Auckland Anniversary Day Classic Regatta – Launch Drag Race
Monday saw 10 classic launches brave the inner harbour conditions to contest the annual round the bouys, jandal to the floor romp, to see who has the most slippery haul or deepest pockets (big engine and fuel). There is a handicap system but let’s not kid ourselves – its first across the line that gets the glory. This year Kaikoura claimed the honours. Photos from Nick Davidson onboard his woody – Juanita, parked off the harbour port rounding mark close to Orakei Wharf. LINE: 1. Kaikoura 2. Fleetwing 3. My Girl HANDICAP: Fleetwing > Kaikoura > Paika > My Girl > Cindy Jane > Callisto > Waikaro > Kumi > Laughing Lady > Shearwater (Full details below)
Some people take this race very seriously, earlier in the week I witnessed Fleetwing’s keel getting the Jenny Craig treatment (LARGE sections removed) and a new prop added 🙂
Video Footage of the 2022 Mahurangi Regatta A Division Yacht Start
1. What is sail #3445 doing in that stunning line up of classics. Two points (a) its not a classic (b) it pollutes the image
2. Who was calling starting tactics on sail #A11 (Ida) No room at the inn for them. Maybe they also thought 3445 shouldn’t be there and could squeeze them out 🙂
Today woodys we get to go on a virtual trip back in time – to the early 1970’s and finish off in 2022.The hero of todays story is Callisto, the 50’ sport cruiser that Jack Barrott built in Waipu, Northland over 3 years in the late 1960’s > early 1970’s. Firstly some background on Barrott – his family owned a saw mill and native forests in Northland (back in the days when you were allowed to do that). During this time the Ministry of Works had a wee problem – a giant kauri tree – named ‘Packwood’ was about to fall over and block the main road north, on the Brynderwyn Hills, so the decision was made to fell it – Barrott’s mill was the obvious choice. So this giant kauri and other trees from their private native forests provided the timber for the construction of Callisto.
In the early 1960’s well visiting the USA, Barrott came across the latest motorboat designs in Florida – known as Sportfishing boats – he liked what he saw and made a half-model and drawings, which he showed Whangarei boat builder Alan Orams, who then drew full plans and would help Barrott during the building process. The backbone and frames were in fact constructed at the Orams yard, then transported to Waipu for assembly in Barrott’s shed. Construction is very traditional, with kauri used for most of the structural members and exotic timbers else where. The 42’ keelson came from one solid kauri log, as did the floors, ribs, hull and deck beams.
The design of Callisto with its flybridge, as compared to the traditional sedan top launches of the time, was years ahead of the market and even today, 50 yrs later, she is still a looker amongst a marina of white plastic boats. Post launching Callisto spent approx. 15 years moored in and around Whangarei Harbour – her next owner was a Bob Doughty, who changed her name to – Challenger’ in c.1987. Fast forward to 2002 and she changed hands again – this time to Steve and Elizabeth Cowie – who quickly changed her name back to Callisto (fyi – Callisto is the 3rd moon of Jupiter). The Cowe’s undertook an extensive refit that included modernising her interior. A bonus was that Steve Cowie was fully expecting to have to remove the 30 yearly twin Caterpillar 3160 – 10.5L, 210hp, non-turbocharged engines, that had never had the heads off. When inspected by Cat technicians they were found to be in top condition and given a clean bill of health. In fact they remain in the boat today. Being semi-displacement Callisto cruises at 10>12 knots and tops out at 14.
Callisto passed thru several sets of hands – the trial looks something like this (if I have it wrong, let me know) – Jack Barrott > Bob Doughty > Ken Carter > Steve Cowie > Kurt Settle and in 2018 ownership went to the 3 Forsyth brothers (Kent, Rhys and Tobias) and their families who share the use, costs and maintenance but mainly the love of being out on the water in Callisto, She gets used extensively around the gulf and most summers to the Bay of Islands but with more farther afield adventures definitely in the long term plans.
Callisto has just completed a 3 1/2 week full hull repaint in the shed Pine Harbour Boat painters, The result of the finish achieved being simply magnificent with the quality of workmanship second to none. Whilst in the shed the brothers made the most of things with an additional kauri knee fitted to the duck-board, teak cockpit re-caulk and tidy up and some new bronze rudders cast at the Foundry in Silverdale. As I say often – some boats are lucky in they owners – Callisto is one of them 🙂
Do People Still Tune Into waitematawoodys Over The Holidays ?
