Sir Peter Blake & Bandit
When Sir Peter was 18 & living at the family home in Bayswater he built his first keeler, Bandit, on the front lawn, as people did in those days 🙂
Bandit was discovered recently in a shed at Warkworth & purchased by The Classic Yacht Charitable Trust. Bruce Tantrum has overseen the restoration of the yacht & she will shortly be on permanent display at Auckland’s Maritime Museum. The photo above shows Bruce Tantrum supervising the weighing of Bandit for the manufacture of the Museum installation brackets. Ian Cook & the Yachting Development (YDL) team have done a magnificent job on the restoration.
WW has been contacted by Shirley-Ann McCrystal, the CYCA’s secretary, asking for help joining the dots on Bandits past. The CYCA are producing a register of Bandits ownership, but have some blank slots, Sir Peter’s brother Tony and members of his family cannot recall who Sir Peter sold her to in 1968/69? so today’s ww story is a shout up to any woody that may have known any of Bandits previous owners.
CYCT – 2013 – present)
Viv Wyatt – (1999? – 2013)
Mike Sharp ? – 1999?
So woody’s can you put the thinking cap on – any input will be most appreciated, you can rely via the ww comments section or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Once Bandit is installed at the Maritime Museum ww will do a full story on the recovery & restoration of Bandit.
Below are some photos of the original build & 2013 recovery – you can view more here http://www.classicyachtcharitabletrust.org.nz/gallery.htm?gallery_id=53
If your interested to read / view more on The Classic Yacht Charitable Trust & their fleet – view here http://www.classicyachtcharitabletrust.org.nz/
Input from Robin Elliott
Bandit was launched with sail number E-260 possibly late 1967 but more likely early 1968. Sea Spray October 1967 reported that Peter Blake had almost completed the hull of a 24ft Van de Stadt Buccaneer design.
I first see her racing ( in print) in Sea Spray December 1968 which reports her racing with RAYC’s JOG Donaghy’s Trophy series.
SS Apr 1969: Racing in RAYC’s J.O.G. class events.
SS May 1969: Racing DYC Regatta.
AAR 1970: Entered Channel Island Race
SS Mar 1970: Racing DYC Points series.
SS Apr 1970: Racing DYC 40 mile single handed. 1st place.
In 1969 she took NZYF number 660.
Peter Blake appears to sell her in 1970 to J.A Dunnett 527 Beach road Murrays Bay who entered her in the 1971 Anniversary Regatta.
Dunnett owns her until at least 1973/74 where he has her on the register of RAYC.
NZYF has her registered to Dunnett right up to 1980 but it’s anybody’s guess whether this is accurate or not.
After 1980 she vanishes and has no registered owners.
One more thing. I see from the NZCYT website that:
“Peter, Tony and Crawford won the New Zealand Junior Offshore Group Championship in the 1968-69 season.”
I believe this surfaced a few years back in Alan Sefton’s book on Peter Blake but might not be strictly accurate. Does a plaque or cup exist to confirm this?
According to Jack Potter, one of the founders of the JOG movement and member of RAYC’s JOG Committee, the JOG scene was driven by a bunch of young enthusiasts centered around RAYC, and barely a season old when Bandit was launched. There was no recognised National or NZ competition. Everything was centered around RAYC and supplemented by other yacht clubs such as DYC that held long distance races.
What Bandit possibly did win that year was the RAYC JOG championship. It so, it was possibly the first such championship for JOG boats, but it was not as such ‘a New Zealand JOG championship’.
The RAYC trophy list records Bandit 1968/69 as winning the Satanita Rose Bowl, presented by Ron Wilkie 100 mile JOG Classic.
The Satanita Rose Bowl is the only RAYC trophy carrying Bandit’s name
Check with Jack Potter for clearer details. I can furnish his phone number if anyone is interested.
Sea Spray’s reporting for these events was rather minimal at the time, so everything is open to correction. Maybe someone has some Herald/Star cuttings that can expand things?
22-05-2017 Input from Craig Johnson
I sailed on Bandit for 2 season’s – maybe 3. The owner was John Dunnett(?) and I’m reasonably confident that he purchased her off Peter Blake. She was moored on a swing mooring in Bayswater. We had a sister ship called Yunta – owned by Richie Schofield that we had many a good time with racing and cruising. The toilet was a plastic bucket and to use it you had to sit on the bucket with your head out of the for’ard hatch. Was always a time of much humour when the Bandit or Yunta crew had that call of nature. Every yachtie in the bay knew what was going on. One Christmas John D, Keith Randle & myself sailed Bandit North for a couple of weeks cruising. We made it to Mangonui which was like a great adventure for us al on a 24 foot boat. The year would have been around 1973 -75. Would love to see Bandit again and John Dunnett. He worked for Gibson Patterson back then as a Sales Rep. His wife was Eleanor and they lived in Murrays Bay.