Ballina sailor Clare Southwell (front) is competing in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Photo Jane Morgan.
Ballina sailor Clare Southwell (front) is competing in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Photo Jane Morgan.

Magic moment for Ballina sailor in Sydney to Hobart

RICHMOND River Sailing and Rowing Club Formula 15 skiff sailor Clare Southwell is racing in this year’s Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

Southwell had been a keen dinghy sailor in her youth, competing at a high level in her early 20s before throwing it all in.

Now a mum, she got the sailing bug back recently when aboard a 62-foot yacht in Tasmania.

Southwell decided she couldn’t live without sailing any longer.

She returned to sailing at Ballina this year, buying and racing in the Formula 15 skiff, Magic Formula.

Every Sunday she’s at Ballina, as well as being part of the crew of a large yacht based in Southport Yacht Club, which competes in an offshore racing series.

The 62-foot yacht in Tasmania, which rekindled Southwell’s sailing passion, was Magic Miles and its owner-skipper, Michael Crew, offered her a place on board for this year’s Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

Her response: “I’ve never been so exited or scared about anything in my life.”

To help prepare for the race, Southwell has completed an offshore-category one Survival and Sea Safety course.

She also competed in further offshore races, including the Hamilton Island Race Week.

Magic Miles is not the standard stripped down race boat she is slightly more comfortable than most and very solid, according to its skipper.

Beyond the Hobart race, Southwell is raising money for the Rafiki Mwema charity, one that provides safe and therapeutic homes for young children in Kenya who have suffered horrific abuse.

Her aim is “to highlight that it is never to late to follow your dreams, and to empower young girls to strive for their goals no matter how big they are”.

To support the fundraising effort visit https://donate.rafikimwema.com/fundraisers/ClareandMarese.


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