Photography by Cruising Yacht Club Australia
The young team of Clare Costanzo, Emma May, Hannah Lanz, Amy Lee and Annie Scholten from Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club have won the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy’s 2017 Marinassess Women’s Match Racing Regatta over the weekend of 9 and 10 September.
Costanzo and her team defeated fellow RPA club mate Sarah Parker 3-1 in a variable 10 knot easterly breeze to clinch first place in the final. This followed wins in the round robin and in the semi-finals against CYCA’s Lauren Gallaway.
The finals racing was a step up from earlier competition, with more lead changes than course changes on Sunday.
Clare commented, “It was some good racing out there. Sarah and her team were really dominant in pre-starts early on. I think the reason we were able to get back to her in those races was because we just didn’t give up.”
Costanzo credits the RPAYC’s Youth Development Program with the club’s success.
“This is my first win as skipper at the Marinassess so it’s pretty exciting. I won two years ago as a crew, sailing with Sarah.
“Tommy Spithill has been running an intense training schedule at YD, and it’s great to see RPA go one and two in the regatta. Our squad numbers are almost 50% female, which is great for the sport.”
Considerable progress has seen improvement across the field, with practice and training producing real competiveness across the women’s teams.
“It was so good to see the newer teams improve over the weekend. To see how far they’ve come in the two days of racing was amazing,” Costanzo reflected.
“They were really giving us a run for our money, and can’t wait to see how much more they improve with more experience”.
In the petite final, it was RNZYS’s Celia Willison over Lauren Gallaway 2-0 in a best of three series.
In the fifth and sixth sail-off series between CYCA’s Jess Grimes and RSYS’s Charlotte Griffin, the two less experienced teams of the regatta had an almighty battle with each other, with Griffin claiming fifth place in the regatta 2-1.
The Marinassess Women’s Regatta was first sailed as a fleet racing regatta in 1996 and soon after became a match racing regatta. In the 18 years of this event, many strong women’s teams have developed, and their continued success is encouraging more women to take up the sport.