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.