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Sydney to Hobart All Female Crews
Girls Tackle Hobart Race: Daily Telegraph Dec 4, 1975
WoW 1992 Crew: Photo Don Stephens - Click of picture to view names
WOW 1993 Crew Photo Image Point Hobart
1994 WOW Crew Photo
Mortgage Choice Crew photo - standing - Angie Crafer, Simone Hill, Caroline Paterson, Judy Micklewright, Val, Rachael Crompton. Seated - Gai Bristow and Amanda Wilmot (skipper)
1994 Qantas NZ - Skipper Gayle Melrose

Sydney to Hobart All Female Crews



Below is a list the history of all female crews on the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
No. Year Boat Other Name Club Sail No. Skipper Navigator Crew/Notes
1 1975 Barbarian Barbarian MHYC MH260 Vicky Willman Sheila Beach Helen Neville, Ruth Reinhardt, Narelle Cox, Nancy Shaw and Lesley Brydon.
2 1989 Belles Long Ranger  Otago CYCA 1170 Christine Evans (WoW) Beth Higgs (2) Women on Water Syndicate - Kathy Veel (1), Kate Holz, Donna Sykes, Ros Lewis (2), Jenny Gillott, Kerry Goudge (2), Linley Eagle, Maria Hudson, Karen Naylor
3 1992 Ella Bache Beyond Thunderdome MHYC 5500 Adrienne Cahalan (2) Vanessa Dudley (3), Amanda Wilmot (2), Cathy Hawkins, Lindsay Marwood(3), Lindy Hardcastle, Teresa Michelle, Sue Crafer, Amanda Swan, Amanda Alyard, Suzie Allsop (Jones), Amanda Unknown, 
3 1992 Nadia IV Nadia IV RSYS 4040 Kerry Goudge (4) (WoW) Kathy Veel (2), Donna Sykes (1), Cecilia Caffery,  Linley Eagle (1), Wendy O'Neill, Gayle Melrose, Ros Lewis (3), Beth Higgs (3), Karen Ewels, Ruth Jones, Anne Carr. 
5 1993 Telecom MobileNet  Nadia IV CYCA 4040 Kerry Goudge (5) (WoW) Janet Torney, Cecilia Caffery (1), Anne Carr (1), Cathy Josling (2), Karen Ewels (1), Magda Kotecki (2), Julie Gribble, Bev Ryrie, Bridget Canhan, Wendy O'Neill (1), Anne Sherry, Gayle Melrose (1)
6 1994 Telecom MobileNet  Nadia IV CYCA 4040 Kerry Goudge (6) (WoW) Janet Torney (1), Bridget Canhan (1), Cecilia Caffery (2), Wendy O'Neill (2), Julie Gribble (1), Anne Carr (2), Karen Ewels (2), Cathy Josling (3), Magda Kotecki (3), Jenni Neary (1), Miranda Merron, Nicole Claringbold
6 1994 Brightstone, NZL RNZYS NZL 83 Teresa Borrell Catherine Ormrod, Janet Thompson, Carla Bennett, Barbara Tupp, Leith Mossman, Kelly Johnson, Gail Scoffin,  Annie Taylor, Sheryl Smith
6 1994 Qantas NZ Outward Bound BBYC NZL 4525 Gayle Melrose (2) Kym Melrose (Daughter 18), Heather Lidgard (5), Leah Newbold (now Fanstone), Barbara Milton, Keryn McMaster, Anne Gamble, Judy Van Prehn, Nicky Hansen, Joy Adams, Natalie Hunter  
9 1995 WOW Nortel Nadia IV CYCA 4040 Kerry Goudge (7) (WoW) Beth Higgs (4), Veronica Strachan (1), Melanie Scott,  Sophie Hunt, Megan Taylor, Maureen Dobson (1), Keir Loughan, Trish Hancock, Abby Parkes, Georgina Dewar.
10 1995 Mortgage Choice Cape Fear CYCA 5406 Amanda Wilmot (7) Angie Crafer, Simone Hill, Caroline Paterson (1), Judy Micklewright (3), Valery Nullet, Rachael Crompton, Gai Bristow (1)     
11 2001 Amer Sports Too Costa Smeralda Lisa McDonald (USA/GBR) Genevieve White (AUS) Katie Pettibone (USA), Emma Westmacott (GBR/AUS), Anna Drougge (SWE), Sharon Ferris (NZL), Keryn Henderson (NZL), Abigail Seager (GBR), Bridget Suckling (NZL), Klaartje Zuiderbaan (NED), Liz Wardley (AUS), Carolijn Brouwer (NED), Willemien Van Hoeve (NED/IRE)
12 2017 Climate Action Now CYCA N11 Lisa Blair Libby Greenhalgh Carina Becker, Allie Gray, Kas Young, Alexandra South, Alison Kent, E Draper 
13 2018 Wild Oats X HIYC 7001 Stacey Jackson (11) Elizabeth Greenhalgh (1 Bianca Cook, Carolijn Brouwer (1), Denise Caffari (1), Faraday Rosenberg, Jade Cole (7), Katie Pellew, Katie Pettibone (2), Keryn McMaster (3), Sarah Crawford, Sophie Ciszek (5), Vanessa Dudley (22)


