Bellissima' sailing for Race Day Four of Port Phillip Women's Championship Series

by PPWCS Media

Sunday saw the fourth race day of the Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series where 21 boats across two divisions joined the start line of the Shirley Freeman Lady Skippers Race and Bellissima Cup hosted by Hobsons Bay Yacht Club.

The late Shirley Freeman was Hobson Bay Yacht Club’s first female member and boat owner. She had a great racing career, winning many HBYC and other Club trophies. In addition to her sailing presence she was formally recognised for her public service with an Order of Australian medal in 1989. A stand up citizen and pioneer for Victorian women in sailing, this event aims to acknowledge the remarkable efforts of Shirley Freeman.

Sunday, April 2, brought a cool change to what has been a series of mainly warm air and calm seas. 15 to 20 knots of breeze from a South – Westerly direction kicked off the day's racing and ensured everyone rugged up but with great winds made for some great racing conditions. 

After a large left swing in breeze a postponement flag was hoisted and the fleet waited for the breeze direction to settle. Despite no change in start line the race began a short while later and the fleet began their windward/ leeward ‘round the sticks’ racing.

The fleet split in two, with some boats not taking advantage of the skewed start-line thus needing them to sail a fair distance past the mark. ‘Salamander III’ took advantage of the pin end bias, double tacked early and then sailed on lay for the remainder of the upwind. After such a well sailed race they won IRC and AMS and currently lead the series overall in AMS, IRC and PHS. 

‘3 ringed circus’ also sailed very well securing the win in PHS by thirty seconds. Skipper of '3 ring circus', Kerrie Goodal, explained their race,

“We had a really good start and sailed conservatively for three quarters of the first upwind. We then decided to upgrade to a number two jib and that made all the difference! We were able to point better and helped us on the downwind when we decided to hold off hoisting the spinnaker. We watched three or four yachts struggle with their kites and thought we would hold off as we weren’t losing much ground on those who were having trouble. About half way down we were comfortable so we hoist the kite and sailed a great downwind.”

She continued, “We’ve been the same crew for six years now and it’s always challenging when you swap positions but I’m very thankful that Ian (usual skipper) let me take the helm for the race. It would be great to have more women involved as it’s completely addictive!”

As they won the PHS division for HBYC they won the Lady Skippers Trophy and also received the Shirley Freeman Memorial Trophy for first PHS overall, having their names forever engraved in history.

Photo - Alex McKinnon Photography 

Also included in this regatta was the non- spinnaker division, aimed to encourage those Lady Skippers to sail in a race with a less competitive format, called the Bellissima Cup (for this race). Teresa Dowding, skippering ‘Javelin’ finished first over the line and also first on PHS by a solid 10 minutes (corrected time). Congratulations to all ladies who stepped up to sail in this race, some for the first time!

Royal Brighton Yacht Club will host the final day of the Port Phillip Women’s Championship Series with the Brighton Ladies Skippers Series (BLiSS Regatta). The regatta itself is being held from the 29 – 30 April but only the Sunday will count towards the overall series score for the PPWCS.  

Overall scores for PPWCS:


  1. Salamander III – Monica Jones
  2. Outlaw – Maureen Dickins
  3. Tigris – Jan Fielding
  1. Salamander III – Monica Jones
  2. Wild Child – Marg Neeson
  3. Jungle Juice – Celia Dymond
YV Performance Handicapping
  1. Salamander III – Monica Jones
  2. Wild Child – Marg Neeson
  3. Jungle Juice – Celia Dymond

Click here for the overall results.
Click on the links for all results of the Shirley Freeman Trophy and Bellissima Cup.

For more information and to register visit the Women and Girls in Sailing website or their Facebook Page. 

Alex McKinnnon Photography - Click here for the photos 

Port Phillip Women's Championship Series Media


Comment Guidelines: The SportsTG Network is made up of players, families and passionate sports followers like you who have a strong opinion about sport. That's great - we want you to have your say and share your thoughts with the world. However, we have a few rules that you must follow to keep it fun for all. Please don't be rude, abusive, swear or vilify others. Apart from some pretty serious sport sanctions, we also can ban you and report you if things get out of hand. So play fair and have fun, and thanks for your contribution.

Women and Girls in Sailing

Aust Yachting

Photo Gallery