Lower South Island Regatta reigning champions


The Nelson based Iron Duke Sea Scouts have been overall regatta winners for a number of successive years, and the team are determined to maintain their status! Six Nayland College students competed in the event last weekend and I talked with Matthias Campbell and Silas Bailey to find out more.

Nicholas Corry (Y12), Silas Bailey (Y10), Matthias Campbell (Y10), Reuben Cottom (Y10), Micah Dunn (Y9) and Malachi Taylor (Y9) all took part in the Lower South Island Regatta with their Iron Duke Sea Scout teammates over Labour weekend. 

Image by: Supplied

The event was based in Cromwell with teams competing against each other on Lake Dunstan. The regatta consisted of cutter sailing, feva racing (small sunburst looking boats Silas tells me), and rowing. 

In telling Silas that I knew nothing about ‘cutter sailing,’ he explained, “Cutter sailing is essentially a row boat with three panels that can seat about 6-8 people. You set it up with a boom and a mast and you sail around in a racing circuit which is set up so that you have to go around buoys, and once you’ve gone around all the buoys you go back to the finish line.”

The Iron Duke Sea Scouts came first in Rowing, Sailing, Seamanship and Iron Scout (kayak/run/swim), winning the overall Lower South Island Sea Scout Regatta for 2022.

Racing on Lake Dunstan — Image by: Supplied

Silas was really happy with their results over the weekend. “The win was really cool to have,” he said. “It’s nice to always be able to keep up the streak we’ve been going on over the past couple of years so it was really good to uphold that.”

While the regatta wasn’t able to go ahead last year, the team won in 2020, and when asked how far back their wins go, Silas couldn’t quite remember, but thought it might be 6 or 7 years in a row. 

For the Nelson based team, it wasn’t just about the regatta, they made a whole adventure out of it, travelling down the West Coast, stopping in Greymouth before a visit to the beautiful blue pools. They also took time to explore Lake Pukaki, Christchurch and other tourist destinations on their journey. 

Silas has been sailing for about four years, having started in cubs and moving up into scouts, where he found there was a lot more sailing and rowing involved. When asked what he loved most he replied, “The ability I suppose to be able to command where where you’re going on the water, a lot faster than say something like swimming or kayaking. And the fact that you’re working as a team on a cutter or a feva or a rowboat, is quite special to me.”

Matthias has been sailing and rowing since he was around four or five years old and he’s been a part of Iron Duke Sea Scouts for six years. When asked which sport he preferred, he replied, “Oh sailing way more! Rowing is so boring!” But overall Matthias says he just loves being on the water and having a good time. 

Nicholas Corry, Silas Bailey & Matthias Campbell — Image by: Supplied

As the sailing season has just started the boys will be out on the water at every opportunity, weather dependent. They get together once a week and keep a close eye on the tides.

If you want to know more about joining the Iron Duke Sea Scouts, visit their website: scouts.nz/groups/iron-duke-sea-scouts/ or www.facebook.com/irondukeseascouts

By Sarah Luton