Westminster Sailing Team

17 Oct 2018 speech

My electorate of Boothby is home to one of Adelaide's most beautiful stretches of coastline. As we head into summer, there will be hundreds of yachts on the water during the week, every week. The chances are that some of those yachts are being sailed by the members of the Westminster School sailing team, many of whom are also members of the Brighton and Seacliff Yacht Club. Over the past four years the team has gone from strength to strength, taking out the South Australian school sailing championships three years in a row. The team has also qualified for the national championships every year for past four years, including the 2018 championships.

In July the team travelled to Victoria to compete against 23 other schools from around Australia in a four-day regatta. The hard work of Westminster's young sailors paid off, with the team claiming victory and qualifying to compete against New Zealand in their home waters, north of Auckland, at the Interdominion School Team Sailing Championships held earlier this month. Over seven round robins, with three boats from both Australia and New Zealand in each round, the championship was decided by the team with the most wins in each contest. With the knowledge that no Australian team had ever defeated the New Zealanders on their home waters, the Westminster team fought hard to stay near the top of the leaderboard throughout the week-long regatta. The final race came down to just metres, but the skill and sportsmanship of the team allowed them to hold on and take out the championship. In a historic turn of events, second place was won by a team from Hobart, leaving the New Zealanders to take third place on the podium for the very first time.

I'm sure everyone in this chamber is always very excited when Australia beats the Kiwis, whether it's in the rugby, the netball or the school sailing championships. I would like to recognise the fantastic effort of the Westminster sailing team and I congratulate the following members, many of whom I recently met at the Brighton and Seacliff Yacht Club season opening: Captain Alexander Higgins, Matthew Meaney, Angus Higgins, Quinn Aurich, Chelsea Higgins, Harry Higgins and Byron Robertson. Congratulations and thanks must also go to Coach Sandy Higgins and Team Manager Mike Martin, whose leadership and support have cemented the success of the team. Thanks also to the Brighton and Seacliff Yacht Club, who have provided support and coaching for the young team over the past few years.

My personal special thanks to local legend Nancy Higgins, who alerted me to the team's wonderful achievements when we were out planting some plants in the Marino Conservation Park recently. Finally, congratulations again to the Westminster School sailing team. I look forward to hearing of their continued success as they work together as a team to do their very best for one another, for the Westminster School and for the Brighton and Seacliff Yacht Club.