2024 NZSS Team Sailing National Championship Report

Photo by Ann Taylor

Well, that’s a wrap of the 2024 NZ Secondary Schools Teams Sailing Nationals!

A huge thank you to New Plymouth Yacht Club for being such amazing hosts, with excellent support from your members and an amazing venue, coming together to deliver an outstanding event I’m sure many of us will be talking about for years to come.

After the introduction of a single course at Algies Bay last year, New Plymouth was the perfect venue to really put this plan to the test. With a (at times) tight racing area, including all manner of obstructions in the way (such as a reef, poles, 5 knot markers etc), the single course proved itself efficient and allowed a quick turnaround of racing. This year a fourth fleet was introduced as well, allowing the 30 teams to be spread out and reduce the number of races for a single round robin.

We had quite the start from the get go, which included every type of weather condition known to man being thrown at us over the week. Day 1 saw our 30 teams heading out with reefed sails to help manage a fairly decent breeze. It’s fair to say all teams spent some time upside down at one point, but despite this a full round robin of 99 races was sailed – with four fleets on one course making it a lot more manageable for the Race Committee.

We had a bit of a respite in the weather for Day 2, with almost too light a winds and flat water allowing some teams to put on a master class of boat speed and manoeuvring. This did however mean a busy day for the umpires, with a record 9 protest hearings taking place after racing had concluded for the day on shore. A very late finish for the protest panel indeed…

Luckily the weather held out for us a little bit longer for Day 3, with stunning blue skies and perfect team sailing wind conditions. All the sailors had well and truly gotten into their groove by this point, and we were starting to see some real battles on the water for hard earned wins. Another round robin was completed today – the Race Committee is really flying through the races!

ANZAC Day fell on Thursday this year, and credit to those teams who got up early to attend the dawn service. The rest of the sailors got a bit of a sleep in before racing started at midday. However, some choppy swell and very nasty squalls led to an early retreat to save strength for the last day of racing.

Another day of huge swell from the NW (coming straight into the breakwater, and big winds (36 knots during a squall at one point) led to fast paced racing to finish up the fourth round robin. A total of 397 races were completed over the week, which is a huge feat for all involved. Teams adapted will to the big airs and rolling swell, and we saw some excellent examples of team work and boat speed to finish up racing.

Well done to all the teams involved, and a huge thank you to all the sailors, parents, managers, coaches, volunteers, umpires and race management for making this an unforgettable regatta. Without this help these regattas wouldn’t take place, so thank you again.

The 2025 NZSS Teams Sailing Nationals will be held in New Plymouth again, and we can’t wait to come back!

Our 2024 Champions – Auckland Grammar School

Final Results:

Gold Fleet:

  1. Auckland Grammar
  2. Rangitoto
  3. St Kentigern
  4. Glendowie
  5. Westlake Boys
  6. Takapuna Grammar
  7. Mt. Aspiring
  8. Queen Charlotte

Silver Fleet:

  1. Christ’s College
  2. Napier Boys
  3. Westlake Girls
  4. Whangarei Boys
  5. New Plymouth Boys
  6. Nelson College
  7. Nelson Girls
  8. Botany Downs

Bronze Fleet:

  1. Kerikeri
  2. Christchurch Girls Combined
  3. Tauhara
  4. Whangarei Girls
  5. Waimea
  6. Napier Girls
  7. Wellington Combined
  8. Marlborough Boys

Emerald Fleet:

  1. St Kentigern Girls
  2. Garin
  3. Diocesan
  4. Francis Douglas
  5. Nayland
  6. Mahurangi

Interdom Reps:

  • Auckland Grammar
  • Rangitoto
  • St. Kentigern
  • Westlake Girls
  • Nelson Girls
  • Whangarei Girls