Ju­nior sailors make top team

Whitsunday Times - - REELIN’ IN | ON THE WATER -

STU­DENTS from the Bowen and Proser­pine State High Schools and St Catherine's Catholic Col­lege joined forces last week­end to rep­re­sent the re­gion at a sail­ing event in Townsville.

Seven stu­dents com­peted in the first round of the North Queens­land Schools Teams Rac­ing event and came home with a near-per­fect record.

In fact, the Whit­sun­day team won seven of their sched­uled eight races.

Whit­sun­day team spokesman An­thony Hoffman whose 15-year-old son Bren­dan was among the ris­ing young sail­ing stars, said this was an ex­cep­tional re­sult, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing some of the ju­niors had never ex­pe­ri­enced teams rac­ing be­fore.

Five teams – four from Townsville – com­peted in the match rac­ing event, with Mr Hoffman at­tribut­ing the Whit­sun­day team’s suc­cess to great pair­ing of skip­pers and crew.

“Each team is made up of three skip­pers, three crew and one re­serve – we swap them around and our skip­pers are very ex­pe­ri­enced,” he ex­plained.

The skip­pers – Hamish Swain, Ai­dan Gum­mow and Bren­dan Hoffman – all un­der 16 – have pre­vi­ously com­peted in na­tional events.

Among their crew, Mr Hoffman said Mitchell McCon­nel and Eli Win­ton had “never re­ally sailed in any sort of re­gatta be­fore” while Jas­min Tickle and Lach­lan McCon­nel have been “sail­ing for a while”.

The tem­per­a­ture in Towns- ville was hot but the build­ing af­ter­noon breeze kept con­di­tions on the wa­ter bear­able for the teams, who are now look­ing for­ward to round two of the event.

Weather per­mit­ting this will be hosted by the Port De- ni­son Sail­ing Club in Bowen this com­ing week­end.

Mr Hoffman said this would be an ex­am­ple of ex­cit­ing close quar­ter rac­ing with marks set close to the shore. He ad­vised spec­ta­tors want­ing to watch “some very tech- nical sail­ing” to head to the Bowen jetty for a slice of the ac­tion on Satur­day af­ter­noon or Sun­day morn­ing. Cur­rently the Whit­sun­day team are top of the leader­board ahead of their near­est ri­vals, Townsville-based Pim­lico Gold.

LINE OF ATTACK: Whit­sun­day sailors from the com­bined schools team head­ing out to race on the wa­ters off Townsville last week­end.

WIN­NING SMILES: The com­bined Whit­sun­day schools team con­sist­ing of Mitchell McCon­nel, Bren­dan Hoffman, Eva Lorenz (coach) Jas­min Tickle, Ai­dan Gum­mow, Lachie McCon­nel, Eli Win­ton and Hamish Swain, won seven of their eight races in Townsville last week­end.

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