Taylor cruises to Australian no. 1

IT may not look too intimidating, but this little balsa boat took Taylor Shield all the way to Melbourne and earned her a national title last week.

The Thabeban State School Year 6 student followed up her third place at the Queensland Model Solar Boat Challenge with the top prize in Victoria.

“It’s amazing to think mine was the quickest in the whole country — I never thought I could win the whole thing, but now I have the bragging rights over my friends,” Taylor said.

Her friends are after a rematch, but they know it was her careful preparation and attention to detail that set her apart from the rest.

“I’d say no one took more care than Taylor when making the boats. She made sure everything was perfect,” Thabeban teacher-librarian Peter Woodland said.

Taylor and her classmates had to design two new boats after their success in Maryborough’s Queensland titles, upgrading from foam to balsa wood.

But Taylor’s achievement was just the tip of the iceberg.

The school, which had eight participants, won the best uniform and best first-time entry prizes.

“Everyone of our boats won their heats. It was just some cruel weather conditions that stopped us in the semi-finals,” Mr Woodland said.

Their success evolved from countless hours of preparation from the students, and painstaking fundraising efforts to get the team there after qualifying from Maryborough.

“With the credentials behind us now, hopefully we can continue to represent at the national titles, and I know teachers from other schools who have expressed interest in the program for next year,” Mr Woodland said.

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