On Saturday 11 May the Royal Hospital School hosted an inter-school Team Racing Regatta on neighbouring Alton Water Reservoir. Twelve teams from 5 different schools, one from Alton Water SC and one made up of former RHS pupils took part in the Junior and Senior Regattas. The conditions were squally and the temperatures unseasonably chilly; but all of the 72 sailors competed well over the standard ‘starboard S’ course.
Racing in Fireflies in the Senior Regatta got seriously competitive from the start with the top teams of Ipswich School and RHS fighting it out. The race ended with Ipswich scraping the win despite RHS having the upper hand until the last few moments. This thoroughly galvanised the RHS sailors and they then went on to win all of their next 4 races. The race between Ipswich School A and B teams provided spectators with great excitement as the A’s scraped the victory with some rather tactical team racing by Henry Mills slowing down two B team boats for his team mates to pass. It was good to see some former RHS pupils, taking part in the form of the Old Hospolinas, who enjoyed the competition but were undone by more practised, and younger, sailors. We hope they will try their luck again next year and that even more former RHS sailors will take part in this regular event. The Senior Regatta finished with RHS 1 and 2 racing in one semi-final and Ipswich School A and B in the other. After some more close racing, the final was between RHS 1 V Ipswich school A. This was a three race final but this time RHS were far too strong; winning in imperious form 2 – 0. The Regatta finished with 1st RHS 1 2nd Ipswich school A 3rd RHS 2 – Ipswich school B 5th Old Hospolians and 6th Alton Water Warriors.
With the wind strength increasing as the day went on, the younger competitors sailing in RSFevas in the Junior Regatta, were finding it harder and harder to keep the boats the right way up. Despite some determined racing and excellent effort, this meant that after 10 races the final was between RHS 1 and Ipswich School. This proved to be a dominant show of strength from RHS with Freddie Grogono and Tom Joice leading from the off and Dan Patten making the ‘move of the day’ by pushing from 6th place to finish 3rd. The Junior Regatta finished with 1st RHS 1, 2nd Ipswich school, 3rd Ipswich High School, 4th RHS 2, 5th Orwell Park and 6th Norwich School.
Thanks must go to all the staff from the visiting schools – without their help the Regatta would not have happened, and of course to all the competitors. Let hope that next year we will be blessed with less testing conditions.