Auckland Anniversary Day – Classic Launch Race – 26 Wooden Boat Photos


Auckland Anniversary Day – Classic Launch Race

Over the long weekend we had a smorgasbord of boating events to chose from, one being a ‘classic’ launch race on the Monday, as part of the 2020 Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta. The format is a handicapped race around a set inner harbour course, effectively a drag race. Handicapping for these races is a challenge, there are so many variables that come into play.
Reviewing the results, the handicapping appears to have done a good job.
The day was near perfect and a delayed start meant that I was able to take the above photos. I was heading back for Mahurangi and was not planning to be at the event.
As you would expect, there were numerous mechanical problems and a few DNF’s.
Photos a little ‘hairy’ – long lens.
1st:   Ngaio
2nd: Sterling
3rd:  Fancy Free







Classic Woody Things To Do In Auckland Today

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Classic Woody Things To Do In Auckland Today
If your aren’t like me and still floating around Kawau Island, its a big day on the Waitemata today with the running of the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta.
The link below has the schedule for the events. The woody favourites are the Tug Boat Race and Classic Launch (drag) Race. Whether you are afloat or shore based, get out and support our regatta.
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To learn more about Tug Boat racing on the Waitemata Harbour – clink the clink below and then scroll down to watch John Street talking on how it all happened – great viewing
WAITANGI DAY WOODY BEACH PICNIC – FEB 6 – Put A Circle In Your Diary, All Woodys Welcome. RSVP Below
Woody Waitangi Picnic

CONNIE V – Saved


CONNIE V – Saved

It makes me happy to be able to announce that Connie V the 1949, Lane Motor Boat Co. built launch has been purchased and is now in very woody ownership. She will be restored to better than as-launched, more details in the New Year, but we will follow this restoration in detail.

In todays photos / videos (ex Jason Prew) we see her being relaunched at Panmure after a lengthy period on the hard. Lots more of photos and history at the WW link below

Photos below ex Gavin Cook and Harold Kidd of Connie V looking a lot smarter.

Well That Was A Short Splash – Now out again in her new home (photos ex Nathan Herbert)



Classic Launch Race Announcement 

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If you are a woody launch owner and like to open the pipes up i.e. race against other woodys – Auckland’s Anniversary Day Regatta wants you and your launch.

In 2019 we saw the re-birth of classic launch racing to the regatta after an absence of some 100 years. 2020 is the 180th anniversary of the regatta. So woodys, if you are going to be back in Auckland on January 27th, after the world famous Mahurangi Regatta, click the link below to learn more about the regatta and the handicap launch race. Plus read how you could walk away with prize money including a $1,000 cash prize if you enter by 31 December, plus spot prizes including a Hawaiian holiday.







152 Years Ago – Sailing Sunday

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152 Years Ago – Sailing Sunday
photo by Daniel Manders Beere ex A. Turnbull Library.

Hard to believe sometimes that we are such a young country & as proof look at the above photo from January 1864, which shows the Queen Street Wharf. The view today is very different, the angle is from Smales Point at the foot of Hobson St. The occasion was the Auckland Anniversary Regatta, you can see Fort Britomart at the extreme right.

Personally I was doing a double take looking over at Devonport & the ‘humps’ of Mt Victoria & ‘North Head’ did not look right, with a 3rd hump visible in the middle. Then I remember that what today is called Mt.Cambria reserve was once in the middle & was quarried for scoria & thus disappeared 😦

Big Boys Toys




Big Boys Toys

Auckland’s Anniversary Day Regatta attracts a huge fleet of vessels from sailing dinghies to tall ships & is one of the biggest one day sailing regattas in the world. One of the most popular events with the spectators is the Tug (work) Boat race. The race sees 20+ tugboats tearing around the  harbour in very close combat. The skippers are some of the best seaman on the harbour & they need to be with the almost ‘bumper-to-bumper’ racing.
This year was no different 🙂 in the photos above we see two of the Classic Yacht Association launch fleet, Ferro & Sterling almost dwarfed by modern day tugboats.

To view more of the tugboat action & more CYA classic boats competing – click this link

Now in the last photo above I bet the bloke on the helm of the yacht is asking himself – “what the hell am I doing here?” 🙂

Very Cool Video from the Race

Yesterdays Mahurangi Regatta post on WW broke all the records in terms of visitors & viewing numbers, over 14,000 in the first 24 hours. Thanks should go out to all the boat owners that make the effort to attend the event & spend all the time & effort prepping their pride & joy.

The classic of the regatta in my eyes would be Tasman, the 1927 Colin Wild launch. She is one of those boats that no matter what angle you look at her she is just perfect & a credit to owners D O’Callahan & A Tyler.


176th Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta

Akl Ann Day


Today’s photo is from the Mac Taylor collection & shows what I suspect is one of the Colin Wild ‘3 sisters’ my pick is Lady Gay, I’ll need help with the two yachts 🙂

Hopefully the weather gods will smile today & there will be some exciting racing to watch.

One of the real hoots of the day is the Tug Boat Race – it starts at 10.00am off Princess Wharf – course chart below + viewing points map.

