Waikato Woodys – Sailing Sunday #1


WAIKATO WOODYS – SAILING SUNDAYS#1
photos & details ex Judith Wallath

Judith has just finished reading Jimmy Gilpin’s book “Winners are Grinners” and was amused to discover that her last year in P Class on Hamilton Lake coincided with his first year (although he was from Tauranga). The Cambridge Boating Club held a Regatta in 1949 to celebrate the completion of Karapiro Dam and the formation of the Lake. The first photo above was taken by Waikato Times/Herald photographer, Mr Fred Louden. Judith is on the right hand end (H11) and Jimmy Gilpin (T23) is at the left end.
Judith says the only remarkable thing she did that day was to break her yacht’s centre board during the capsize race in front of the crowd of spectators. It was her first (and last) attempt at a capsize race 🙂

The 2nd & 3rd photos are from the Hamilton Yacht Club inaugural Easter Regatta in 1949 and Jimmy G was there, well towards the front.  Jimmy and Judith are both in the P Class line-up at the lake edge before the race. Incidentally, the water tower, pictured, had a piece of roofing iron wrapped around it for years.  A memento of the 1949 Frankton tornado.

The 4th, 5th & 6th photos are of the  Idle Along H2 ‘Judith’ that belonged to Judith’s brother Brian. She was built by Brian and their father in the back yard, with encouragement from retired Hamilton builder Harold Martin an enthusiastic yachtsman. Mr Martin towed her to Auckland for the Anniversary Regatta, behind his Model T Ford. On the way back to Hamilton an accident occurred and ‘Judith’ suffered a stoved in side.  Promptly repaired, and back on the lake.

Harold Kidd Input

Harold Martin Sr was briefly in partnership with Chas Collings as “Collings & Martin” from 1907. He and his sons were very important in Waikato and Rotorua sailing in the 30s and 40s with the Idle Alongs IONA (1936), IDA (1939), TAMARA (1940) and WINSOME (1944). They also built and raced the X Class MYSTERY (1922) and the Zeddies TUI (1932) and CUPID (1951) amongst probably several other centre boarders.
Harold Sr lived at Orakei originally and built and/or owned several mullet boats until he left Auckland to live in Hamilton c1920. These included the 22 footer TE ATA and the 26 footer MYSTERY. The name MYSTERY was used by at least three generations of Martins for their yachts from at least 1874.
Similarly the Neilsons of Kawhia, and later of Tauranga, used the name CHARM for a couple of generations including for Jimmy Gilpin’s first Tauranga 7 footer CHARM (to close the circle).
BTW the car towing Briian Wallath’s IA isn’t a Ford T if Judith meant that. It’s a big American tourer of c1924, probably a 6 cylinder Buick. The trailer has 1935 Ford V8 car wheels.

P.S.  – Harold Martin didn’t last long in business with Chas Collings, but then nobody did, neither the Clare brothers, Harold Martin nor Alf Bell. I gather he was “difficult”, but he kept the Bell name in the business long after they parted ways during WW1 when Alf went off to help the Walsh brothers build and maintain their flying boats at Kohimarama.

Updated 03-11-2015 Photo below ex Harold Kidd  of Le Clerc’s IA JUDITH on Hamilton Lake with the 14 footer PERSEUS (Y8) and Frostbite 151, KIRIROA, c1949.

 

 

15 thoughts on “Waikato Woodys – Sailing Sunday #1

  1. My brother recalls P7 Turnover Alan Thompson. P. Towers was likely a later skipper. Is there a definitive record somewhere of all these P class ? Or did it all grow like P82 ?

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  2. Pleased to read about some of the other skippers – and didn’t we look good!
    Do you recall that the Hamilton YC operated out of a little building about the size of a small garden shed. Two occupants, three at a pinch. It was across the Lake from where the present clubhouse stands. Handy to a little jetty and the start line.

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  3. Those with Auckland boat (the P-reg) are probably the following:
    P7 Turnover, P. Towers
    P55 Katie, Don Godfrey (possibly, no record of him after 1947. A different owner by 1951)
    P73 Jolly Roger, Neil Nicholson
    P77 Sandy Mac, C. Nicholson (Stu Nicholson?)
    P82 Topsy, Robert Brooke
    P86 Kotuku, P. Gault (Onehunga) (possibly – no record of him after 1949. A new owner by 1951)

    I say probably because the early Tauranga class registrations are a bit of a minefield.

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  4. Three of the ‘P’ Class are from Wakatere Boating club. P 82, with red sail is Topsy with myself aboard. P 73, Neil Nicholson, I think, and if I remember correctly P 86.
    We regularly visited Hamilton Lake with our frostbites and P class.
    A great line up.

