. The Race Management team will be led by Megan Kensington who has years of experience running this event and many others.

Karleen Dixon 2020 - Melinda Henshaw - 2020 NZ Womens Keelboat Nationals - photo © Andrew Delves/RNZYS
Karleen Dixon 2020 – Melinda Henshaw – 2020 NZ Womens Keelboat Nationals – photo © Andrew Delves/RNZYS

The early forecast is looking promising, with sunshine and 10-15knots of breeze set to provide perfect conditions for keelboat sailing.

Images and Video from the weekend will be available via the RNZYS Facebook Page fb.com/RNZYS , with results and race documents available via the RNZYS website rnzys.org.nz/rnzys-events/nz-womens-keelboat-champs

by Andrew Delves – RNZYS

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