The 2014 Australian Secondary Schools Teams Racing Championship has concluded on Sydney Harbour, in a 15-18 knot westerly. One day of competition was lost to a lack of wind, however, given a winter event – there was more breeze than expected throughout the week.
After four days of competition, Christ Church Grammar School of Western Australia has taken out the Championships for the second time in the last five years. The Semi Finals saw teams from four different states compete – with St Joseph’s coming in Second after a tough battle in the final races.
CCGS Coach, Luke Tasker, had a feeling the boys would be in the mix 'it’s not often that you see school kids holding their focus and composure throughout the event.' Only receiving three penalties throughout the series, this was certainly key to their success- 'for school boys, their approach was very mature.' Tasker goes back to the drawing board now, as he loses all three skippers – a loss that the whole team is already feeling.
A team undoubtedly descendant of sailing legacy, the big names continue to roll, with Captain Lachlan Gilmour leading his team to today’s win. Gilmour puts to bed any sibling rivalry, as he – alongside Max Guidice - equaled the school record for Championship wins. Gilmour’s older brother, Sam, sailed alongside Lachlan and Max, when the team that last won in 2008.
St Joseph’s of Adelaide, will leave with their heads high after sailing themselves into the top four after a successful quarter finals assault. They competed strongly throughout the week and are well rewarded with a silver medal. The team was, although disappointed they are sure the knowledge and experience imparted on them by the elder members of the team, will allow them to see future success. Will we be seeing a title defence in 2015, 'maybe not next year, but we’re aiming to build on the team’s experience, come in with the same attitude and see how we go…'
Final Day's Competition - 2014 ASSTRC - Alexandra South
Rounding out the top three was Friends School (RED) of Tasmania, who fought hard at the top of the table all week, only to fall short to St Joseph’s during the Semi Finals. Local favourites, Scots College, also sailed strongly throughout the whole competition, ending the day in fourth place. If one thing is for certain, they can leave with their heads high – recording NSW’s best Championship result in over 10 years.
Chief Umpire, Wayne Thompson of South Australia, commented on the week and applauded the sailors on their behaviour- which was as impressive as their level of racing. Woollahra Sailing Club Manager, Adam South, echoed Thompson’s comments, saying that all students embraced the event and 'that it [was] exciting to see the teams not only competing at a high level, certainly higher than when the event was last on the Harbour in 2008, but, to see the kids all get along, no major incidents and the boats still in one piece – it couldn’t have gone better.'
The Australian Secondary Schools Teams Racing Championship next year travels North to Queensland – if one thing is for certain, it will be warmer than the chilly Sydney Winter. The event closes tonight aboard a cruise boat for the competing teams– where the Champion school, Christ Church Grammar will be crowned champions and the competitors will have the opportunity to mingle, before returning home before the school holidays end.