Port Philip Women's Championship Series gets backing from sailors

Port Phillip Women's Championship Series (PPWCS) postcard - Port Phillip Women's Championship Series (PPWCS)
Alex McKinnon
The new Port Phillip Women's Championship Series (PPWCS) received approval from female sailors, club captains, commodores and sponsors attending the launch on 18th January at RMYS.

The Series - which is modelled on the successful Club Marine Series - combines five races run by keelboat clubs at the top of the Bay into one trophy event:

Race Day 1: 17th February
Jennifer Goldsmith Trophy

The Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron (RMYS) has run the traditional ‘Lady Skippers’ Race’ for over 25 years. It was re-branded in 2005, in memory of Jennifer Goldsmith, a keen sailor and past 'Yacht Club Member of the Year ‘at RMYS (the only female to date to win the award).

Race Day 2: 24th February
RYCV Trophy Race

Royal Yacht Club of Victoria (RYCV) has introduced a brand new fixture on their sailing calendar for 2013 in support of the PPWCS! Club Captain David Ellis, who attended the launch, said 'Great to see that PPWCS is following the proven successful model of the Club Marine Series. It provides our club with the opportunity to introduce a new trophy event to appropriately acknowledge our female sailors.'

Race Day 3: 7th April
Day 2 of the WISC Regatta

Taking on a new format this year, Sandringham Yacht Club's Women in Sailing Challenge (WISC) combines four training days as a lead up to a regatta. The training is a mixture of off-water theory and on-water practice, including topics such as boat handling, starting, spinnaker handling and mark rounding. WISC Day 2 will be scored as part of the PPWCS series.

Race Day 4: 21st April
HBYC Lady Skippers Race

Hobsons Bay Yacht Club (HBYC) Lady Skippers’ Race has been running since 1983, making it the oldest race of its kind on the bay! The club is also running six coaching sessions and a theory session in the run up to the race.

Race Day 5: 26th May
BLiSS Sunday Race

Royal Brighton Yacht Club (RBYC) has been running the rather glamorous Brighton Ladies Skipper Series (BLiSS) for the past three years, attracting over 30 female skippers. With a new major sponsor on board - Promenade Jewelers - this year's event promises to be just as glam! BLiSS's Sunday Race is the final race in the PPWCS.

While the helmsperson for all races of the series must be female, each individual race has its own rules for whether male crew are allowed and in what positions. The more female crew the merrier though, with one of the prizes being for the best-placed boat in performance handicap with more than 50% female crew for all races. Other prizes will be awarded for first, second and third placed boats in each of IRC, AMS and event performance handicap.

The Port Phillip Women's Championship Series Trophy will be engraved with the winners of each rating and handicap system (IRC, AMS, performance handicap) and will reside for the following season at the club of the winner of the rating system (IRC or AMS) with the greatest number of entrants for the series.

The Series was welcomed by an excited crowd!

'It’s a wonderful step in the right direction - connecting all the races for women into one big annual trophy.'
Maureen Dickins, HBYC

'The people here and the body language from the crowd says that there is a lot of buy in for this initiative. Having a women’s series in any sport is just as important as having a men’s series. When women see other women doing it, they think they can do it too!'
Fiona Boer, VicSport

'Fabulous initiative for opening new doors for women and girls who want to sail keelboats, and provides great networking opportunities between new sailors and those already sailing.'
Margie Neeson, RBYC

'Very impressed with the professionalism and participation of the clubs, and that it is mirroring the premier series on the bay, Club Marine Series.'
Kerry Watt, RYCV

'Because male members of crew are allowed on board, it provides a great opportunity for boat owners to see how female crew members handle their boat, before handing it over for the annual all-female Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta!.'
Sabina Rosser, RMYS

Women and Girls Sailing