THE Tasmanian-based Friends’ School has gone from five-deep in a competitive finals series to take out the 2016 DeckHardware Australian Schools Team Racing Championship in Goolwa, South Australia during the last school holidays.

After the Swiss League minor round, Friends Blue were placed fifth and had a lot of work to do to stay alive, coming up against the competitive St Joseph’s School from Port Lincoln in the first round of the finals.

The Friends’ School from Tasmania won the regatta.

Meanwhile, fellow Hobart school Hutchins had finished on top of the ladder and had to come up against a hungry Westminster School from Adelaide, who were placed eighth after the minor round.

Sydney school, The Scots College, which had led for the majority of the regatta, came up against Perth’s Christ Church Grammar and Friends’ second team, Friends White, took on John XXIII from Perth.

In what was a very unique series of events that took place on the challenging Goolwa waters, the third, fifth, seventh and eighth placed teams all advanced, with favoured schools Hutchins, Scots and St Joseph’s all bailing out early.

Click HERE to see all of our videos from the regatta in Goolwa

The second round of the finals saw Friends Blue take on Christ Church and Friends White come up against Westminster, with Friends Blue and Westminster prevailing in close finishes to earn their respective spots in the grand final sail-off.

The grand final came right down to the final race of the best-of-three series with the lead changing many times, however Friends Blue were good enough to hold on up the final work to secure an emphatic victory.

Friends Blue captain Silas Hamilton said after the racing he had raced in the finals at national team sailing regattas many times however a championship had always eluded Friends.

“It feels pretty good, I’ve been up there for a few years and been in finals before but never got through and never won one so I’m pretty happy about that,” he said.

“Didn’t really expect to be in the final sitting in fifth on the Swiss League, so we’re very happy to come through and get the win.”

Click HERE to see all of our videos from the regatta in Goolwa

The girls championship was also competed for in a best-of-three finals series between the two highest ranked all-girl teams in the Swiss League, which happened to be Fahan School from Hobart and St Joseph’s 3 from Port Lincoln.

The girls racing was close throughout the entire regatta and the top four teams were all decided on a count back, while the fifth-placed team, St Leonards, was only two wins behind after leading for the majority of the week.

In the finals series, you couldn’t have scripted a closer finish with the title coming down to the final few tacks of the final leg in the deciding race, with St Joseph’s narrowly squeezing through for the win.

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  • For videos from the event click HERE
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