by Brady Lowe
The Southport School Sailing Team put 12 months of training to spectacular use in the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadrons Term 4 Fleet Sailing regatta, held over five Sundays.
The TSS team training on the nerang river, just a few metres from the school classroom
With 50 Pacer dinghy's on the start line the fleet racing format is certainly the most visually spectacular form of school sailing, a big fleet on start lines and over short, close race courses. The series was a great success despite the loss of two Sundays of competition due to the big summer breezes and storms that Brisbane puts on at this time of year.
The TSS Team had previously scored a best place of fifth in the 2011 competition against some tough opposition from talented school teams from Brisbane Boys College and Moreton Bay College but this year it was a different scenario entirely as TSS boys won all but two races in the series and were very rarely seen outside the top 10.
Approximatly 100 students on the water and racing.
The top crew from TSS were the youngsters of Tom Cunich and Harry Smith, seasoned Opti campaigners who adapted quickly to the bigger boats and revelled in the light conditions. Despite being one of the youngest crews in the competition they showed great discipline to carry only firsts and seconds on their scorecard by the end of the regatta. second place went to Jackson Rees and George Morton, a crew who probably would have preferred a few big wind days still managed to keep things interesting for the lead, battling all the way to the finish several times and proving that it’s not necessarily race wins that count, its consistent performances.
Third place went to James Woodhouse and Felix Lester who were able to pick up a couple of solid race wins and fight a running battle with fourth place Kylan Heale and Alex King.
The Southport team is now training with a view to tacking one of Australia’s biggest regattas, the Combined High Schools event at Belmont in NSW in 2013. The schools Start Sailing and Better Sailing programs continue to grow for both TSS and non-TSS students alike, the future of sailing is alive and well in fun programs and good competition, there are few schools in the world where a boy can leave class and be on the water in a matter of minutes!
Jackson Rees and George Morton training off Manly Boat Harbour
James Woodhouse and Felix Lester training in good breeze on Waterloo Bay