  1. Seventy-five years ago come December, two daring women took part in the second running of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, paving the way for other women to contest the 628 nautical mile race in a sport that was considered a 'man's domain'.

    There were 19 starters in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's (CYCA) 1946 race. Tasmanian Jane 'Jenny' Tate sailed aboard Active, owned by her husband Horrie, while Dagmar O'Brien was aboard husband Brian's yacht Connella, which ultimately retired. When Active finished eighth overall, Tate went down in history as the first female to start and finish the race.

    To honour her achievement, the Jane Tate Memorial Trophy was struck in time for the 50th race in 1994. It is presented each year to the first female skipper to finish the race. In 1994 Teresa Borrell, skipper of the yacht Brightstone from New Zealand, was honoured as the first to have her name engraved on the trophy.  

  2. In 1985, Sue Bowly put together all-female crew together with a male skipper on a boat called, Hera of Hobart. But the sails ripped and Wikipedia reports that they repaired the sails on the Navy's sewing machine at Jervis Bay, and carried on to Hobart, but were no longer in competition.
  3. In 2011, Jessica Watson, known for her solo unassisted sail around the world at age 16, skippered the Sydney Hobart yacht race with a crew of six other young Australians and three Britons all aged 21 or under, making them the youngest ever women crew to compete in the blue water classic.
  4. In 2018, skippered by Stacey Jackson, Ocean Respect Racing (on Wild Oats X) became the first fully professional all women's crew to compete in the Sydney Hobart. This Note is questionable as Amer Sports Too was really the first fully professional crew. This was pointed out to me.
  5. In 1996, Adrienne Cahalan on Ella Racing was and was and unofficial entry starting 5 minutes before the fleet.

  6. In total, over a thousand women have taken part in the race.

1975 Barbarian

In 1975, Vicky Willman skippered the first all female crew to Hobart on Barbarian MH206. It was in the time that it was hard for females to find a boat to go ocean racing on, so Vicky Willman decided to charter a boat and take along the all-female crew. Click on the Barbarian link to find out more about their adventures.

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2021 

1989 Belles Long Ranger (Otago) 

Originally sailed as Ragamuffin as a member of the winning Australian teams in 1979 Admirals Cup and 1980 Clippers Cup, and more recently as Otago (owned by Bill Allen), this 46-footer has been chartered by Women on Water syndicate and will be sailed to Hobart by an experienced all-women crew, headed by skipper Christine Evans. They are only the second all women crew to sail on the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.



Women out to make Waves 

By Amanda Lulham (Daily Telegraph Oct 1st 1989)

AN all-female crew sailing a borrowed boat will take on Australia's top long-ocean sailors in the NorTel Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race starting on Boxing Day.

Women on Water (WOW), a Sydney-based group of yachtswomen, has been training on chartered boats for the past 10 months in preparation for their assault on the 680-nautical mile race.

