Hugo Ottaway, ‘Mr J24’ and long time champion of introducing the fairer sex to sailing and J24s in particular put a team together in his own J24 recently to compete in the Women in Sailing Regatta held at Sandringham on 26th Feb.
Here is his story:
Despite only one J 24 entry in the SYC Women in sailing regatta 2017, the result sheet was full of our J girls winning every division and 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the Doris Little Memorial Perpetual Trophy. Amongst the entries were Krystal Weir, dual Olympic representative, Kirsty Harris, competitor at the 2013 J24 World Championship in Sweden and Sophie Cisek, Volvo Round the World competitor and 2016 Victorian Female Sailor of the Year.
The regatta was sailed over 4 heats on Port Phillip Bay in ideal conditions with sunny skies and a breeze that freshened to 12 knots. J24 Bruschetta VI won the AMS division and placed 3rd in the Doris Little PHS trophy sailed by a mixture of girls from our Sandy J fleet, skipper Madeline Linton (Jet) Trim Pauliina Mattila ( Bruschetta VI) Kirby O’Brien and Maria Vasardani ( both from Kicking).
Kirsty Harris and her crew from J24 ‘Hyperactive’ sailed a modified Adams 10 to win IRC and come second in the Doris Little PHS trophy and Janet Dean, Past Commodore of RMYS and owner of Adams 10 ‘Jungle Juice’ and crew member on J24 Kicking, winner of the Doris Little perpetual trophy and PHS division. There were also many other J sailor amongst the competitors.
The talent amongst our J24 female sailors, has risen to a point where they have repeatedly won almost all the Women’s sailing in Victoria over the past few years, the number of women sailing J’s has risen to 30% + of our overall crew group, with the class is fostering growth in this area. These results are a reminder of the strength and depth of talent of our female J 24 sailors, well done girls, you make us proud.