Strong local presence at sailing champs
Local young yachties were to the fore at the recent Wellington Secondary Schools Match Racing Championships.
In tough conditions last month, Hutt International Boys’ School’s Pritchard crew won the event, with Aotea College coming second.
The forecast was for a 15-knot northerly to build throughout the day and for conditions to worsen the following day, so the pressure was on to get through as much of the format as possible, said principal race officer Roger Cook.
The first match between HIBS Pritchard – Callum Pritchard, Jacob Jones, Will Martel and Dan McDowall – and the defending champions Aotea College – Josh Cook, Hannah Corke, Alex Mitchell-Barker and Tom Durkin – promised much but fizzled when Aotea College hooked the committee boat anchor warp during the pre-start, meaning game over. Jones was the only sailor in the race who was not a member of Paremata Boating Club.
HIBS Pritchard completed the round robin with maximum points, and one of the Wellington College teams was eliminated.
The semifinals began in about 20 knots with HIBS Pritchard beating Wellington College Thyne 2-0 and Aotea College similarly dispatching HIBS Gautrey (featuring Paremata’s Jono Francis and Marcel DeWilde). With the finals between HIBS and Aotea College about to start the wind suddenly built to gusts over 30 knots forcing Roger Cook to again abandon the regatta.
The wind finally abated a few days later, but too much so – there was not enough to race. The time limit for racing then passed and the trophy was awarded to HIBS, the top scorer in the round robin.
Final results: HIBS ( Pritchard) 1, Aotea College (Cook) 2, HIBS (Gautrey) 3, Wellington College (Thyne) 4, Wellington College (McLachlan) 5.
Top of class: 2012 College Sport Wellington Match Racing champions from HIBS – Jacob Jones (mainsheet), Dan McDowall (foredeck), Callum Pritchard (helmsman), Will Martel (floater) – all but one of whom sail for Paremata Boating Club.