Synergy Launch to kick off 2017 Victorian Women’s Keelboat Regattas
by Rosie Colahan
The official launch of the Port Phillip Women's Championship Series and the Australian Women's Keelboat Series kicks off this Friday at the Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron at 6pm (arrive 6 for 6:30pm start). Special guest, Kate Lathouras, will be speaking on 'Building a Team for Success'. Tickets are free but registration required as finger food will be supplied.
The summer season of sailing is hotting up for Victorian female keelboat sailors with the combined launch of the ‘Synergy Alliance’ bringing together all the major female keelboat events on Port Phillip – Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta (AWKR), Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series (PPWCS), Women in Sailing Challenge (WISC) and Brighton Lady Skipper Series (BLiSS) along with the recently announced Women’s Keelboat Training program.
Come and join us at Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron on Friday 10 February to celebrate this new step forward, hear about the latest developments and take in the first of the AWKR Lecture Series 2017, with Kate Lathouras presenting on ‘Building a Team for Success’.
Kate will be known to many as the Event Communications Officer for Australian Sailing organisation. Starting out in various training and sailing administration roles at Mandurah Offshore Fishing & Sailing Club (MOFSC) in WA, Kate moved to Victoria in 2015 to commence a Masters Degree in Business (Sports Management) and took up the role of Communications Manager at the former Yachting Victoria, moving to AS in 2016 with the establishment of the new structure.
Not only as a sports management professional, Kate has also achieved an enviable sailing pedigree. As a member of the Australian Sailing Squad 2013-14, she took out the 49erFX National Champion in 2013 and Australian Women’s Match Racing Champion in 2014. On the international stage, Kate has been a member of the Australian team competing in the Busan Women’s Match Racing Regatta, placing 2nd in 2014 and 2015 events and taking out 1st place in 2016. Her keelboat experience includes the 2011 Sydney to Hobart as crew on a Sydney 38, various Race Week achievements including Hamilton Island and Port Lincoln and offshore blue water miles including Hobart to Fremantle.
What drives Kate in her sailing career?
‘Being able to be on the water is great, I love racing and trying to do whateveris possible to make the boat go fast. I also love that new ways of ‘going fast’ are always being created so it pays off to think outside the box.’
As a team member of the Australian Women’s Match Racing Team, how do you ‘build a team for success’?
‘Everyone has something to give and it’s only how much YOU want something will determine how far you will get with it. Learn what you’re good at and what you like to do and trust yourself and others in the learning process.’
What keeps Kate engaged in the sport both professionally and recreationally?
‘Sailing is a great sport that involves not just a physical component but a mental element. You also acquire a great sense of community being involved – I love that.’
Reflecting on community, there is a palpable groundswell of support from Victorian keelboat owners responding positively to the recent AWKR Roadshow visits to the S80 Victorian Titles and the Festival of Sails to support female keelboat sailors. AWKR Chair Lynne Wilton reports on her visits.
‘Many skippers donned pink t-shirts emblazoned ‘AWKR Floats My Boat’ at these events and have already committed their boats for loan for female teams to compete in the AWKR and lead up events.’
‘The S80 Association has been outstanding over the last couple of years with provision of the AWKR S80 Fleet Trophy established in 2015 and support with eleven boats already committed for 2017. To acknowledge their ‘community’ spirit, the AWKR Committee in turn has provided a competition draw for a new S80 spinnaker for those owners committing to the loan of their boat at the state titles and will continue the prize of a boom cover for the boat owner of the best performed S80 in the 2017 AWKR fleet.’
‘Think Global - Act Local’. Globally, the spirit of the Volvo Ocean Race major rule change for the 2017-18 edition saw 2014-15 winning skipper and Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker comment ‘If female (offshore) sailors ever want to compete at the same level as the best in the world then they need to train and race with the best.’
Locally, with summer in full swing, it's time to get on board for a fabulous season of women’s keelboat sailing activities on Port Phillip, ripe with opportunity for learning, training and coaching, competitive racing and ‘communing’.
Join us for the Synergy Launch on Friday 10 February @ 6pm in the Harbour Room at RMYS. Bring along your friends, boat owners and mentors to meet your sailing community, experience the camaraderie and learn from the best. Dinner will be available after the launch so stay on and learn more about all the opportunities on offer and how to get involved.
See you there!
Book here now for the launch.
For further information about all events, click on the logos to take you to the websites.