21st July 2017
On Wednesday 28th June 2017, Hugh, Sebastian and I were plucked out of school to travel to Timaru Boys’ High School for a Spelling Quiz, with no preparation and at short notice. Early thought suggested we were in for a chance as Will Goldsbury, Hugh and I won the Junior Spelling Quiz last year. The first few rounds went by quickly and the updates on the scores were looking good for us: 1st= with Ashburton. However, we slipped up on a couple questions and were 2 behind going into the ‘all or nothing’ round.
Hugh and I had experience with these and we knew this would put us right back in it or drop us out. The first clue we had was a 10 letter word related with the breakage of buildings starting with D. We knew we needed the full points, so I got the word ‘demolition’, jotted it down and hope for the best. It was right so we got the full points and went into the next round nervous, but excited. The next clue was a plant or species reaching the end of its life, 7 letters starting with E. Hugh knew it and put down ‘extinct’. We had escaped the ‘all or nothing’ round with 10 points!
Next up was a country-to-word round and we knew all of them but two. Cossack and Smorgasbord to Russia and Sweden. Running it up to the judges, Hugh remembered something but he wasn't allowed to take it back. This would have sealed the win, as we were going into the final round 1 point adrift!
It was a spell-the-word round, our strong point. We cruised through them until the second-to-last word: fluoride. This we think got us to the four-way tie as it was probably the toughest word. They announced there was four teams in 1st place and went to double check all the answers. This was the first time it had ever happened but it was true, so it came down to a spell-off.
The first two words were conquerable and cuisine. We knew them both but so did the other teams so it all rested on the final word, veterinarians. Hugh and Seb didn't know so they chucked me the pen. I was fairly confident so I handed it in straight away. The other teams took a while but when they brought it up, the announcer said: We have a winner. She went through her ending speech (which felt like a couple hours) until she announced 2nd place. We crossed all our fingers but it wasn't us. Then she said: First place, Waihi 2. We all walked up with big grins on our faces, ending a great day in which the Science team was victorious as well.
Written by Lachie Short
Sebastian Ferro, Lachie Short and Hugh Saunders