Short answer – YES, in fact these holidays more than ever. On Jan 4th we hit a record for the highest number of individuals ever logging on in a 24hr period. Other than Xmas day, every day was bigger than the average (normal) daily viewing. Thanks for the support, seeing the above skyscapers makes the effort of doing a daily story worthwhile. Best Regards Alan Houghton
Back in February 2020 a friend was cruising the streets on Auckland’s North Shore (he is allowed to – drives a car with a strip of lights on the roof) when he spotted the woody launch – Avalon, resting on a residential properties lawn. Turns out the 80+ year old owner has owned Avalon all her life – you can read and see more at the link below https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/02/17/mystery-sam-ford-launch/
Fast forward nearly two years and it turns out that the launches owner , Marjorie Mumme is Tobias Forsyth’s grandmother. Tobias owns MV Callisto and his Dad, Iain Forsyth has MV Meola. Tobias being a good grandson has stepped up to the mark and taken on the restoration of Avalon. To quote Tobias – no rush, first step = put her in a shed, the fear was she would end up as a garden sleep-out. Avalon was designed and built in 1954 by Sam Ford and is a one owner boat (Lloyd and Marjorie Mumme) , in fact still has the original Morris Navigator petrol engine. When launch she was 24’ but has 2’ added to the stern soon after.These days health & safety would lock you up for transporting a boat like we see on the truck above. The video was filmed by Tobias.
30-11-2021 INPUT FROM Carol Forsyth (nee Mumme) From birth to bikinis and boyfriends, my sisters and I grew up on Avalon. Motuihe, Browns Island, Islington Bay, Waiheke, Coromandel and Kawau was our playground and oh the stories that boat could tell! Dad loved Avalon as much as we did and when he passed on Mum took over Dad’s loving care. Now that Mum has finally handed over Avalon to my son Tobias and his family we look forward to seeing her in the water again.The black and white image of Avalon under sail was taken off Kauri Point and I would assume Dad had the Morris Navigator ticking over, but maybe she was under sail only.
HELP NEEDED – Tobias would like to find out more about the petrol Morris Navigator in Avalon. He is looking for any one that may have spares or have had a lot to do with them in the past but any info or spare parts would be greatly appreciated as he would love to keep the original engine but it must be reliable. Mainly if there are some Morris car guys that know if this engine is just a marinised version of a car engine of some vintage possibly? I can email better copies of the above photos if that would help.
I like the sail set-up – very salty, if I put that on Raindance, I might qualify to be one of the chosen ones to berth at Chad Thompson’s yacht only, new 40 berth Heritage Basin at the Viaduct 🙂
Photos below ex MV Buccaneer (Michelle Bostock & Tim Ord
Woodys Clevedon River Overnight BBQ Cruise
The weekend forecast for the woodys classic cruise up the Wairoa River to the Clevedon Cruising Club was a mixed bag, but as almost always is the case with woody events, it all came good and other a few light showers the 15 launches and one yacht had a ball. We were meet by CCC member Barrie Abel in his classic Sea Craft run-about who piloted the fleet up the river, only one oops that I know of, they were following Raindance and clipped a maker pole, but blamed me as I was taking photos and ‘diverting’ a tad.
Big thanks to all the CCC members that turn out to lend a hand with the berthing, no easy task with a mix of craft and ’skills’ 😉
The afternoon was spent catching up with old and new friends via a spot of boat hopping, followed by a BBQ dinner at our hosts club house.The chef, Bazza was the best, how he remembers which food on the BBQ belongs to who and how you want it cooked is beyond me. A few of us watched the All Black v Australia rugby test (on an iPhone) so the AB’s big win capped of a great night.
Sunday dawned with a perfect day, but the sun might have been a little too bright for one of two of the revellers but conditions were agreeable for the trip home.
Again many thanks to the CCC members for the hospitality and friendship extended to us – we will be back. (Make sure you view the videos, some great dockside footage + thank you those that emailed in photos from the weekend – and as always click on photos to enlarge)