But the WOW crew were without sponsorship or a vessel until approached by Belles Helicopters last week and will now campaign Bill Allen's Petersen 46 Otago in the race.

 "We were getting very anxious that nothing was on the horizon then everything suddenly fell into place," co-skipper Christine Evans said yesterday. "We can now begin intensive training for the race, complete some twilight races and put in some overnight offshore work."


The yacht, renamed Belles Helicopters for the Sydney to Hobart, was formerly owned by veteran sailor Syd Fischer and was his fifth Ragamuffin.

Belles Helicopters will race in the new IMS division for older IOR yachts and purpose built cruiser-racers.

"We think we can be very competitive in the IMS division if not win it," Evans said. 

1992 Ella Bache (Beyond Thunderdome) 

Ella Bache Crew: Top row from left-???, Vanessa Dudley, Lindy Hardcastle, Lindsay Marwood, Amanda ??? , Cathy Hawkins, Middle Row- ????, Sue Crafer, Bottom row - ????, Adrienne Cahalan, Amanda Swan, Amanda Wilmot

Chartered by 18' Skiff Champion Adrienne Cahalan, This yacht is better know as Beyond Thunderdome. Also sailing under charter, the One Tonner was a member of the UK winning team in the '89 Southern Cross and the winning Irish team in the '91, failing to start in the Hobart race after loosing her mast. Also a member of the winning Australian team in the '88 Kenward Cup, she will be sailed by a very experience all female crew including Vanessa Dudley and Amanda Wilmot.





Pipped at the Post

Manly Daily 1992 - Picture of all-women's boat Elle  Bache

Other Articles

Attached are articles found on Ella Bache and Hobart challenge

Cathy and Crew to take on Hobart Race
Top women in Sydney-Hobart Bid by Peter Campbell

1992 Nadia IV

WoW 1992 Crew: Photo Don Stephens - Click of picture to view names

From CYCA Program - 

Former CYCA Bluewater Champion, this yacht has been charted by the Women on Water (WoW) syndicate, headed by Kerry Goudge, and helped by experienced sailors Donna Sykes and Kathy Veel. These girls have been sailing together for quite some time, and should provide some good competition for Ella Bache, also sailing with an all girls crew. Nadia has not sailed to Hobart since 1990, when she finished 10th in Division.

Crew Photo

Back row L to R: Kathy Veel, Donna Sykes, Kerry Goudge, Ros Lewis, Linley Eagle, Beth Higgs, girl in sunglasses was not racing crew, Michelle Pippen

 Middle Row: Wendy O'Neill, Karen Ewels, Cecilia Caffery

 Bottom: Gayle Melrose, Ruth Jones and right in front is Anne Carr.


1993Telecom MobileNet (Nadia IV) 

WOW 1993 Crew Photo Image Point Hobart

In 1993, Kerry Goudge chartered Nadia IV again. They found a sponsor and she was called Telecom Mobilenet. 

From the 1993 Sydney to Hobart Race Program: The girls are back again this year chartering the same yacht (Farr 40, Nadia IV) and giving their all for the sponsor.  Kerry Goudge and crew opened a few eyes last year when they finished 20th overall and 5th in Division with a crew who hadn't sailed together at all and little lead up time for training. This time there has been plenty of practice and they are out to improve on last year's performance.

Wowing them on Water - MOSMAN DAILY, Thursday, December 16, 1993 

Manly Daily 16th Dec 1993
Manly Daily 16th Dec 1993


SAILING - a sport which has a tradition dating back to the early 1880s in Australia - has been considered the sport of men for a long, long time.

Slowly but surely, however women like Kerry Goudge, Cecilia Caffery and Magda Kotecki are rewriting the history books.

Kerry, Cecilia and Magda are just three of the 400 or so members of Women on Water, Australia's first national women's; sailing associate. The organisation which started in 1989 with three members, was awarded national recognition by Senator Rosemary Crowley, the Minister assisting the Prime Minister on the status of women, at Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron earlier this week.

WOW convenor Kerry Goudge described the launch of the national as-sociation as a "significant day for Australian women in sport, particularly in sailing".

