by Kirsty Short
New Zealand decisively won the three day Inter-dominion School Team Sailing Championships sailed from Sandspit Yacht Club, Algies Bay last week.
The top three school teams each from Australia and New Zealand completed five round robins in a full three days of racing, in mostly light conditions. New Zealand dominated throughout the event, winning the Trans-Tasman trophy for top country.
The Interdominion trophy for the top team went to Kerikeri High School (Dylan Wichman/Matthew Bindon, O’Shea Butler/Harris Bindon, Nathan Laurie/Andrea Hawtin, James Ayr, Oscar Reid), with Tauranga Boys College a close second.
Kerikeri are coached by Derry Godbert MNZM, who has been the lynchpin of New Zealand Team Sailing for many years. The Kerikeri team were regular winners of both events up to 2006, and after a period of redevelopment are obviously back to full strength.
St Kentigern College (NZ) were third. Top Australian team St Virgils/Guilford Young College (Hobart), who have been regular participants in the Interdominions, came out ahead of their compatriots St Joseph’s College (from Port Lincoln, South Australia) and St Michael’s College (Adelaide). The Australian teams found the unfamiliar boats a challenge, but will have their chance at revenge next year when the event is sailed in Australia, in Pacer yachts.
This year for the first time there was a girls' regatta run concurrently, the Koru Knitwear Invitational New Zealand Girls Team Sailing Championships. Teams attending were Moreton Bay College (QLD), Walford Anglican School for Girls (SA), New Plymouth Girls High School, Napier Girls High School, Nelson College for Girls and Westlake Girls High School.
The New Zealand teams were dominant throughout the event, but racing was close at the top between National Girls Champions Napier Girls, and New Plymouth Girls. Napier was leading on day two after four round robins. In the fifth round New Plymouth grabbed five wins and the lead, however the outcome depended on sailing the last race of the event, since the round robin had to be completed for the points to count.
After a nailbiting wait for wind the last race was completed just before the cutoff time of 5pm, and New Plymouth Girls won the event.
The New Zealand Team Sailing Association thanks Yachting Australia for sponsorship of umpires, and umpires Rob Armstrong (NSW) and Nev Willis (QLD) for giving up their time to attend the event. Thanks also to Mahurangi Technical Institute and Koru Knitwear who sponsored the events, the Jane Gifford Society for providing the beautiful historic scow Jane Gifford as spectator and changeover boat, and Pub Charity who funded 24 sets of identical new sails, essential for the pooled matched sets of boats used in Team Sailing.
New Zealand Team Sailing Association