For the first time since its inauguration in 2001, a female led all-women crew brilliantly captured the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s longstanding Hardy Cup Sydney International Match Racing Regatta trophy at the end of four days of intensecompetition on Sydney Harbour.
Finals day video https://youtu.be/4vNLWgv0vpM thanks to @mikemcloughlinmoments
Last year Clare Costanzo and her Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club teammates finished bridesmaids at the same event. On Thursday February 8, 2018 the RPAYC’s five-strong youth team beat George Anyon’s Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron team 3-0 in the finals, sailed 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.
Costanzo, Jess Angus, Hannah Lanz, Ruby Scholten and Celia Willison celebrated with a swim and some champagne then official photos before three of the five dashed to the airport for a 7.30pm flight to New Zealand, where training for the final youth match racing regatta in the series of three begins today, Friday 9 February.
“We’ll have to celebrate our win at the end of the next regatta, the Nespresso Cup,” the 21-year-old winning skipper said from the airport, flanked by Angus and Lanz and a change of teammates for New Zealand’s premier youth match racing event.
“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.
Spithill has spent the week on-water supporting his two RPAYC crews, the other helmed by Clare’s younger sister Juliet. Today he’s waking up in Auckland where he will coach and mentor two different teams fielded by his club for the Nespresso Youth International Match Racing Cup, February 9 - 13.