Cahalan and Parker | Photo by Andrea Francolini

OFFSHORE SUMMER 2023/2024 | Women of the 2023 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

The 2023 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race set records for women’s involvement and achievements. 

The 78th running of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race featured 103 starting yachts and 1,016 sailors. Of the 103 entrants, 10 were owned or skippered by women, and 121 crew were women. 

Women have been racing in the Sydney Hobart since 1946. In the second instalment of the race, Jane Tate became the first woman to complete the 628 nautical mile event. In 1975, the first all women crew raced onboard Barbarian, led by Vicki Willman. 

The 2023 Rolex Sydney Hobart set the latest record for number of entrants owned or skippered by women, up from nine in 2022 and three in 2018. 

On 31 December, Vanessa Dudley sailed into history, becoming the third woman to sail 25 Sydney Hobart races, after Adrienne Cahalan in 2017 and Felicity Nelson in 2021. 

Adrienne Cahalan sailed her 31st race this year, earning her third Tattersall Cup as Navigator, this year onboard Tasmanian yacht Alive

Parker at her Navigator Station | Photo by Andrea Francolini

Alice Parker of URM Group navigated the yacht into second place for the Tattersall Cup and won the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore. 

Price, Parker and Nelson speaking at the ‘Women in Sailing’ night in the Rolex Sydney Race Village | Photo by Ashley Dart

Before the Boxing Day kick-off, the Rolex Sydney Race Village celebrated ‘Women in Sailing’ with an evening discussing the triumphs of women in various sectors of the sailing world. Hosted by Olympian and SailGP commentator Lisa Darmanin, the panel featured yacht owner and racer, Felicity Nelson, navigator, Alice Parker, and Olympian, Olivia Price. 

This March, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, whose management team includes a female CEO, Sailing Manager, Administration Manager and Membership Manager, will be hosting another spectacular evening to celebrate women, on International Women’s Day. Come down to the club at 1730 hours for an evening sail on the Elliott 7’s, no sailing experience necessary. Sailors will be joined by a coach from our Youth Sailing Academy. Following sailing, cocktails will be open to all at the Clubhouse at 1900 hours. 

Lisa Darmanin, Olivia Price, Felicity Nelson, and Alice Parker | Photo by Ashley Dart

Currawong sails out the Sydney Heads during the Boxing Day start of the 2023 RSHYR as the only all-women entrant in the 78th race | Photo by Salty Dingo

Liesanne Zijlker on-board Ocean Crusaders J-Bird. Photo: Salty Dingo.

Vanessa Dudley earns her 25th Sydney Hobart accolade. Photo: Ashley Dart.

Deborah Wallace, Mary Ann Harvey, Annika Thomson, and Katrina Prince. Photo: Ashley Dart.

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