The RPAYC recently conducted the 2020 edition of the Pittwater Secondary Schools Teams Racing Regatta, with the winners crowned and honoured with the ‘Pittwater Cup’ Trophy.
In moderate to fresh southerly’s over both the twilight session on Friday 6th and the afternoon session on Saturday 7th March, a single round-robin was conducted prior to the 5th/6th sail-off, the semi-finals and finals.
After a full round-robin and not claiming a win during that stage, it was the Knox Grammar School lining up against the more favoured Pittwater High School 1 (Eagles) for the 5th v 6th Sail-off, in a first to two wins series. In race one and despite a Knox boat capsizing, the PHS1 team still couldn’t overcome Knox, who scored their first 1st & 2nd of the regatta. Knox then went on to claim their second win of the Regatta in Race two, to claim 5th place overall, with PHS 1 having to settle for 6th place overall in 2020.
Turning to the first Semi Final, it was the St Aloysius College vs the Pittwater High School 2 (Sharks). The St Aloysius Team had a clean slate of 1st and 2nd in each of their round-robin races and that strong form continued through both their Semi Final match ups with PHS 1, wiping them out with two further dominant performances with a 1st, 2nd & 3rd in both races.
In the other Semi Final it was the 2019 Champions the Mater Maria Catholic College vs the Pymble Ladies College. Within two races, Mater Maria wrapped up their birth in the Final, accounting for PLC with an equally dominant performance as the St Aloysius team, setting up a mouth-watering final, deferring PLC to fight it out in the Petite Final against PHS2.
Once the first race of the Petit Final got underway, it was clear that PLC would be favourites, with the PHS2 team slow off the mark and the PLC girls rocketing to the line in quick succession to score a 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Race two of the Petite Final was similar to the first, with the PHS2 team now running out of puff and stamina in the building southerly; PLC taking the second race with a 1st, 2nd and 3rd and claiming 3rd place overall in 2020.
As the Southerly breeze continued to build towards 20knts and with just the remaining two teams left to fight it out, the tension began to build. Where all the previous races were somewhat void of tactics and were more like sprint races, the Aloysius v Mater final will be remembered for lots of pre-start stalking manoeuvres, very close tactical racing, including capsizes, plus, masts crashing down mid race and ‘very’ close finishes at the line.
The Final certainly went the full distance of the three scheduled races, with race two having to be re-sailed after gear failure on the course. In race one, Mater quickly snapped up the chocolates scoring a 1st and 2nd, handing the Aloysius team their first loss of the Regatta, before the drama filled race two.
With plenty of the afore mentioned pre-race tactics evident, race two was looking at coming down to the wire, with boats touching at the final mark and the umpires having to make quick decisions. Soon after on that same final leg, one of the better positioned Aloysius boats had a mast failure and the narrow finish meant that the result could have been affected by the gear failure. The Race Committee quickly decide that race two be re-run with Aloysius getting on top this time, to level the scores at one a piece, scoring a 1st and 2nd in race two.
In race three of the Final, all the tricks came out of the bag yet again for both teams, with the breeze still nudging close to 20kts. The start and the mark rounding’s were tight to begin with, but soon after, two Mater boats managed to get clear and streaked away. The Mater Maria team had obviously managed to hold their nerve after the furore in race two, to secure the final race and the title of Regatta Champions, with a well-earned 1st and 2nd in race three.
In summary, Mater Maria triumphed (for the second year running) over the St Aloysius College (2 wins to 1) in the Final, with the Pymble Ladies College knocking over the Pittwater High School Eagles for third place (2 wins to 0) in the Petite Final.
The Abbotsleigh Umpires Trophy was deservedly awarded to the St Aloysius College and RPAYC would like to thank Richard Hudson for offering his time as Umpire.
1st Mater Maria (Winner of the Pittwater Cup)
2nd St Aloysius College (Awarded the Abbotsleigh Umpires Trophy)
3rd Pymble Ladies College
4th Pittwater High School 2 (Sharks)
5th The Knox Grammar School
6th Pittwater High School 1 (Eagles)
The RPAYC as the Organising Authority, is already pencilling in dates for early March 2021 for next year’s regatta, giving teams plenty of opportunity to plan ahead.