Lady Liberty Regatta.

After our Ladies Day Race, an interesting and exciting invitation arrived from the Manhattan Yacht Club. RCYC had been cordially invited to send a team of ladies to compete in the annual Lady Liberty Regatta in New York Harbour on the 17th and 18th of September. It may be on the other side of the world and the deadline is a wee bit tight, but our ladies have taken the bit between their teeth and have started working to make it happen. After all, who wouldn’t want to sail in New York Harbour!

The purpose of the race, which was first held in 1989,  is to support and promote  women’s sailing by bringing together top women teams from across the world. Only twelve teams can participate in the Regatta, which will be raced according to the International Racing Rules of Sailing as adopted by US Sailing and modified by the Sailing Instructions. The Regatta is sponsored by the New York Harbour Sailing Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to foster and promote amateur sailing of national and international importance in New York Harbour.

Historically the regatta has drawn top sailors from across the USA, including Heidi Riddle (1985 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year), Hannah Swett (2003 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year), and Dawn Riley (youngest CEO of an America’s Cup Team and 1999 Rolex Yachtswoman).

The regatta will be raced on identical J/24 sailboats provided by Manhattan Yacht Club. The mainsails, genoas and jibs, plus sheets and all other equipment except spinnakers will be provided. Teams may bring their own J/24 Class spinnakers, but no other equipment may be brought aboard. The teams will also be rotating boats after each race.

According to Robyn Patrick the team is currently being selected from a pool of talented female sailors in and around Cape Town. The criteria for being selected includes endurance, strength, and tactical abilities, which are all needed to compete in such a prestigious regatta. The selection will be based off several training sessions, from where the most capable team will be selected.

“Every female being considered has a vast amount of sailing experience behind them such as the Olympics, Youth Worlds, and the Cape to Rio Race, as well as being competent individuals in their own careers, such as mechanical engineering, attorneys of law, business CEOs, and entrepreneurs,” she explained.

The ladies are super-excited and have started looking for sponsors in earnest. Elske Henderson said that Ullman Sails is the first sponsor to come onboard, having very kindly committed to supplying the spinnaker for the team. In addition, South African brand Veldskoen committed to sponsoring both financially and with branded kit. If you are keen to assist getting these ladies to New York, then please get in touch with Elske Henderson, Lynette Finlay or Heidi Burger.

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