Women will feature strongly at this year’s Heaven Can Wait Charity Dinner to be held at the Royal Motor Yacht Club (RMYC) Toronto on Friday February 21. The dinner – like the Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta, is a fund raiser for the Hunter Branch of Cancer Council NSW and their Home Help Program.

‘We have traditionally had local sailing talent as guests at the Charity Dinner and our guests this year continue in that vein’ said Mel Steiner – Vice Commodore at RMYC Toronto. ‘The club would like to see more women sailing and we hope the guests at this year’s dinner will encourage greater female participation in the sport’ he said.  

Guests at the dinner will be interviewed by Helene O’Neil – well known Sports Commentator from ABC Newcastle. The guests to be interviewed are:

  • Jan Howard has 14 Hobart Races (1979 – 2006) to her credit. She – along with Mary Holley (16 Hobart Races to her credit), started the ‘She Sails’ program at Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club (NCYC) and won the inaugural Australian Sailing ‘She Sails’ award in 2019. Jan has put together a panel of women – three of whom have just done their first Hobart Race.
  • Peta Norris has sailed with RMYC Toronto and NCYC and progressed from lake sailing to offshore races such as Sydney to Gold Coast Race 2019. In 2019, Peta completed her first Sydney to Hobart on ‘Copernicus’. 
  • Courtney Smith is one of the young Sailing Academy Instructors. She has come up through the Youth Program and also sails dinghies (VS’s) from Teralba Sailing Club. In 2019, Courtney completed her first Sydney to Hobart on ‘Frantic’ – a TP 52, after doing the 2019 Sydney – Gold Coast race with them.
  • Jacqueline Ellis is the NCYC Sailing Academy Manager and former World Laser Radial Champion. In 2019 Jacqui was awarded the prestigious Barrenjoey Pin for her success as an Australian representative at multiple Laser Radial Worlds, claiming two Gold medals, a Silver and Bronze between 1988 and 1996.
  • Rebecca Connor is from NCYC and is owner and skipper of ‘Wonderland’ – a Beneteau 47. Rebecca is quite new to ocean racing and in 2019 completed her first Sydney to Hobart.

In reviewing the guest list, Mel said ‘This is a great line up of women sailors, so if any of the women in our community are interested in knowing what inspires these women to sail and how they handle mixing it with the guys, they need to be at the dinner’.

Tickets for the Heaven Can Wait Charity Dinner can be booked on-line at https://www.trybooking.com/BHRKA 

More information on the Charity Dinner and the Heaven Can Wait Regatta can be found at www.heavencanwait.com.au or www.rmyctoronto.com.au/heaven-can-wait.