Women's Open Keelboat Championship

STOP PRESS 9 June - WON BY A QUARTER TONNER!!

2008 will see the inaugural Women's Open Keelboat Championship hosted on the 7th and 8th June by the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble.  The new event aims to attract female sailors to a weekend of high quality racing on the Solent in a range of keelboats.  The Women's Open Keelboat Championship is a girls' weekend for sailors - a fun, convenient, testing and memorable regatta, run by women for women. The crews will be 100% women. The men will be on the committee boat, driving ribs (shouting instructions) and in the bar for the party afterwards.

The event will deliver top quality racing in one of the world's most famous sailing venues, accommodating a range of experience and age groups across key one design and handicap fleets.  The aim is to provide a format which is not currently available on the Solent racing calender.  The shore side party will be equally memorable - an evening of 'frocks and flipflops' which sums up the attitude of most female sailors well.

There has been a high level of interest shown in the event. The 'register interest' section of the website has received an extensive range of emails from women who have already organised a boat with an all female crew and are ready to go, to women who usually race on predominantly male crewed boats and are looking to join up with others. In addition, the team have been contacted by a girl in Normandy who hopes to bring a  French all female crew. There are numerous corporate, works and charter teams hoping to enter and several boats plan to come up to Hamble from Plymouth and Lymington in order to take part then stay for the IRC Championship the following weekend.  The boats have included everything from Beneteau 40.7's through to Skud 18s and local one design XOD's, with a range of sports boats and at least one quarter tonner.  This is being monitored carefully and the organisers are liaising with the race management in order to plan the best racing possible for all the boats that enter.

The NOR will be published in February and in the meantime, there is a crew/boat pool web page so that arrangements can start to be made.

For further information - www.wokc.co.uk