Top Gun takes out Australian Women's Keelboat Regatta
'Regatta winner Top Gun (R363) Australian Women's Keelboat Regatta 2009' RYCV Media
Top Gun, skippered by Erin Peters and helmed by Anne Antrecht, is again the champion boat of the Australian Women's Keelboat Regatta, sailed on Melbourne's Port Phillip over the long weekend.
The well-sailed Adams 10 from the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria won all three handicap divisions, including taking first place on corrected time in five of the six heats under the international IRC handicap.
The Tasmanian crew, skippered by Hobart yachtswoman Dianne Barkas, sailed the chartered Sydney 38 Scarlet Runner to line honours in all six races, placing second place overall in the IRC division and third in the AMS division.
A fleet of 21 yachts, ranging from a Thompson 7 sports to an ocean racer and crewed by 150 women sailors from Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, contested the 19th regatta specifically for women conducted by the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron and sailed over windward/leeward courses at the top end of the bay.
Winds varied from a 5-8 knot northerly on the opening day to a gusty 18-25 knot westerly on the final day, described by Dianne Barkas as 'challenging'.
Top Gun and her Victorian crew sailed an almost faultless series, winning every race on IRC corrected time with the exception of the light and flukey race three in which they placed fourth.
Scarlet Runner was almost as consistent, leading the fleet home in every race, the crew showing excellent heavy weather sailing skills in carrying a shy spinnaker to the final of the final race, with the westerly gusting across the bay under leaden skies at 25 knots.
On corrected time, Scarlet Runner notched up four seconds, a third and a seventh place, and an excellent result for the women who come from three Hobart clubs, the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, Derwent Sailing Squadron and Bellerive Yacht Club.
Third overall in the IRC Division went to another Adams 10, Salamander III, skippered by Janet Dean from the host club, the RMYS. They won race three and scored a second, two thirds, a fourth and a fifth in the others.
Top Gun won the AMS Division with placings of 1-2-5-1-1-1, beating fellow RYCV entrant Nouanne, a Scampi 30 skippered by Tanya Stamford, which placed 5-1-1-4-4-4, third place overall going to Scarlet Runner, whose placings under this handicap system were 4-6-4-3-3-2.
The arbitrary PHS division produced wider results, with Top Gun not winning a race, but achieving overall success with generally consistent sailing, other than in race three. Her placings were 2-3-21-8-2-10.
Despite being disqualified from race six the Beneteau 35S5 Allegresse (Kathryn De Gris, Royal Brighton Yacht Club) placed second overall. Discarding this result, her placings were 17-4-3-6-3-22, to finish one point ahead of Meridian Passage, skippered by Alison Binks from RMYS whose placings were 3-6-1-19-10-13eq.
'It's been a marvellous regatta, with a wide variety of competition and weather conditions, but we managed to take line honours in all six races, although today was very challenging,' Dianne Barkas said after the last of three races on Monday.
'We were glad we had ten girls on board for the final race, with the wind freshening to 16-22 knots and while many boats elected not carry spinnakers, we were able to fly a small kite without any problems.'
'A lot of the girls did not carry spinnakers in the final race, but we handled a smaller kite well on the Sydney 38, although the finish was a very, very shy reach to the line,' Dianne added.
Scarlett Runner - Australian Women's Keelboat Regatta - RVYC media