Yet again Estate Master became an All Female crew in a Ladies Day. This time it was the CYCA’s turn and the team was decked out in their Harken Shirts. The crew were Fiona on Bow (borrowed from Easy Tiger), Jen and Natasha on Mast, Our lovely boat owner – Lisa Hill in the Pitt, Julie, Cheryl and Stacey on Trim, Special guest Tina had the task of pulling the kite in, Tiffany on Mainsheet. With the Team Harken Members Katie on Tactics and Melissa doing the driving.
If you had of seen the amount of food and drink put onboard by Lisa and topped up by the crew you would of thought Southport was starting a week early. With the crew shirts handed out before we left the marina we headed out to do what we thought would be a few Kite hoists to get it right. On the way out of Middle Harbour we had a 470 with Sarah Wilmot at the helm aim for us and tell us she would see us out on the race track as she was on her way back to the club to join the All Female crew on board another Sydney 38, Zen.
We decided to head around to the main Harbour to do the training where we would be racing. The team were given a quick talk by Katie about keeping the noise down during the race. Females can talk after all; they seemed to listen as the noise level from the rail was very quiet. The first hoist went perfectly, we did gybe after gybe and the kite remained set. Time for the drop, down it came. Do we need to do that again? Why don’t we go and pick up our special guest off Mel’s boat Animus. With great skill the boats came along side each other so that Tina could jump onboard and join the crew. Ok then time for some Lunch and for Mel to hand the helm over to Katie for a break. Out came the Sushi with plenty of choice for the crew.
Before the start we had many entertaining moments as the boats around us realized we were all female. Including one boat asking us to come back as we tacked away from them and another putting the hand to throttle in case we got too close.
We were one of the last two Sydney 38’s to start with the other all female crew starting 5mins in front.
As we were running down hill we came across the Photographers ‘That is a great shot, wait, there all female on that boat. Even Better…Hold on they are setting up for a peel. Oh this is going to be good!’ We were all laughing whilst listening to what was coming from the photography boat. We ended up not doing the peel as it was decided it was not needed. It was nice to know we could have done it if needed.
Tiffany yet again proved that she could eat more than her body weight when doing the mainsheet on a Sydney 38, asking for more sushi during the race. It was during this time that Austmark tried to get through us to windward then to leeward and so on. They eventually got through us so we could sit on their stern wave for a short time. On the last down wind Lisa came up on deck with Chocolate and Snakes. I do believe there were 10 other females who were very happy to see this at the time. Julie even stopped winding on the kite when she dropped her snake.
As we went around the bottom mark the last time with the Farr 40 Black Snake and Ginger (Swan 45), Katie and Mel made the decision to go the other side of Clark Island, which was a big call but paid off. It took a little bit of convincing ourselves that we really could do that and take the risk.
We managed to pick off each of the Sydney 38’s one by one until there was only Next remaining. They started 5mins in front of us and we were only able to get within a minute of them. Estate Master was the fastest Sydney 38 by over 4mins, a great effort by the entire team.
On the way back to MHYC the motor was turned on so that we could pack up the boat. Once this was done we had the chance to pull out the Champagne, Dips and Biscuits to celebrate another great sail. It was then we had to work out who was going in what vehicle to get to the CYCA to have a few drinks with our fellow competitors.