King's College's quest for the Harken National Secondary Schools Keelboat Championship was nearly over before it really began but they stormed home to take the title yesterday.
The team of Hamish McLaren, Oscar Little, Sam Scott and Walter Coop only just slipped into Sunday's eight-boat finals series after qualifying in fourth from their pool. But they found another gear in the finals, winning three races and finishing second in the other to win in dominant fashion.
They started well, limited mistakes and were slick around the track to finish 10 points ahead of the Westlake Boy's High School Team 2, with Auckland Grammar School not far behind in third. The all-female team from Baradene College helmed by Helena Sanderson were seventh.
“We were nice and relaxed out there today," King's skipper Hamish McLaren said. "Full credit to the boys who worked really hard. We just stayed super calm and sailed really well as a team.
"It feels cool to be national champions, we couldn’t be happier. A massive thank you to everyone at King's who has helped us get here, to Harken, and to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron for putting on such an awesome event.”
As an extra bonus for winning, McLaren and his team now gain automatic entry into the Yachting Developments New Zealand Match Racing Championship later this year at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
The Westlake Boys High School Team 1 topped silver fleet, finishing ahead of Waimea College and Takapuna Grammar Gold.
Highlights from the three-day regatta are due to be screened as part of a package on Sky Sport later this month. The filming was part of Yachting New Zealand’s partnership with the Sky Sport Collective, which aims to highlight secondary schools sport in this country.
Final standings from the 2020 HARKEN National Secondary Schools Keelboat Championships:
1st: Kings College - 4 points
2nd: Westlake Boy's High School Team 2 - 14 pts
3rd: Auckland Grammar School - 16 pts
4th: St Kentigern College 17 pts
5th: Glendowie College 17 pts
6th: Rosmini College 24 pts
7th: Baradene College 24 pts
8th: Rongotai College 27 pts
1st: Westlake Boys High School Team 1 - 13 pts
2nd: Waimea College - 14 pts
3rd: Takapuna Grammar Gold - 15 pts
4th: Takapuna Grammar Blue - 15 pts
5th: South Island Combined Team 2 - 21 pts
6th: South Island Combined Team 1 - 21 pts
7th: Kerikeri High School - 22 pts
- Pic: The King's College team of Hamish McLaren, Oscar Little, Sam Scott and Walter Coop won three of the four races on finals day to take the title. Photo: Andrew Delves / RNZYS.