After three long days of racing the teams representing New Zealand edged out the Australians to win the 2009 Interdominion Secondary School Team Racing Championship.
Thomas Saunders, team captain for Tauranga Boys College (NZ) said that racing was tough with the Australian's showcasing some strong team racing skills. “There were a few umpire calls that went totally against us, but at the end of the day by New Zealand taking home the trophy it shows why we remain on top,” said Saunders.
Jess Tuke who represented Saint Kentigern College (NZ) said that winning the teams event gave them bragging rights. “Now we get to hold our heads high knowing that New Zealand remains number one,” said Tuke.
The New Zealand sailors stated that their strategies and techniques varied considerably from the Australians.
Donna Hamilton, representing the Mahurangi College team said that New Zealand has a high standard of team racing. “It was tough racing, but our coaches have really given us the upper hand and we were able to keep the Aussie's guessing,” said Hamilton .
The New Zealand team will be taking home the Interdominion Secondary School Team Racing trophy for the second consecutive year however for the first time in 13 years, an Australian team, The Hutchins School from Tasmania , has won the individual school trophy.
“This year we broke the drought!” said team captain Elliott Noye. “13 years ago and Aussie team won this trophy, now The Hutchins School in Tasmania gets to take it home,” continued Noye.
The Hutchins School failed to win a race against second placed Tauranga Boys College for the previous two Interdominion Regattas.
“The last two Interdom regattas were embarrassing for us,” said Noye. “We didn't win one race against the boys from Tauranga. This year we placed less pressure on ourselves and just went out there to sail strong. It seemed to pay off as we finished as the top school,” continued Noye.
Whilst being the best ranked country is considered a major element of the Interdominion Secondary School Team Racing Championship, the sailors have the opinion that being the top placed school is best position to be in.
“It's a shame we haven't walked away with the double win, however being the winning school is awesome,” said Noye.
Details on teams including the results and photos can be found via the link
– Suellen Hurling