Speed Rack is an all-female high-speed bartending competition designed to highlight up-and-coming women in the cocktail industry and give back to those impacted by breast cancer. To date, Speed Rack has raised $1,000,000 to date for charities all over the world supporting breast cancer research.
Speed Rack returned to Australia this year for Season 2. Founders Lynette Marrero and Ivy Mix flew out to Australia from the US for the final round. Mix & Marrero believe that the service industry can sometimes be thought of as a man’s world. With Speed Rack, which they founded in February of 2011, Mix and Marrero have been able to shine a spotlight on female mixologists thriving behind bars around the world; and while they are at it, raise money for breast cancer research, education, and prevention.
The Australian National Finals of Speed Rack was held last Sunday at the newly renovated 'Espy' in St Kilda Victoria. The atmosphere was electric and the female bartenders from all over Australia were amazing to watch. Recent breast cancer survivor and industry legend Alex Ross hosted the competition with genuine passion and a cheeky sense of humour.
An amazing team pulled the event together with help from volunteers internationally and all across Australia. There was also a number of generous high profile sponsors from the industry supporting the cause.
Stephanie Haile, Jemima McDonald & Quynh Nguyen were the engine room behind the scenes making the second season such a success for all involved.
Ivy Mix announced at the event that were a total of 90 competitors had entered this year's event which is a vast improvement on last years participation.
Congratulations to all of the national preliminary finalists below what an amazing achievement;
Jessica Arnott - Tiny's Bar & Liquor Emporium (WA) Savanna McDonald - Long Chim (WA) Nicola Dean - Maybe Mae (SA) Kayla Grigoriou - Maybe Mae (SA) Millie Tang - The Gresham (QLD) Kayla Reid - Savile Row (QLD) Alissa Gabriel - Mjolner (NSW) Molly Gillis - Jangling Jack's (NSW) Mary White - The Lobo Plantation (NSW) Christine Lam - Employees Only (NSW) Helen Yu - SoCal (NSW) Sarah Proietti - J&M (NSW) Shay Chamberlain - Black Pearl (VIC) Shenai Jones - The 18th Amendment (VIC) Tiana Matthews - Eau de Vie (VIC) Emma Bird - Brogan's Way Distillery Door (VIC) Bianca Wendt - The Everleigh (VIC) Chelsea Lamperd - Eau de Vie (VIC)
If you're visiting these bars soon make sure you say g'day to these amazing bartenders.
Congratulations to runner up Alissa Gabriel from Sydney who missed out on taking the title by only one second. We loved watching you compete.
And finally congratulations to Millie Tang flying the flag for Queensland who won the overall competition this year (on her birthday!)...we love your determination Millie - stay fierce!
If you are interested in getting involved or coming along to watch the Australian events next year make sure you follow Speed Rack on Facebook and Instagram.