The weather was ideal for the Helly Hansen Women’s Challenge, with light ESE winds and a cloudy but rain-free sky. Bruce and Pam Davis once again managed the race aboard Carlisle however battery issues with Charlie’s Chariot meant that Warwick, Jim and John used Robbie R to lay the marks for the race and shepherd the boats around the course. Official photographer Marg was also on board to capture all the action.

The first race saw Black Swan sailed by Jackie and Caroline lead out on port tack on a wind shift, however Ralph Newman, sailed by Sophie and Ros managed to round the top mark just ahead, followed by Helene and Clare in Alex Martin. Then followed Nola and Eli in Eli D, Catherine and Savannah in Dolly Wallace, Jenny and Robyn in Woody and Lyn and Victoria in Vin. Ralph Newman finished first and Alex Martin managed to edge out Eli D for second place.

The second race was a repeat of the first, with Ralph Newman winning comfortably from Alex Martin with a very close 3rd place going to Eli D, just ahead of Black Swan, followed by Dolly Wallace, Woody and Vin who had some rigging issues.

This put Ralph Newman in an almost unbeatable position going into the last race and an intriguing situation between Eli D and Alex Martin, vying for second place overall.

Once again Ralph Newman lead throughout the race from the start. Unfortunately Alex Martin was caught in lighter winds and Eli D sailed with consistency to get third place in each of the three races. Vin came back from rigging issues to come a creditable second in this race, follows by Black Swan, Dolly Wallis and a disappointed Alex Martin. Unfortunately Woody lost her steering and had to withdraw from the race. Jim swapped with the racing team and sailed her back to the dock.

Following our BBQ lunch on the dock Sophie and Ros were awarded first place overall for the regatta, with a faultless performance, with Nola and Eli second overall and Helene and Clare in third place. Helly Hansen generously provided prizes for all winners, for which we are very grateful.

Special thanks to John W for organising such a fantastic day! Thanks to all the competitors, Bruce and Pam Davis, the support boat crew and all the onshore supporters, particularly Helen, Denis, Joe, Steve, the two Michaels, David and Ivan. Thanks also to Victoria for supplying the sausages and Hugo and Max for cooking them. The efforts of all our wonderful volunteers contributed to making the day such a success.

Images: Marg Fraser-Martin