Ms Goudge outlined the three objectives of WOW:

* To get more women of all ages involved in sailing.

* To develop and provide quality opportunities for women such as appropriate venues, training, regattas and the vital elements of networking.

*To provide opportunities and programs which encourage women to develop a long-term interest in sailing.

Ms Crowley said the formation of WOW as a national association was "another success for women and women's sport".

"Sport is a very import ant, indeed quintessential part of the Australian way of life, and it does contribute very much to our national identity," she said.

"I believe it's very important that women not be excluded from that definition of Australia's national identity."

Ms Crowley said although sailing had long been considered a "men-only" sport, it was interesting to note that 70 per cent of the crews taking part in this year's Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race would have at least one female member.

"It's true that [within the sport of sailing] women are not only battling to get the skills, to get the dollar sponsorship, to get the boat, to get the keel in the water, but also battling an attitude which says 'You really can't do it'.

"WOW has demonstrated it's how you do it that matters - that brain and technique are as important as brawn," Ms Crowley said.

Ms Goudge took advantage of Monday's ceremony to introduce the 13-member WOW team competing in this year's Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race which leaves Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day.

Kerry Goudge, Cecilia Caffery, Janet Torney, Bridget Canhan, Gail Melrose, Magda Kotecki, Karen Ewels, Wendy O'Neill, Anne Carr, Cathy Josling, Julie Gribble, Bev Ryrie and Anne Sherry have between them more than 40 years' sailing experience.

But for seven of the crew, this will be their first Sydney to Hobart.

Racing in Nadia 4 last year, the WOW team crossed the line after four days and four hours 5th in their division and 20th overall in their class.

Not a bad effort for their first assault on one of sailing's most gruelling and prestigious events.

This year, the crew will be racing in the same 40 ft boat which has been re­named the Telecom MobileNet in recognition of WOW's Telecom spon­sorship.

WoWs better Honed for Trip

RARING TO GO: Bev Ryrie (up mast) and crew-mates (from top) Julie Karen Eweles get set for the race of their lives. Sunday Telegraph - Story by Ananda Lulham

RESPLENDENT in their fluro-pink shirts, a group of Australia's top female sailors will join the predominately male fleet when it sets sail at 1pm today in the Sydney to Hobart.

After a notable performance last year, the Women on Water (WOW) crew will line-up with 108 other yachts for the start of Australia's premier Bluewater classic.

Farr 40 which the WOW crew sailed to Hobart last year for the first time.

Skippered by Kerry Goudge, the yacht finished 20th overall and fifth in its division.

Six of the crew from last year have again jumped aboard with other crew members hailing from Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and New Zealand.

"We've been doing a lot of crew training and I think we're a little more honed than last year," crewmate Cecilia Cassery said.

"Our aim just like everybody else is to go one better than the last race.''

Seventy per cent of the 108 yachts starting the 630nm voyage have a female sailor on board.

However, Telecom Mobilenet is the only all-female crew.

RARING TO GO: Bev Ryrie (up mast) and crew-mates (from top) Julie Karen Ewels get set for the race of their lives. 

Sisters of Mercy

Daily Telegraph 30 Dec 1993

All girl crew to the rescue
Daiily Telegraph Mirror 30th Dec 1993

Last Laugh to a Bruised Bureaucrat

By Kerry Wolfe - The Sunday Age 2nd Jan 1994, Page 2

To be made to text file

Sunday Age 2nd Jan 1994
Sunday Age 2nd Jan 1994

Other Images

The Mercury 1st Jan 1994
1993 WOW Work of Art
Canberra Times

1994 Telecom MobileNet  (Nadia IV)

1994 WOW Crew Photo

Again Kerry chartered Nadia IV, this time it was sponsored by Telecom Mobile Link or Telecom MobileNet. In the program it has Mobilenet, but in the results she is known as Mobile Link?

From the 1994 Sydney to Hobart Race Program: This race is the fourth Sydney-Hobart challenge by the Women on Water Association, and only the seventh time in the history of the race that an all female crew has raced. In last years gale force conditions they managed a 6th place overall under IOR and a fourth in division after going to the assistance of a yacht in trouble. They hope to improve their placings this year and the crew will remain virtually unchanged.

