Little Jim – A16 – Coastal Classic Race Report

Little Jim – A16 Coastal Classic Race Report

Today’s story and photos comes to us from Little Jim’s skipper and owner James Mortimer and crew – Ash Smith, Rodrigo Salas, Janez Mikec, Max Goutard, Erwann Jooris.

I’ll let James share the story with you, as always – click on photos to enlarge. Enjoy 🙂

“After four long months out of the water at the Milford marina yard over winter, I know that Little Jim had been wanting to stretch her legs and get a good long sail up the coast. She feels fast with her newly reinforced decks, rebuilt rudder, and all over paint job. Or maybe it’s the long winter without any sailing that has made her crew push her along that little bit more.

The weather forecast for Labour weekend had been looking challenging, with light northerlies and rainy weather predicted. On Tuesday night we got together on the boat to go over safety and systems, not at all confident that we would even start the race. Over the next two days the forecast slowly got a little better, with the wind direction moving ever so slightly toward the east. On Thursday night, we made the call to go, knowing full well it was going to be tough. 


Early Friday morning and with enough food and beer to supply a small army, we got ourselves into racing mode and set off for Devonport. There is something special about this race, with more than 150 yachts lining up across the harbour, a sense of anticipation building as the gun gets closer, an adventure ready to start.

We made an early call to cross the channel toward Rangitoto and escape the worst of the incoming tide. Little Jim made excellent ground on most of the fleet who were busy short tacking up Cheltenham Beach in very little wind. A long tack due east across the top of Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands allowed us to finally turn north and lay the outside of Tiri Island and and make some miles to the north. As it turned out, the short stretch between Tiri and Kawau Island was to be the best sailing we would get all day, with a perfect NE’er of 12 to 15 kts, and boat speed above 7 kts.

On any Coastal Classic, there is a decision to make off Takatu Point. Is the boat and the crew in good shape and ok to go on. In any adverse weather this is no small call to make. As all boaties know, crossing Bream Bay can be brutal, and there is no decent shelter until Tutukaka. An easy decision this time, and it was champagne sailing as we passed Cape Rodney. It didn’t last though, and as afternoon slid into evening the wind eased away and turned back north. A frustrating night of slow tacking between the Hen & Chick Islands and Whangarei Heads began, with not a lot of northward miles being made. What the wind failed to deliver the night sky made up for, with an impressive meteor shower, a crystal clear Milky Way, lots of phosphorescence, and an incredible sunrise.

At 8.30am, we made the difficult decision to pull the pin on the race just south of Elizabeth Reef. The forecast was light until afternoon and we had little hope of reaching Russell before cut off at 3pm. 

Ending the race early wasn’t going to put a damper on the weekend though and we spent the next three days sailing downwind back to Auckland under spinnaker via the Poor Knights Islands, Tutukaka, the Hen & Chicks, and Kawau Island. 

Little Jim, built in 1934, was the oldest boat to enter in this year’s race, and it is a fitting testament to the skill of New Zealand’s early boat builders and designers that we can often keep up with boats that are 60 or 70 years younger! 


Can’t wait till 2021”

LITTLE JIM

A16 – bermudan rigged, she was designed & built in 1934 by Arch Logan & Bill Couldrey.
LOA: 42’10”, LWL: 28′, BEAM: 9’1″, DRAFT: 6′

Sarita

SARITA
I have been contacted by Brian Blake in regard to his launch – Sarita, a 28’ possibly built by Shipbuilders. Brian purchased approx. 12 months ago and knows very little about her other than she was kept at Rocky Bay, Waiheke Island. Prior to this she may have resided in the Tauranga area.
In the next few weeks Brian plans to haul her out for a refit that will include re-powering.
Like all of us woody owners, Brian would love to learn more about Sarita’s past – so any help would be greatly appreciated.


Make sure to check out WW tomorrow, we have a stunning photo gallery of the classic yacht – Little Jim, competing in this years Coastal Classic Yacht Race. Tease photo below 🙂


Coming back last night from a 5pm re-launching at The Slipway Milford, I spotted a pod of Orca off NorthHead – that is two sightings in the last month.

Ngarurua + CYA Regatta Sailing Photos

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NGARURUA

The 37’ Ngaruroa was built by Nobby Clark, a commercial boat builder and launched in 1965. Built from carvel plank, heart kauri. Powered by a 120hp 6 cylinder Perkins diesel engine. 
Over the last 8 years she has been under gone an extensive re-fit and her owner now finds themselves just too busy to complete the project – so if there is a woody out there handy with their hands – Ngarurua just needs her interior finished and a lick of paint. She is fully operational in its present state. Thanks to Ian McDonald for the tme heads up.

CYA CLASSIC YACHT REGATTA UPDATE – DAY TWO (Races 2&3)
Yesterday morning I was dock side at Race HQ co-ordinating a meet up between renowned wooden boat photographer Benjamin Mendlowitz and James Dreyer (MV Laughing Lady) and I got ‘press ganged’ into accompanying them on LL for the day. Was not what I had planned but sometimes you just go with the flow.
Had an amazing day and got some great sailing photos. A taste below – full story on Monday.

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A10 – Thelma / A7 – Rainbow

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A7 – Thelma / A2 – Rawhiti

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A16 – Little Jim

CYA Double Banger – Riverhead Launch Cruise + Vintage & Veterans Yacht Race

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Achilles

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My Girl

 

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My Girl + Raindance

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Monterey, Te Arahi, Altair, Manapouri

CYA Double Banger – Riverhead Launch Cruise + Vintage & Veterans Yacht Race

While mooching around under the Harbour Bridge waiting for the launch stragglers , I snapped a few photos of the yacht fleet tuning up for the start of the annual Vintage & Veterans yacht race – Photos below
The weather for the launch cruise was almost ideal, after we had arrived at the Riverhead Tavern and had planted ourselves in the bar, the rain started, so while we by dinning and chatting – the old girls got a fresh water wash down – perfect.
A good turn out for late in the season – 16 woodys – made up of 12 CYA members and 4 woodys that joined us for the day. I convinced one to join, but Jason Prew tells me I need to improve on my 25% conversion rate 🙂
Nice to catch up with those that made the trip by motorcar.
As always the food was excellent, just a wee hick-up with a power oops slowed the service down a tad but all good.
Sorry if I missed your woody with my camera – the fleet were very spaced out, so arrive times didn’t suit the need to sustenance 😉
As always, click photos to enlarge.

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Rawhiti A2 + Rainbow A7 + Waitangi A6

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Arcturus K8638

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Little Jim A16

Photos below of Thelma sent in by Simon Smith