Ngarunui – 1967 Whangarei > Noumea Yacht Race Start

Ngarunui – 1967 Whangarei > Noumea Yacht Race Start
The above launch appeared in a series of photos the Lew Redwood had on his fb, all taken in the days leading up to and including the 1967 Whangarei to Noumea yacht race.The boat looks very familiar to me, but before I make a fool of myself (again) I’ll call for input from the WW readers as to its identity.

As correctly ID’ed by several eagle eyed woodys – the boat is Ngarunui – WW links below for lots of photos and details 🙂

The other day, Bay of Islands woody – Hylton Edmonds draw my attention to the May 2021 issue of the UK magazine Classic Boating and the editors (Stefan Meyric-Hughes) page 5 editorial column. Which I have reproduced below. I’m sure you will all agree with Hylton’s comment to me – “It’s  succinct, brilliant, and a poignant reminder for all wooden boat “nutters“ around the world not least us in NZ who persevere under, at times seemingly,  never ending odds,  to final success and that long dream of re-launch day…

Eastern Star Double Oops

The photos above, dated 1961, from the Nelson Photo News (via Lew Redwood) show the Nelson based launch Eastern Star after she was re-floated following a double collision with a rock off Harding Point. The vessel, owned by V. McAuley at the time, hit the rock and was holed. The crew managed to beach the boat but during the salvage operations, she hit again and sank – remember folks this was in the days before GPS, but still – twice!

Sitting in 30’ of water a team of divers assisted in bringing her to the surface where a temporary patch was done to the bow. Eastern Star was then towed back to Nelson where she was slipped for what was described a ‘extensive repairs. The photos were taken by Mrs. McAuley.

Do we know what became of the vessel and any details on her?

Sixty Six Wooden Launches Assemble Off Westhaven

Sixty Six Wooden Launches Assemble Off Westhaven

In early 1961 Auckland hosted the British Medical Association conference, with attendees from all over the Commonwealth attending. Included in the conference was a ‘break’ day where the delegates and wives were taken on a picnic to Motuihe Island.

In the photo above we see the launches that were transporting everyone to the island, assembling off Westhaven. At the time it was one of the biggest organised gatherings of pleasure craft seen in New Zealand with over 66  laid on.The weather gods smiled on the day and Arnold Baldwin’s launch – Valsan was the convoy flagship.

There are a lot of woodys in the photo that still grace the Waitemata today. The photo and details come to us from the April 1961 Sea Spray magazine via Angus Rogers.

Onerahi Wharf Regatta


odays photo is dated 1921 and shows the Onerahi Wharf (Whangarei) Regatta. Quite a few launches at anchor and alongside the wharf. Anyone game to name them of some of them? (Photo ex Maurice Sharp fb)


If you don’t, chances are at some stage you will – so put the name Simeon Hall – 020 401 35655 – in your address book. Simeon comes highly recommended by Mike Mahoney.