Sailors to step outside comfort zone at Airlie Beach Race Week
A TEAM of nine women will step outside their comfort zones when they contest the Vision Surveys 25th annual Airlie Beach Race Week from August 8-15.
Schouten Passage’s skipper Jan Howard has entered the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club boat in the IRC Cruising division of this year’s celebratory event.
The crew of the Benteau 40.7 all have extensive offshore experience with about 39 SydneyHobart yacht races between them. Nonetheless, regatta racing is a new discipline for this team.
Howard also knows the team will face fierce competition in their respective division as they battle the windward-leeward courses and passage races.
As a result, the team is participating in an intensive training program in the lead up to race week.
Having an all-women crew is a passion for Howard and her friend Mary Holley.
Together these women have developed an informal women’s mentoring and training program at their home club, taking women out on their boats and teaching them the basics of sailing.
“Mary hung up her Sydney-Hobart boots last year after 16 Hobart races. Since she and I are not going to do Sydney-Hobarts anymore we wanted to do something at our local club level to try and encourage more women into sailing,” Howard said.
The Schouten Passage crew, which has an average age of mid-50’s, is made up of Jane Woodward, Anika Goninan, Jan Howard, Sa- rah Howard, Mary Holley, Sharon Lovell, Kris Anderson, Tracey Hanson and Maureen Rae.
On the sidelines for the regatta will be Howard’s most staunch supporter and husband Rob. The experienced helmsman is now looking for a position on an IRC racing boat.
The Notice of Race and online entry for this year’s nine divisions can be found at www.airlieraceweek.com.au.
GIRL POWER: The Schouten Passage crew, which has an average age of mid-50’s, is made up of Jane Woodward, Anika Goninan, Jan Howard, Sarah Howard, Mary Holley, Sharon Lovell, Kris Anderson, Tracey Hanson, Maureen Rae. Photo by Liam Faudree
CONTENDER: Schouten Passage will be contending the Vision Surveys 25th annual Airlie Beach Race Week from August 8-15.