Canadian 49er stud Tej Trevor Parekh sent in his nomination for Sailor Chicks of the Week; 3 teams of girl racers that are, most likely, quicker than you’ll ever be. Dig it, and check out what kind of song inspires a Canadian author to come up with a story title. Photo from Tej.
Last week, and for the first time since 2001, the 49er Class officially returned to Newport, RI. Newport is no stranger to the skiffs, having hosted the 1997 NA Champs when legends like the McKee brothers were duking it out with Morgan Larson and Kevin Hall, but it’s been a while since top- level 49er sailing has graced the Naragansett.
And here we had 16 teams from USA and Canada ready to do battle as last weekend opened for the amazingly well run Sail Newport Regatta. With the stars and stripes interspersed with flashes of red maple leaves zipping around, it might’ve looked a tiny bit like the War of 1812, but for one big difference: Three hot all-female teams showed up to make their mark on their own road to the next Olympics. Kristen Lane (promoter of all things 9er in the US) with Molly Carapiet; Lauren Laventure and CC Childers; and SA contributors Laura Borden and Laurie Bennett all came with various forms of 49er gear to show the boys that girls can play too.
Lane & Carapiet (fresh off some hardcore breeze training in The Gorge) showed up with a cut down carbon rig mainsail. Laventure & Childers used a full men’s style carbon rig, while the bravest and raddest Borden & Bennett used an old style aluminium/glass 49er rig. Each day we had five races in 9 to 13 knots under warm sunny skies. These were champagne conditions, but long days, even for the fittest of us. And the chicks ‘manned up’ and sailed hard all day, every day. In the end, KLane’s cut-down mainsail and extensive training helped her grab 10th place; quite respectable for her first real 49er event. The next even on the North American 49er circuit is the 2012 49er.CA Canadian Champs in Kingston, Ontario, where we expect more ladies to go for it.
And in August, the first 49er FX rigs (for the 2016 Olympic Women’s Skiff) will hit North America, and seven female teams will get their chance to showcase the new “Eve-Olution” in sailing. Full results from Newport here.