On Friday, 14 June 2019, twelve students competed in the School Games Secondary School Sailing Regatta hosted by Rockley Watersports at Poole Park. The forecast was for strong winds but that didn’t put off any of our keen sailors! The event was split into two fleets (Challenge and Gold) with sailors’ individual results being totalled at the end of the day for a chance of winning the overall team trophy.
In the Challenge fleet, students competed in pairs across two races, with the lowest combined score winning overall. In this fleet, we had Oli Strutt and Finley Horn (both Year 9, Agglestone house), who had sailed the event before, along with Bethany Pryor (Year 9, Agglestone house) and Kelsey Brennan (Year 9, Portland house), who had both just completed their RYA Level 1&2 sailing course the previous week. In the first race the girls led the way, managing to keep the boat upright as they sailed around the triangular course, whilst Oli and Fin ended up going for a swim not long after the start! The girls ended up placed third and the boys around 18th. They all came off the water still smiling and raring to go for race two! This was even windier but both boats managed to navigate the course successfully. Unfortunately, the lack of consistency across the two races meant scores were not low enough to get on the podium for a medal but they all sailed so well given the conditions and the level of competition.
The Gold Fleet sailors also had two races to complete, with a qualifying race in the morning and a final in the afternoon. Sailors had to get a top five position in their qualifying race to proceed to the grand final. We needed at least three sailors in the grand final to be in with a chance of winning the overall trophy. Things started well, with River Green (Year 8, Purbeck house) winning his qualifying race. Dan Holborn (Year 8, Gault house) should have won his race; however, he fell out of the boat on the first lap but sailed his socks off and managed to get back to fifth – phew! Freddie Howarth (Year 9, Purbeck house) ended up fourth after an altercation with another sailor on the start line. Ultimately, we had our three sailors in the grand final. We also had Tom Cluett (Year 10, Kimmeridge house), Amber Hale (Year 7, Purbeck house) and Dante Sinaguglia (Year 9, Agglestone house) in the petit final with Olivia Smith-Randall (Year 9, Kimmeridge house) and Tom McCabe (Year 9, Agglestone house) in the final three. Olivia won a medal by coming second in her final and Amber also made the podium with a third in the petit final.
For the grand final the maths started to get complex, with each school’s top three sailors’ race results being combined. The lowest combined score would secure the trophy for their school. The race was highly competitive, with the top ten sailors being within 15 boat lengths of each other after lap one. Lytchett ended up with a second (Freddie), sixth (Dan) and eighth (River). It was too close to call, so we went into prize-giving having no idea if we would be first or fourth! As the results were announced, we were looking to at least match last year’s fine second place finish. In the end, it was between Lytchett Minster and Poole Grammar for the top spot. Lytchett ended up winning by three points and are now the Dorset Secondary School Regatta Champions 2019. It was a fantastic day, with all students contributing to a great team performance! Roll on the 2020 regatta next June!
Team: Freddie Howarth, River Green, Dan Holborn, Amber Hale, Olivia Smith-Randall, Tom Cluett, Tom McCabe, Dante Sinaguglia, Oli Strutt, Finley Horn, Kelsey Brennan, Bethany Pryor.