Nine teams from across Leinster battled it out last weekend in Dun Laoghaire Harbour for the title of Leinster Schools Champions. The Royal St George Yacht Club hosted the event and the school teams were quick to grips with the club’s Fireflies. The event had to be postponed the weekend before with southerly gales preventing any sailing which was especially unfortunate as five of the original 14 team entry could not make the rescheduled event.
A steady 12 knot easterly wind allowed racing to start at 10:45, which was a relief to all given the 40 odd knot gust the previous Saturday.
Race 1 saw last years runners up Gonzaga race Blackrock College who were new to event this year. Blackrock quickly showed that they had good speed and tactics but ultimately could not break down a 1-2 combination and lost 3,4,5. Race 2 saw another new team to the event, Gormanstown College compete against a combined Bray Schools team. This race was decided on the finish with Gormanstown holding their nerve to finish 2,3,5.
Racing continued non stop throughout the day with OOD Graham Elmes competing the 36 race round robin shortly after lunch.
Mt Anville won the Round with an impressive seven wins out of eight, only being beaten by the other all girls school at the event Rathdown College. Gonzaga finished with six out of eight, ahead of Blackrock (5/8) and Rathdown (5/8).
With time running out, a final and a petit final were sailed. As the winds dropped the sailors needed all their skills to get the boats around the course with the ever watchful Umpire Team ready to rule on any Rule 42 violations.
Gonzaga won both races in the best of three final with 1,2 combinations forcing a somewhat deflated Mt Anville team to settle for second place. Blackrock won their petit final against Rathdown with two convincing 1,3,4 combinations.
These top four teams have now qualified to represent Leinster at the all Ireland Schools Championship to be held in Schull on the weekend of May 3rd, 4th.
1. Gonzaga College S.J.
2. Mount Anville
3. Blackrock College
5. St. Andrews
6. Santa Sabina
7. Belvedere College S.J.
8. Gormanstown College
9. Bray Combined Schools