Kerry Goudge confirms the crew were Janet Torney (1), Bridget Canhan (1), Cecilia Caffery (2), Wendy O'Neill (2), Julie Gribble (1), Anne Carr (1), Karen Ewels (2), Cathy Josling (3), Magda Kotecki (3), Jenni Neary (1), Miranda Merron, Nicole Claringbold



Name Difference

In these 2 pictures, you can see the name difference - Kerry Goudge assures me it was Telecom MobileNet

1994 Brightstone, NZL

Brightstone crew after docking in Hobart. The crew are from back left Janet Thompson, Carla Bennett, Cath Ormrod, Barb Tupp, Leith row Kelly Johnson, Gail Scoffin, Teresa Borrell, Annie Taylor, Sheryl Smith

From the CYCA Program: Under a previous owner and when know as "Satanita II' this yacht competed in the 1971 Southern Cross Cup and Sydney to Hobart Race, which will now sail with an all female crew, headed by Teresa Borrell, the first all female crew from New Zealand to contest this race. Teresa and crew completed in the '93 Auckland to Suva race, placing first on handicap, second in PHRF and third in division IMS.

Teresa Borrell won the Jane Tate Memorial Trophy, a  trophy that goes to the first female skipper to finish.









1994 Qantas NZ

1994 Qantas NZ - Skipper Gayle Melrose

Well-raced Kiwi Gayle Melrose is bringing Outward Bound (renamed as Qantas NZ for the race) to enter its first Hobart. This is a well seasoned yacht having completed in the '82 Whitbread race winning Division C, then back to New Zealand after completing the race. She was then used for charter work in the islands for five years and recently returned from a Pacific cruise. Melrose did last year's Hobart with the women on Telecom MobileNet.

Gayle had an all female crew onboard. Gayle confirmed the following crew

Kym Melrose (Daughter 18), Heather Lidgard (5), Leah Newbold (now Fanstone), Barbara Milton, Keryn McMaster, Anne Gamble, Judy Van Prehn, Nicky Hansen, Joy Adams, Natalie Hunter  





1994 Qantas NZ - Skipper Gayle Melrose
1994 Qantas NZ - Skipper Gayle Melrose
1994 Qantas NZ - Skipper Gayle Melrose
1994 Qantas NZ - Skipper Gayle Melrose when she sailed on Telecom MobileNet
1994 Qantas NZ - Skipper Gayle Melrose

1995 WOW Nortel (Nadia IV)

This year Kerry charted the Farr 40 Nadia IV and they have a new sponsor. She was called WOW Nortel

 From the 1995 Sydney to Hobart Race Program: Same boat but an entirely different crew for Kerry Goudge and Women on Water Syndicate competing in the fifth Sydney to Hobart. Best result was a 6th overall and fourth in division under IOR in the gale force conditions of '93. Last year saw them in 19th overall in division, and this year will see a lot of sponsorship support for a range of women's sailing activities, from coaching to sponsorship of races.

Kerry I have nothing else here that I can find

1995 Mortgage Choice

Mortgage Choice Crew photo - standing - Angie Crafer, Simone Hill, Caroline Paterson, Judy Micklewright, Val, Rachael Crompton. Seated - Gai Bristow and Amanda Wilmot (skipper)

From the Sydney Hobart Program: All female crew headed by Amanda Wilmot, from the famous Wilmot sailing family. Amanda has steered in seven Sydney to Hobarts amongst other races. They've picked a boat boat (Autodesk Cape Fear) with top results including 2nd in division, '94 Sydney to Southport race, 1st in division '95 Sydney to Mooloolaba race.

