Ocean Racing Club of Victoria
Steb Fisher

Spotlight shines on Women at ORCV Awards Night 2024

The 2024 ORCV Awards night at the Sandringham Yacht Club on Saturday 15 June we celebrated excellence in racing, community, training and new pathways to progress inclusion, diversity and growth.

Several women from the KISS Class of 2024 took up the invitation from ORCV Commodore Cyrus Allan to join the celebrations, meeting up with other KISS participants and discovering more about opportunities provided by the KISS partner club.

A stellar cast of women, from volunteers to sailors shone at the Awards Night.

The evening led off with ORCV General Committee member, Melissa Warren in her Marketing and Media role as MC steering the ship for the evening. 


Melissa Warren with ORCV Commodore Cyrus Allen

A trio of women took out “non-Racing Awards” across the group of five awards.

The Crew Encouragement Award 2024, was taken out by Irama Navarro.

Irama Crew encouragement ORCV awardsnight sandyyachtclub LWP 24 0425

New to the sport and embracing it wholeheartedly, Irama is an active bay racer sailing weekly at RMYS, recently competing in the Australian Women’s Keelboat Regatta and having competed in the ORCV offshore program as foredeck on Kioni this season.

From her skipper -  “She's a tough, brave and committed foredeck who also plays a role in navigation, tactics and helming when called on. Not fazed or fearful of mishaps. She can sail. 

Always willing to help, off deck, she's appreciative of the effort put in to get a racing boat out there and takes on maintenance, catering and general chores. A common refrain in the skipper’s debriefing is "C'mon guys - don't let Irama do everything".

We are all in awe of her efforts on Kioni - Irama is a truly valuable team member.”

The Youth Sailor of the Year Award 2024 went to Maddie Scambary Speller aged 22 years, who has immersed herself in the sport of sailing as her passion, recreation and now her profession as she starts out on her rigging apprenticeship with Wilksie Marine.


From her skipper, Clare Olding, winner of the 2023 Youth Sailor of the Year Award -

“Maddie is by far the most consistent crew member on Vertigo, with an unwavering commitment to ocean racing that is truly first-class, competing in the ORCV winter series, coastal sprints and destination races.

Maddie consistently punches above her weight, excelling on the bow and mentoring newcomers to expand their skill sets and build confidence beyond the cockpit, teaching technique over brute strength and size. Her ability to inspire and lead the race crew with positivity and constructive problem-solving, all delivered with her friendly demeanour leaves a lasting impact on everyone she encounters.

Maddie embodies the true spirit of sailing, and her contributions to the sailing community are thoroughly deserving of the award.”

A special new award, bestowed as recognition of exceptional service, saw the 2023 winner of the ORCV Volunteer of the Year, Delma Dunoon, take out the first-ever ORCV Distinguished Service Award, with all present endorsing the recognition with a rousing standing ovation.

The KISS Program was given a cameo spot to present the program to the audience and were excited by the immediate positive feedback and commitment from four boat owners to provide their boats for KISS 2025 and the opportunity to progress to offshore racing for those wanting to go further.

Congratulations to our women for their leadership and outstanding achievements.

With new ORCV programs coming onboard, including NextGen encouraging more youth sailors and the KISS program collaboration with QCYC increasing access and inspiring female sailors to go further, there is no better time to get onboard! If you are looking to be the first to know about the next KISS program, sign up for our Wait List to be a priority booking as places filled very quickly this year.

Waitlist for the next KISS program here

Register for the Next Gen Program here 

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3 Aquatic Drive, Albert Park VIC 3206 Ph. 0493 102 744 E. orcv@orcv.org.au