Team Racing – Tasmanian State Titles

Words: Liz Rountree
Photos: Courtesy of Sandy Bay Sailing Club

Sunday April 7th concluded the 2024 School Team Racing State Titles, run by Tasmanian sailing and hosted by the Sandy Bay Sailing Club. 13 teams from 6 schools competed in over 60 races before the top four teams proceeded to the finals.

Race Officer Emma Hooper had her were cut out for her, managing an ever-changing race course in the extremely light and shifty conditions.

Hutchins dominated the event, with its top team captained by Ed Broadby defending their title as State Champions, followed by their second team captained by Gus Wilkie.

Both year 12 students, Broadby and Wilkie have been sailing on the team since year 7, starting as groms crewing for the older skippers, now leading both the team and the event.

Part of the secret to the school’s success is not secret at all. “To win back-to-back States has been 18-months in the planning, as well as hard work and dedication from everyone in the program” says Hutchins teacher Greg Rowlings, who is the main driving force behind the sailing program.

The school has developed a Sailing Academy, including investing in it’s own fleet of boats and making sailing a sport to students of year three and above.

Collegiate finished third overall and first women’s team, captained by Indy Cooper.

“It was a long event requiring patience and the understanding that not everything is under your control” says Collegiate Coach Rohan Langford. “In fact, that was probably the key for this regatta – there were long periods of waiting for the wind before finally getting to race in below average conditions.”

Both winning schools had similar strategies of regularly rotating the more experienced sailors in with their newer sailors throughout the competitive season leading up to the championships.

As Langford puts it, “There’s no point in being a team of champions, you have to be a champion team.”

Rowling’s hints that Hutchins has “a few more goals” this season.

The top three teams will now be invited to participate at the Nationals in Goolwa, South Australia in July, a qualifier for the Inter-dominion Championships held in early Spring.

Full results can be found via the following link: https://results.teamracing.com.au

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