In what can only be described as an excellent event, any one of four teams could have won the Queensland State Secondary Schools Team Racing Championship with two races to sail.
Over the last 10 years Brisbane Grammar School (Grammar) and Anglican Church Grammar School (Churchie) have held a stranglehold on the Norman Sherwood Perpetual Trophy but this year they faced a strong challenge from Tully State High School and The Southport School.
Held on the majestic waters of Waterloo Bay during the Easter school holidays the State Secondary Schools Team Racing Championship is the pinnacle of Schools Team Racing in Queensland, the winning team going on to represent their state at the National Championships to be held this year at Woollahra Sailing Club in Sydney. With the three day regatta reduced to two by excessive wind strength on Tuesday, the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron regatta staff did a mighty job of fitting nearly 90 races into the remaining time.
After the first round robin had been completed, Tully with a clean slate held a narrow lead from Churchie, TSS and Grammar with Brisbane Girls Grammar School the leading female team. Then with the fleet split into Gold and Silver flights, the top six teams battled it out for the championship, results from the first round robin carrying through to the second, maintaining Tully at the head of the pack.
Tully continued to maintain their lead with wins over Grammar B and Brisbane Girls Grammar School early on the final day before The Southport School finally found a crack in Tully's armour and exploited it for a close fought win, this loss exposed Tully to the chasing pack, with Grammar and Churchie also closing on the back of good wins. The three chasing teams needed to keep winning to maintain the pressure and in race 84 Grammar scored an important 3 point win over Tully to create the unprecedented situation whereby the order of the top four places would not be revealed until after the final two races of the championship.
In the penultimate race The Southport School held off the fast finishing Grammar to lead the championship with Tully and Churchie still to race and a number of different outcomes still in the wind. Tully accounted for Churchie resulting in a tie for first and second and a tie for third and fourth. During the count back process Brisbane Grammar School were awarded third place based on the last race between themselves and Churchie, bringing to an end the dominance of teams racing in Queensland by these two schools. The tie for first was broken by points scored when the teams met, The Southport School finishing just two points clear of Tully SHS to be crowned the 2002 champions.
Brisbane Girls Grammar School reclaimed the Girls trophy while the regional competition was won by South Coast (represented by The Southport School).
1. The Southport School (Open Champions 2002)
2. Tully SHS
3. Brisbane Grammar School A
4. Anglican Church Grammar School A
5. Brisbane Grammar School B
6. Brisbane Girls Grammar School (Girls Champions 2002)
1. Moreton Bay College
2. Sunshine Coast Region
3. Anglican Church Grammar School B
4. Matthew Flinders Anglican College
5. Brisbane Boys College