Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta – Thank God For The Classics
Ok, I’m going to upset a few – but……. I ask the question – has the AAR passed its use by date?
I think the answer is yes, in its present format. If it wasn’t for the classic fleet i.e. old boats (tugs, work boats, classic launches and yachts) there wouldn’t be many boats on the harbour on anniversary day. Maybe time for a reset, now here’s a thought – merge the event with the Classic Yacht Association’s annual classic regatta.
The reality is changing lifestyles and if people are honest, the Bay of Islands – Sailing Week has robbed the AAR of most of the modern sailing fleet. They in fact claim to be “the biggest regatta of its kind in NZ and one of the Southern Hemisphere’s premier yachting events” – not that long ago the AAR made similar claims. And on top of this the continuing growth of the Mahurangi Regatta that attracts huge numbers of wooden boats from near and far.
The AAR has being a happening thing for over 180 years, it would be a shame for it to continue to die a slow death, now’s the time to ask the big questions and future proof its existence – as an aside a large chunk of the AAR people are linked / involved with the CYA so should not be too hard…………Now where’s my hat – I’m leaving the room 🙂
Video footage for the 2021 regatta below – if you’re only into classic launches fast forward to the 1:14 mark 🙂
Late January > early February is always a big weekend on the yachting calendar – it is Auckland’s birthday and one of the lead events is the Anniversary Day Regatta – started way back in 1840 it is New Zealand’s oldest sporting event and in fact even pre-dates the America’s Cup by 11 years.
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.
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
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 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 😦
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.
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.
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 😉
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.