Hobart’s Friends School has been beaten by just two points in the Interdominion Schools Team Sailing Championships in New Zealand, losing to fellow Australian school, Westminister from Adelaide.
The winner of the open division was decided on the final race of the final day of competition on Algies Bay, north of Auckland, in a close-fought series sailed in International 420 dinghies.
In the all-girls division, Sydney’s Ascham School finished a close second New Zealand’s Napier College with Fahan School from Hobart placed fifth after being first and second midway through the regatta.
“This is the first time two Australian schools have finished first and second in Interdominion contests in New Zealand,” Friends team manager Amanda Sargent said yesterday.
“So, we are very proud of our accomplishments,” Amanda added after what she described as ‘all turning grey after a very nerve-wracking day'.
“We are disappointed, but realise what an amazing result it was for Friends given the Westminister team train in the 420s used in New Zealand all the time and we had just three sessions in in three in Hobart before the Interdominion.”
The Friends team of prominent Hobart off-the-beach sailors William Sargent, Finn Buchan, Ethan Galbraith, Brendan Crisp, Isabella Declerk and Daniel Maree, with Hamilton, Sargent and Crisp the helmsmen, began the series well in the fresher breezes but struggled somewhat in the light winds of the two final days.
Unfortunately, results from the first round-robin in which Friends won all five matches, were halved. Had this not been the case, Friends would have won the schools series.
Westminster is the current Australian schools team racing champion with the team in New Zealand comprising Alex Higgins, Quinn Auricht, Angus Higgins, Harry Higgins, Matt Meaney, Byron Robertson and Chelsea Higgins.
The Interdominion Championships was decided over seven round robins, the winning school the ones with the most wins in each contest between three boats from each country.
In the Open division, Westminster finished first, Friends second, third place going to New Zealand’s Grammar School followed by Westlake (NZL), Brighton Grammar (AUS) and Christchurch (NZL) in sixth place.
In the all-girls division, New Zealand school Napier scored a narrow win from Asham (AUS), New Plymouth Girls High School (NZL) , Diocesan (NZL), Fahan (AUS) and Canberra Girls Grammar (AUS) sixth.