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7 March 2006, 10:29 am
Host Club Out To Regain Title
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Harken Women's International Match Racing Regatta 2006
Sydney, Australia

A late withdrawal by the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club team from Wellington, New Zealand, has provided an opportunity for the host Cruising Yacht Club of Australia to field three strong teams for the ISAF Grade 3 Harken Women's International Match Racing Regatta which commences this Wednesday 8 March in Sydney, Australia.
Conducted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) with the support of principle sponsor Harken, ten teams from France, New Zealand and Australia will gather in Sydney this week in a formidable line up which includes three of the top 20 from the ISAF World Match Race Rankings.

The CYCA's three teams were selected from the results of the recent Marinassess Women's Regatta with skippers Lucinda WHITTY (AUS), Hannah NATTRASS (AUS) and Sam BOYD (AUS) gaining selection to fly the host Club's burgee at the ISAF Grade 3 event.

The Big Guns

These three relatively unknown skippers will be doing their best to wrestle the trophy back from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC), but will have their work cut out for them against the defending champion Katie SPITHILL (AUS), currently ranked 19 in the world, fellow RPAYC sailor Nicky SOUTER (AUS), ranked 16, and French skipper Christelle PHILIPPE (FRA), the overriding favourite based on her world ranking of eleven.

New Zealand skipper Jess SMYTH, the current New Zealand Women's National Champion who is planning a match racing season in Europe this year, will be aiming to put her stamp on the final top three results while Western Australian skippers Adele FREAN and Jessica EASTWELL are determined to put up a strong challenge for their home state.

Racing Starts Thursday

Racing on board the CYCA's ten Elliott 6s will commence on Thursday 9 March in the Rushcutters Bay vicinity and Sydneysiders are invited to enjoy front row seats as the fast and furious competition heats up over the four day regatta from 9-12 March.

'Harken and the CYCA have shared a long history through our sponsorship of the Youth Sailing Academy and we are delighted to again extend our support of the Club and women in sailing by sponsoring this prestigious regatta and its world class line up,' said Peter HARKEN, President of Harken Yacht Equipment.

Harken Women's International Match Racing Regatta Entrants
(- ISAF World Match Race Ranking)

  • Christelle PHILIPPE (FRA) - 11
  • Nicky SOUTER (AUS) - 16
  • Katie SPITHILL (AUS) - 19
  • Jessica SMYTH (NZL) - 34
  • Nina CURTIS (AUS) - 40
  • Adele FREAN (AUS) - 78
  • Jessica EASTWELL (AUS) - 79
  • Sam BOYD (AUS) - 86
  • Hannah NATTRASS (AUS) - Not Ranked
  • Lucinda WHITTY (AUS) - Not Ranked
Lisa RATCLIFF (As Amended By ISAF). Image, The action in Sydney kicks off on Thursday:© Sailsportz
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