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.