Previous name and name on program is Autodesk Cape Fear


Mortgage Choice - Val, Gai Bristow, Rachael Crompton, Caroline Paterson, Simone Hill, Judy Micklewright and seated Amanda Wilmot.
Simone's souvenir hat from Telstra Mobilenet
Start of the 1995 Hobart Yacht race on Mortgage Choice
Rachael Crompton Sunday Telegraph 1995_12_17

Reunion Photos

Some of the crew are still sailing together today

Still racing together - in Auckland - Rachael Crompton, Amanda Wilmot, Caroline Paterson, Judy Micklewright, Simone Hill, Angie Crafer
Still racing together - in Auckland - Rachael Crompton, Amanda Wilmot, Caroline Paterson, Judy Micklewright, Simone Hill, Angie Crafer.

2001 Amer Sports Too

From the Sydney Hobart Program: The only all-women boat is the Volvo Ocean Race and in fact, the Sydney to Hobart race. Lisa McDonald sailed aboard EF Education in the 1997-1998 Whitbread Race, as did several other members of the crew. Navigator is Australian Genevieve White, an experience ocean racing sailor who has been granted leave from her training management position with the Australian Yachting Association. British born Emma Westmacott recently became an Australian citizen.

Actual members on board (from Genevieve White) were:

Lisa McDonald (USA/GBR) Skipper 

Genevieve White (AUS) Navigator 

Emma Westmacott (GBR/AUS) Watch Captain 

Katie Pettibone (USA) Watch Captain

Abigail Seager (GBR) Bow and Boat Captain

Anna Drougge (SWE) Trimmer and Sailmaker 

Bridget Suckling (NZL) Bow 

Keryn Henderson (NZL) Foredeck, Helm and Medic 

Sharon Ferris (NZL) Trimmer

Helm Klaartje Zuiderbaam (NED) Trimmer and Helm

Liz Wardley (AUS) Bow

Carolijn Brouwer (NED) Trimmer and Helm

Willemien Van Hoeve (NED/IRE) Trimmer/Weather

2017 Climate Action Now

From the CYCA Program: Lisa Blair sailed in the 2011/2012 Clipper Round the World, then took on the ITL Solo Tasman Challenge from New Zealand to Australia. She placed PHS 13th overall in her first Hobart (2015). At the time, her next goal was to be the first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica, solo, non-stop and unassisted, but Climate Action's mast broke in April, forcing her into Cape Town to repair. But she finished the task; first woman to circumnavigate Antarctica solo, crossing the Albany, WA finish at the end of July. She embarked on her epic journey as the recipient of the 2017 Australian Geographic Society Nancy Bird Walton Sponsorship, which supports ground-breaking projects led by women. She will race to Hobart with an all-female crew, including well-regard British meteorologist, Libby Greenhalgh, who navigated SCA in the last edition of the VOR.

Blair named her boat Climate Action Now to raise awareness of the environmental climate. It is the former Funnel-Web, originally owned by Ivan MacFadyen and Sibby Ilzhofer who contested the tough 2004 Sydney Hobart with it and finished 48th overall in a race where 59 finished and 57 retired. Blair purchased it in September 2015.

Antarctic sailing pioneer Lisa Blair focused on win for women in Sydney to Hobart yacht race - ABC News

2018 Wild Oats X

From the CYCA Program: An all-woman crew with the large majority having raced in the recent Volvo Ocean Race.  It's just her second Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race; but is no stranger to action.  Third in the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2010, second in Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race 2010, winner of Hamilton Island Race week 2005, line honours Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race 2007 and 2005 and more.  Finished last year's Race in 11th overall and fourth in her Division. Will no doubt be there, or thereabouts this year. In 2006, new member Dee Caffari became the first woman to sail single-handed around the world "the wrong way", westward against the prevailing wind and currents.

The 13-strong crew, led by Skipper Stacey Jackson and supported by team Ambassador the Honourable Julie Bishop MP, will race under the team name of 'Ocean Respect Racing', in partnership with 11th Hour Racing, an international organisation that promotes sustainability through sport. 

Crew: Bianca Cook, Carolijn Brouwer (1), Denise Caffari (1), Faraday Rosenberg, Jade Cole (7), Katie Pellew, Katie Pettibone (2), Keryn McMaster (3), Sarah Crawford, Sophie Ciszek (5), Vanessa Dudley (22)

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2021

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