Main photo: Tweedledums – Madeline Lyons TVSC, Monique Smith, Kate Ausburn, Susie Harte

Teams from around Queensland competed in the third annual Mooloolaba Women’s Keelboat Regatta over the last weekend in October, with former Olympian, Danielle Kennedy, skippering Team Bing Pot!, taking out the perpetual trophy.

Kennedy’s clear win was all the more remarkable as she and her crew (Emma-Karin Millers and Margaret Scott) had never sailed together before the event, and Millers is new to sailing. Second place went to Team We Meant To Do That  helmed by Sophie Honeyburne from NYRC and third place went to Team Social Distancing, helmed by Helen Wood of MYC.

The event was planned to run over three days, with social racing on the Friday allowing the away teams a chance to ‘acclimatise’ to the MYC’s Elliott 6 keelboats. Saturday saw a full day of competitive round robin racing in ideal conditions on the challenging Mooloola River short course, and Sunday’s Gold and Silver fleet finals were shaping up to be exciting sail-offs. However – while there was a valiant attempt to get racing underway – strong and gusty winds with a looming storm forced an abandonment.

“Despite being cut short, the event was a great experience for all the women sailors. Lots of fun, lots of learning – it’s wonderful to see and be a part of the collaborative yet competitive attitude shared by all the teams. And it’s great to see how the Mooloolaba Yacht Club’s Women’s Skills Development program has really paved the way for women to grow in the sport,” said Danielle Kennedy, who was a pioneering volunteer coach for the program before moving to Townsville in 2019.

“We’d like to thank all the participants and all the volunteers – from the organisers to the Race Committee to our sponsors and the friends and family members who offered skills and practical support. The MYC is hugely supportive of Women’s sailing and it’s thrilling to see our program growing so strongly. We look forward to next year when borders open and we can welcome more interstate teams,” said Tanya Kelly, MYC Commodore and skipper of Team Orange.

For the first time, the MYC recently elected women to both the Commodore and Vice-Commodore positions (though the Commodore position was previously held by Tracey Johnstone). The regatta has grown out of the Mooloolaba Yacht Club’s successful Women’s Skills Development program, which aims to promote pathways for women to build their racing, cruising and skippering skills in the traditionally male-dominated sport of sailing.

The 2021 Mooloolaba Women’s Keelboat Regatta was run in association with SheSails and sponsored by Next Property Group.

Final Results 2021 Mooloolaba Women’s Keelboat Regatta

1st :  Bingpot! – Danielle Kennedy CYCA, Emma-Karin Millers, Margaret Scott
2nd:  We Meant To Do That – Sophie Honeyburne NYRC, Lauren Clement, Tamra McFarlane, Julia Loginova
3rd:  Social Distancing – Helen Wood MYC, Kerri Smith, Kerry Lorimer
4th:  Team Orange – Tanya Kelly MYC, Kristie Hatch, Jasmine Mudie , Lea Van Dijk
5th:  NQ Girls – Tilley Pain TSC, Lynda Sawbridge, Jo Petersen
6th:  Wingin It – Lucy Osborne MYC, Ann Porter, Naomi Croft
7th:  Tweedledums – Madeline Lyons TVSC, Monique Smith, Kate Ausburn, Susie Harte
8th:  Sailabration – Christine Morrison RQYS, Rebecca Saunders, Catherine Davies, Tania Ryan