Teams Fanatic and Royal Northern & Clyde YC won IRC and BKL fleets respectively, with both results running to the final race at the thirteenth Dubarry Aquatech Women’s Open Keelboat Championship, which was held at the Royal Southern Yacht Club on the 16th and 17th July 2022.
This year’s event was combined with the British Keelboat League Women’s Championship for the second time and successfully attracted hundreds of female sailors across 19 teams for a weekend of competitive sailing in both IRC and BKL formats.
The event kicked off on the Friday with training slots for the BKL teams and several IRC teams fitting in a pre-event sail, followed by drinks and live music at the Royal Southern alongside registration, where teams collected wonderful WOKC goody bags filled with gifts from Dubarry, Salcombe Gin and Gill. Forecasts teased of wall-to-wall sunshine and 5-12 knot South-Westerlies, and teams were gearing up for a great weekend of tightly-fought Solent racing.
Shoreside, Saturday evening delivered the much-anticipated Salcombe Gin BBQ where sailors, family and friends were welcomed to the Royal Southern for the first post-Covid WOKC party. Over £1000 was raised for RNLI and Breast Cancer Care in the charity raffle thanks to many incredible donations made by local and sailing-centric businesses, and Lucy MacGregor, four-time women’s world match racing champion and 2012 Olympic helm, talked to the competitors about her story, sharing valuable insights and lessons learnt on the path to sailing success.
Despite the fleets being full of fatigue from a big day on the water, the dance floor was occupied till closing time; rumour has it Proclamations about how far everyone would walk were heard in the far reaches of Bursledon.
With light conditions on Saturday morning the IRC fleet were AP’ed to wait for a more solid breeze to fill in. Once some more stable breeze filled in the Race Committee got the IRC fleet off on two windward leeward races before ending the first day with a short round the cans that finished near the entrance to the Hamble River. It was Fanatic and Jagermaker that came out on top for the day with podium finishes for Lena Having’s Mrs Freckles and Royal Navy Sailing Association’s Cutlass.
Sunday brought perfect conditions – 10-16 knots from the South East and gorgeous sunshine. The IRC fleet started off the day with two windward leeward races before heading off on a slightly longer round the cans race. Sam Love’s team on Frank 3 won the day with 1,1,3 but it wasn’t enough after a mixed bag of results on Saturday. The real battle was between Fanatic and Team Jagermaker as they went into the last race of the weekend on equal points!
The winners of the 2022 Women’s Open Keelboat Championships were Fanatic, Cape 31, Josie Gliddon. Jagermaker, J111, Louise Makin, were second and Frank 3, Sam Love were third.
Full results: yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=15296
British Keelboat League Women’s Championship
Ten teams and five RS21s made up the 2022 British Keelboat League Women’s Championship, with the fleet featuring a number of star performers including a Bermudian 2016 Olympian, Southern RS Feva squad sailors and the 2021 BKL Women’s champions. No pressure!
Saturday’s racing started off light but quite quickly transformed into perfect conditions for tight short-course racing in the RS21s. As is usual for these #rockupandrace events, the day started with some “I’ve sailed an RS21 before” style winning from the RS team, RNCYC and Rutland Raiders, and over the course of the day the wins became more varied with RHADC, South Feva and Scorpion featuring more heavily on the ever-fleeting race podium. The day finished after Race 16, with team Scorpion finishing on a high.
It was all to play for going into Sunday, with bigger wind and a bit of chop putting more pressure on boat-handling, problem solving and front-of-the-boat skills. Conditions must have been reminiscent of 2021 as the fast-paced races of Sunday pushed last year’s top two, RNCYC helmed by Ali Morrish and Scorpion (previously Lymington) helmed by Catherine Maguire, back to the top of the table.
All teams were pushing hard until the end, with the overall winner being decided in the last race and on a tie break and only three points between third and sixth place.
After 30 races it was the Royal Northern and Clyde YC team of Ali Morrish, Emily Robertson, Anna Dobson and Catherine Martin-Jones who took the podium, with seven race wins to Scorpion’s six. Team Scorpion of Catherine Maguire, Vicky Lincoln, Ellie Pegg and Hannah Buchanan took second place with the Rutland Raiders team of Sarah Kemp, Fiona Tylecote, Alex Wilby and Felicity Sitton coming in third.
Full results: events.ksail.co.uk/2022/BKLWomens/DisplayResultsSummary.html
Wrapping up two great days on the water, both fleets landed on Den’s Deck at the Royal Southern YC for a refreshing shandy and prize-giving, featuring some wonderful goodies up for grabs from Dubarry, long term supporters of the Women’s Open Keelboat Championships. Although we are sad to round off another WOKC 2022 as we no longer get to look forward to it, we are already gearing up for WOKC 2023 and hope to see even more teams out on the water for it.
Watch this space for date information and more exciting details to come!
Event video: fb.watch/evNpjum29w
WOKC website: www.womensopenkeelboatchampionship.com
With enormous thanks to our amazing sponsors, Dubarry Aquatech and Salcombe Gin, as well as those who donated charity raffle prizes: Henri-Lloyd, The Bugle, Taste the Blue, RYA Racing Department, The Vital Spark, North Sails, SO31 Sailmakers, Pirate Pasties, The River Rat, Force 4, Sea Sky Design, Jenny’s Cafe, KSail, Royal Southern YC.