Challenging, thrilling sailing

10 May 2017

A seven-strong College team, along with hundreds of other young sailing enthusiasts from all over the country, competed at the 2017 Secondary Schools Team Sailing National Championship in April.

Sailing a 420 Class double-handed dinghy, the world youth class for international competition, MiC Sailing Mr Steve Everingham says the boys competed in 42 races over six “tough” days. “Different teams compete in short 10–15 minute races on a back-to-front S-shaped course with the aim of tactically defeating their opponents so that the combined team score equals 10 or less for each race. This means teams fight hard, using cunning strategies, to get unbeatable 1st and 2nd placings across the finish line.”

College won 15 races in total, coming 12th out of 15 in the bronze fleet and 33rd overall. “It was a challenging, highly memorable and rewarding experience for this young team. We expect to climb the rankings over the next few years with more competition.”

Steve says sailing has been growing in popularity in recent years. “The 2017 nationals had 36 teams and around 250 students taking part – the most ever. It’s easy to see why. It’s such a fun competition, with both single-sex and mixed teams out on the water, testing themselves and facing off against each other in all sorts of conditions. It’s thrilling to watch and fantastic to have the opportunity to take part.”

The championship was held from Saturday 22 to Friday 28 April at the Sandspit Yacht Club, Algies Bay, Northland.

The College sailing team is Year 10 students Tom O’Connor, Max Luisetti and Brayden Baynes, Year 11 students Matthew Bayley, Rupert Limbrick and Cole Smith, and Year 12 student Humphrey Bullen. They train at Naval Point, Lyttelton.