High spirits in Ladies Day Race 2 of the Land Rover Winter Series

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  • NEWS
  • By Ross Macdonald
  • 13 Jun 2017 16:58:22
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Even the light breeze and drizzle couldn’t dampen spirits in Sunday’s Race 2 of Ladies Day as part of the Land Rover Winter Series on Sydney Harbour. The boats who managed to gain what little breeze there was returned home early as winners, with the wind dying off completely in what was a wet afternoon on the water.

Taking the top spot in Spinnaker Division 1 was Vento with Rhonda Carr at the helm of Walter Lewin’s Farr 400.

“I was very pleased with the result as I don’t have a lot of experience so was very grateful to Walter for the opportunity,” commented Carr. “The crew were the key to our success, they worked tirelessly throughout the race in what were difficult conditions. As the breeze died down towards the end things were very tight but we got the result and had a very happy team celebrating at the club.”

“It was fantastic to get out and helm the boat in Ladies Day as it’s not usually an opportunity I would get so thank you to the club for that one”

Coming in just 30 seconds after Vento in Spinnaker Division 1 was Wax Lyrical. Owner Les Goodridge was onboard as Louise Stephenson helmed the boat through the entire fleet after they started on 15 minutes.

“We had a magical run from the start down to the Garden Island mark where we overtook just about everyone,” commented Goodridge. “It was great as we’re not a racing boat as such. We managed to get into the lead and held from there until the last stretch which, in light winds, we lost out to Vento.”

Another notable result was in Non Spinnaker Division 2 where Kara Walter helmed John Hewitt’s Sea Ya to fourth place, just under ten minutes behind Divisional winners, Defiant.

While outside of the top three, the result was a particularly good one for Walter who has battled severe injury over many years to return to sailing.

Around the same time five years ago Walter was due to race in a CYCA Ladies Day race but fell two stories from her own roof on to concrete paving, breaking her back in multiple places. Over a period of a year she lay in a hospital bed, unable to walk and enduring five, eight hour operations.

Remarkably she walked out of hospital after 12 months and just this week, returned to racing at the CYCA to helm in the Land Rover Winter Series Ladies Day 2.

Walter commented, “It was really cold, very wet but fabulous for me. I was so nervous especially with the light winds but after a fairly challenging start we finally got going. It was wonderful to be given that opportunity to helm the boat in a race, after everything I’ve been through. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have been able to be out there. I wear a back brace and take painkillers – and I always will. Sailing such as I was at the weekend is a big ask on my body but if I allow myself to slow down then I worry that will be the end.”

Speaking on her aid work over the past few years Walter added, “My injury really put a lot of things into perspective for me. After recovering I felt the need to give back so did charity work in the Pacific which, amongst other things, saw me encouraging remote villagers to return to their seafaring and sailing roots. Helping people is a passion of mine and to combine that with my love for sailing was just fantastic.”

Other Divisional winners: Spinnaker Division 2– Mako (Cameron Wiklund); Non Spinnaker Division 1– Komodo (Jason King); Division 2 Non-spinnaker – Defiant (Jenni Hayward)

Full results can be found here: http://cyca.com.au/sysfile/downloads/2017_winter/index.htm

Kara Walter - Sea Ya Image:

Kara Walter - Sea Ya

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