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  5. Robin, you have come up with some good info there. Your 1948/49 details are interesting.
    H6 Jolly Roger, Clark Ebbett rings a bell. The second entry for H6 has no meaning for me, sorry. unless Clark sold his boat at that time.
    H5 Joy, Peter Berry sounds right I think, also H7 Pal, John Ebbett (Clark’s cousin)
    H2 – sorry not sure, and I may be giving you a red herring here. I feel I should know this one. but I may be confusing it with the IA. I wonder if it was Ray Fink’s boat Heather which was named after his sister. There is a photo of Ray sailing Heather, in Gun Caundle’s book, Our Secret Weapon (p.73), but no sail number shows. I recall that Ray bought me a real treat – Queen Anne chocolates – nice lad! He was out of Taurangas by 48/49 so that won’t be him in the photo.
    Swallow, J. Henderson – no recollection. I now see a photo of Colin Noakes, H17 Thrasher, complete with spinnaker, (I remember it) in Gun’s book p.75. Surely Hamilton Yacht Club would have lots of this sort of of info? (I was secretary for a short while in 1949 before moving to Auckland.)
    Good luck! Judith W

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  6. Great Stuff Judith!
    Ratting around yesterday I turned up a confusing “Tauranga P-Class” list from a 1949 Seacraft Annual. Probably accurate for late 1948.

    It shows the Tauranga YMBC boats from the same period, names and owners but no sail numbers (very helpful 😦 ), but it also includes some Hamilton boats.

    As well as confirming what you say above, it has two boats from the same period with sail number H-6:
    H-6 Jolly Roger, C. Ebbett
    H-6 Sylvia, B. Adams (could this be a misprint?)

    H-5 Joy owned by P. Berry – does this make sense?
    also:
    H-2 Amazon, R. Broderick (the yacht 8th from left, with just number 2 on it sail?)
    H-7 Pal, J. Ebbett

    It also has the following boats, but gives no sail numbers:
    Heather, B. Albrecht
    Swallow, J. Henderson

    Robin

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  7. Good question, Robin. The best I can do with boat names is –
    H 11 Joyful Judith Le Clerc H 8 Ella (Claude’s Mum) Claude Robertson
    H 6 (unknown) Clark Ebbett
    H 5 Joy ? My brother is fairly sure that H5 is the sail no. of the yacht he used to own. (We bought Joy from Neil Wing – his wife was named Joy). Originally the sail number was simply ‘H’. The lad in the photo with H5 could be Doug Beckett, maybe not Colin Noakes. If the photo was in colour we would know. Doug had red hair.
    T 23 Jimmy G Jimmy Gilpin
    Sorry I can’t do better. Incidentally, Brian Le Clerc (1946), Claude Robertson and Clark Ebbett were early winners of the United Services Trophy.
    Judith W

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  8. Hullo Robin. I only knew the Hamilton sailors, as we sailed together on the Lake. A good bunch! At the time I was the only girl in P class in Hamilton. Doreen (?) was in Tauranga, and I think a Judy sailed in Auckland. We were trailblazers.
    H ll Judith Le Clerc H8 Claude Robertson H6 Clark Ebbett
    H5 maybe Colin Noakes T4 maybe Doreen Everitt (my memory of her name may not be quite correct) T23 Jimmy Gilpin
    Hope this helps. Judith W

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  9. Harold Martin didn’t last long in business with Chas Collings, but then nobody did, neither the Clare brothers, Harold Martin nor Alf Bell. I gather he was “difficult”, but he kept the Bell name in the business long after they parted ways during WW1 when Alf went off to help the Walsh brothers build and maintain their flying boats at Kohimarama.

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  10. Harold – I am very interested to learn of Harold Martin’s earlier history, it’s news to me. He helped a lot of newcomers to the yachting world and I remember him with affection. Sorry I made a mistake about his vehicle. I’m afraid cars are all the same to me. I believe he had a brother Ray who was active in Auckland yachting.
    By the way, my brother is Brian Le Clerc, not Wallath. He was a very good P class sailor (United Services Trophy winner) and competed in the Cornwell Cup. I’m a bit proud of him.
    Regards Judith W

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  11. Harold Martin Sr was briefly in partnership with Chas Collings as “Collings & Martin” from 1907. He and his sons were very important in Waikato and Rotorua sailing in the 30s and 40s with the Idle Alongs IONA (1936), IDA (1939), TAMARA (1940) and WINSOME (1944). They also built and raced the X Class MYSTERY (1922) and the Zeddies TUI (1932) and CUPID (1951) amongst probably several other centreboarders.
    Harold Sr lived at Orakei originally and built and/or owned several mullet boats until he left Auckland to live in Hamilton c1920. These included the 22 footer TE ATA and the 26 footer MYSTERY. The name MYSTERY was used by at least three generations of Martins for their yachts from at least 1874.
    Similarly the Neilsons of Kawhia, and later of Tauranga, used the name CHARM for a couple of generations including for Jimmy Gilpin’s first Tauranga 7 footer CHARM (to close the circle).
    BTW the car towing Briian Wallath’s IA isn’t a Ford T if Judith meant that. It’s a big American tourer of c1924, probably a 6 cylinder Buick. The trailer has 1935 Ford V8 car wheels.

    Like

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