The Westlake Girls Sailing Team represented New Zealand in Sydney during the first week of the October school holidays at the 2023 Interdominion Teams Racing Championship between New Zealand and Australia and finished on top of the scoreboard. After winning the New Zealand Secondary Schools Team Racing Championship in April, the young team set their sights on Sydney and a competition the school had never competed in. With just 20 weeks to fundraise and train for the event, they arrived ready to face Australia’s top Girls Secondary Schools, Moreton Bay, Fahan and Collegiate College, at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.
The Interdominion Regatta is an annual event contested between the top six secondary schools from each country (three girls and three boys in each division), sailing 90 races over three days. This year, the Kiwi schools faced the difficulty of racing in “Pacer” boats that aren’t sailed in New Zealand, thus making Westlake Girls’ achievement even more significant.
The team of eight students, captained by Year 12, Daniella Wooldridge, of Emma Reid, Jess Handley, Gretel Satterthwaite, Bella Jenkins, Emily Turner, Danielle Robertson, and Zara Latimer, is very young. This bodes well for the future. They performed magnificently across their 30 races, winning 23 out of 30. Racing the Australians in six rounds of five races per round, they found Collegiate College from Tasmania the most troublesome, losing to them consecutively in the early rounds. However, in the final two rounds, Westlake Girls won five out of five races in both sessions to cement the finish top spot and the honour of being the best Girls Sailing College in Australasia. Whangarei Girls and Nelson Girls finished fifth and sixth, respectively. In the Boys Division, Scots College won, with Westlake Boys finishing third. As a result, Australia won the 2023 Interdominion Trophy after finishing with better points overall.
Many thanks to all our supporters, especially Volvo Archbald & Shorter North Shore, Biid International, and Oceanbridge.