Recent WW Posts – Sorry if some of the recent posts have appeared at ‘odd’ times but the platform that WW runs on has been upgraded & I have been having a few teething issues.

Just returned from the Mahurangi Regatta – amazing number of classic woodys in residence for the weekend – a big WW post on Tuesday 😉

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Full details here

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A collection of photos ex Martin Turnwald on the day, taken from North Head.

Auckland 100th Ann Regatta 1950

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Auckland 100th Ann Regatta 1950
photo ex A. Turnbull via Historic NZ photos

Today’s photo by Whites Aviation shows a classic bridge-decker with a crowd of spectators on board watching the 1950 (100th) Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta. Bastion Point on left in the background.
At first glance I thought the launch was Valsan but its not, so what say the woodys?

It’s a big call given what we can see but anyone want to take a punt on ID’ing the other bridge-decker?

Big day today at Mahurangi for the annual classic regatta – lots of photos next week 😉

Remember Monday is Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta. More details here


Malihini + Anniversary Woody Weekend

MALIHINI + Anniversary Woody Weekend 
photos ex Pam Cundy

Today’s post is a slight mystery – we know the name but that is about all. Pam took the photo in Jan 2016 at Great Barrier Island. Anyone able to enlighten us on her?

19-01-2016 Input from Doug Brown (owner)
Malihini is kept at Gulf Harbour & powered by a 210 hp Cummins and cruises at 14 knots , top speed 19.
She is double diagonal kauri built to a very high standard by Brin Wilson in 1976. The previous owner for 7 years was Roy Patterson.

Q: Where Do You Find The Most Wooden Boats In One Spot On One Day?
A: Auckland’s Anniversary Weekend

So woodys, get the pencil out & put a big circle on the calendar for the weekend of Jan 29th > Feb 1st . Its Auckland’s Anniversary weekend & that means one of the best classic boating periods all year.
For the launches & cruising yachts the weekend kicks off on Saturday with the Mahurangi Regatta & for the keen finishes back in Auckland on the Monday for the Anniversary Day Regatta. For details on the yacht racing & all events see below.

Remember folks the BYO BBQ, band & prize giving  on Saturday night at Scotts Landing (6.30pm>) is the biggest gathering of woodys in one spot this side of the black stump 🙂 All welcome, you do not have to be a CYA member or regatta racer, just rock up with your goodies – BBQ’s provided.

Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta

Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta

photo ex Heather & John Lidgard

Today is the 175th Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta, for a young country like NZ that is a significant milestone. Out on the water today will be boats of all sizes & ages, from radio controlled pond yachts to the giants of the classic fleet – the A-Class keelers. Now even if you are boat-less today, I encourage you to head down to the harbour & grab a good vantage point.

For classic wooden boat lovers – the key times are:
10.00am for the Tug Boat Race. New inner harbour course this year with the start off Princess Wharf
12.00pm for the A-Class classic fleet start, again off Princes Wharf

Full details on today’s events here spectators

Today’s photo from 1946 shows spectators cramming every vantage point they can at Westhaven. The large concrete building looks a ‘little’ more impressive today as the home of the RNZYS. The large launch on the right was Claude Atherton’s Manuwai.

If you do get out, take the camera & send me some photos 🙂

It would be amiss of me if I did not mention some of the people behind today’s regatta – I’ll upset somebody by saying this (but that’s ok) but without the support & effort of this core group of people from the classic boating movement the regatta just would not happen – (in no order) – Bruce Tantrum, John Street, Baden Pascoe, Joyce Talbot, Eric Mahoney & others I’m sure.

Pacific at the 100th Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta

Pacific at the 100th Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta

photo ex Nathan Herbert

Given that tomorrow is the 175th running of the regatta, I felt it was a perfect opportunity to post the above stunning photo of the launch Pacific & her crew watching the A-Class fleet compete in the regatta.
From L>R – A18 Tawera / A16 Little Jim / A2 Rawhiti / A14 ? / A15 Prize / A5 Rawene / A9 Moana

Tonight there is a big on-the-water fireworks display in the inner harbour so if you are in & around the city – check it out. Details at the regatta website (link below)

I would encourage you tomorrow to make the effort to find a good viewing point as the regatta is one of Auckland’s truly special days.
More details here

Jack Brooke Cruise Collection #15 – Kiariki Anniversary Day Regatta 1962

Jack Brooke Cruise Collection #15 – Kiariki Anniversary Day Regatta  1962

Another  Jack Brooke drawing, published on ww thanks to son Robert for making them available to ww followers. Jack produced a hand drawing on each cruise. Today’s post is the 15th featured – this one features the 1962 Anniversary Day Regatta & show Kiariki, Kiatoa & Jezebel. I see there is a note that Moana broke her spinnaker boom.

Big crew on-board: John Brooke, Elsie Brooke, Mrs Owen Aisher, Howard Wallace, Monty Wallace, Bill Thompson, Richard Purchase & Mary Duder.

For details on this years regatta – the 175th & only 3 days away – refer here