The premier lady skippers race on Port Phillip Bay Melbourne Victoria is the Jennifer Goldsmith Memorial trophy – this year won by a J24 !
In memory of Jennifer, a keen sailor, all the entry fees were donated to Melanoma research.
The 2015 race in its 24th year, attracts Melbourne’s best female sailors from all the major keel boat clubs in the bay.
This year the race began in very light, sunny 34 degree (93.3 degrees fahrenheit) conditions, which quickly changed with the arrival of a southerly breeze reaching 12 knots, on what was a beautiful day for sailing.
Amongst a fleet of 30, the boat size ranged from 44 footers to the smallest, two J24s.
Despite their disadvantage in size, the J’s had crew members who had competed at the highest level with both boats representing Australia in the J worlds in Sweden in 2011 and Bruschetta VI also in the Dennis Conner International Yacht Club Challenge New York 2014. Hyperactive, skippered by Kirsty Harris with her all female crew and Bruschetta VI skippered by Pauliina Matilla with her male crew, excelled in the light conditions, picking the shifts and changes in the freshening breeze, this resulted in both being in the top 10 boats over the finish line. Hyperactive who had a AMS rating, won the AMS division, However the overall award was won by Bruschetta VI with Hyperactive second.
Pauliina Matilla, was awarded the Jennifer Goldsmith Memorial perpetual trophy and a beautiful Tiffany & Co necklace. Pauliina who lives and sails in Finland is currently working in Australia, explained during her acceptance that in Finland its -15 degrees with a maximum of 4 hours of light per day, a far cry from the sun drenched shores of Port Phillip Bay.
The J24’s excelled against the competition, taking the major and divisional trophies, the class has a strong local fleet of 20 active boats with the current and past Australian Champions amongst it. J24 has experienced a regrowth in Australia and with results like these it will only encourage more to take up J sailing. The full story can be read on “Sail World.Com/ Port Phillip women’s championship series- love a southerly”.
From Hugo Ottaway