Teams of talented teenage sailors from secondary schools in New South Wales, Tasmania, VIctoria and the ACT are flying to New Zealand today (Friday) to prepare for the Australia versus New Zealand 2018 Interdominion Schools Team Sailing Championships.
After training over the weekend they will compete in four days of intense team racing against New Zealand’s leading school sailing teams at Sandpit Yacht Club, Algies Bay, north of Auckland, starting next Monday, 1 October.
Each nation will have three teams in the open and in the all-girls competition, sailing International 420 dinghies, each with a crew of two.
Australia will be represented in the open division by Westminster College from Adelaide, the Friends School from Hobart and Melbourne’s Brighton Grammar.
Sailing for Australian in the girls division will be teams from Fahan School in Hobart, Ascham in Sydney and Canberra Girls Grammar, which is representing Australia in New Zealand for the fourth time.
Westminster won the Australian Secondary Schools Team Racing Champion in July, beating Friends in a closely fought final.
Fahan outsailed Ascham to win the all-female Australian championship final after close racing in the round-robins.
The boys and girls in both Tasmanian teams are members of either the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania or Sandy Bay Sailing Club and are all highly experienced and successful off-the-beach sailors.
Several have shown skill as crewing and helming in SB20 sports boats and are also members of the Derwent Sailing Squadron.
In fact, most have contested Australian and World Championships in a range of off-the-beach dinghy and sportsboat classes.
– Peter Campbell