09 Feb 2018
For the first time since its inauguration in 2001, a female led all-women crew won the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s longstanding Hardy Cup Sydney International Match Racing Regatta trophy at the end of four days of intense competition on Sydney Harbour. Clare Costanzo (Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club) and her Click title to Read more.... team beat Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s George Anyon & team 3-0 in the finals, sailed in a fleet of identical Elliott 7 keelboats in 20+ knot nor’easters off the host club at Kirribilli. In doing so Costanzo broke an 18-year run of gun male skippers taking out the grade 3 youth event, and with an all-female crew. Speaking after their win Constanza commented “We were aiming for a podium finish; to win is amazing. The results are a credit to the crew, we won by out-sailing the boys in terms of our crew work. On the last morning we said to our coach Tom (Spithill), ‘where’s our motivational speech?’ and he said, ‘you don’t need it!’ “A big thank you to Tom, who never stopped believing in us, and the RSYS race management team,” Costanzo added.
“The result is huge for women in sport. This team proved how competitive they are both in terms of their match racing tactics and boat handling skills on the Elliott 7s,” the proud coach said of the ground-breaking Hardy Cup victory. Second was George Anyon (RNZYS) and third was Tom Grimes (CYCA).
RSYS Commodore Richard Chapman summarised: “The Hardy Cup sits at the end of the youth match racing summer calendar so the teams are well-practised and we’ve been privileged to watch first-rate competition all week. In Thursday’s finals we witnessed some of the best and closest match racing we have ever seen.It’s been an excellent regatta for top youth sailors but also for the less-experienced skippers such as Hayden Brown from Sandringham and the RNZYS’s Patrick Harris, who made it through to the semi-finals and pushed Clare all the way. It’s wonderful to see match racing return to favour; it’s a terrific discipline for both young sailors learning their craft and also the sailing stars of tomorrow who have America’s Cup ambitions,” the Commodore added. The next Hardy Cup Sydney International Match Racing Regatta will be held at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron from the 3rd to 7th of February 2019 in the fleet of Elliott 7 yachts . Watch the racing