Sailing: Team just fail in bid for double

By Peter White


Trent Rippey was oh so close to pulling off a memorable personal double during the school holidays.

Following his individual glory at the Starling Nationals a week earlier, Rippey captained the Tauranga Boys' College team at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Teams Racing Nationals held in Taupo but Kerikeri High School pipped his team by a single point to win their fourth consecutive title.

Twenty-nine teams competed for the honours of best New Zealand secondary school. The regatta is a five-day event consisting of racing between teams of three yachts, each with two sailors, and the aggregate of the three boats determines the winning team. The first two teams won the right to represent New Zealand at the Inter Dominions ANZAC Teams Sailing Regatta in Brisbane.

"It was pretty disappointing but second was enough to get us to Inter Doms in Australia,' said Rippey.

"We sailed pretty well throughout but really well at the start. We were leading the whole way through and maybe the pressure just got to us. We lost a key race in the last round robin and on the last day we had to win every race and hope Kerikeri lost to someone else, so the other teams were kind of fighting our battle for us.

"We had no say whether we won or lost, if that makes sense, and it was disappointing."

It did not help that on the last day there were very light winds which made it difficult to sail.

NZ Team Sailing President Derry Godbert rates the event as one of the best on the sailing calender.

"Many think of the one-on-one match racing as chess on water, but this takes tactics to yet another level," he said.

Tauranga Boys' team: Trent Rippey, Cole Rippey, Berrick Fitzsimons, Ben Warren, Josh McConnell, Jonathon Barnett, Jack Revington, Dylan McKinnlay.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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