3 Classic Yacht Collisions In 2 Weeks…….

Library image ex Ingrid Abery


You may have missed my comments at the bottom of Mondays WW story, and over the last 48 hours it has emerged that in the last two weeks we have had three serious incidents involving three different A-Class classic yachts, I have detailed descriptions of each incident, but I’ll stay out of the technicalities. Questions of the day – is there a review underway of these incidents? who takes responsibility for the circumstances surrounding the incidents i.e. race starts and finishes? Are there health and safety procedures in place for the ‘worst case scenario’?.

Even if you put any blame to one side, 3 incidents in 2 weeks………………… something is amiss. Me thinks it is time for a fire side skippers chat on rules and good manners.

INCIDENT ONE – Mahurangi Weekend – Sunday Morning – A Class yacht (under power) collides with classic launch – I understand no apology from yacht

INCIDENT TWO – CYA Race Mahurangi > Auckland – Sunday Morning – A Class gaff yacht T-bones another vessel at the start – Other vessel on starboard – near sinking

INCIDENT THREE – CYA Round Rangitoto Yacht Race – A Class gaff yacht collides with finish boat (classic launch) – Again no apology, just laughing

The CYA has its major annual sailing regatta coming up next week – if you’re out and about in your boat- might be a good idea to fender up 😉

22-02-2021 Input From Robin Kenyon

Re Racing at the MCC regatta:
I think safety at Mahurangi was greatly improved this year by having the A class racing the outer loop first, therefore greatly reducing the time spent racing in the confines of the estuary and other racers/spectators. My big plea to the organisers would be for the MCC to affiliate themselves to Yachting New Zealand. Then the racing could be held under the more familiar (to racing and coastal sailors) Racing Rules of Sailing. This would remove a large degree of uncertainty that exists when racing at Mahurangi and help prevent a future accident in waiting. Every other race that the A class does uses these rules, not the COLREGS (except on passage races outside the hours of daylight, I believe). I appreciate that this incurs a cost to the MCC but surely the levy to YNZ is just what has to be done. The vast majority of other clubs in the country pay it.
I have raced regattas in countries all over the world and this is the only one that I have been to that uses COLREGS for daytime racing.
Uncertainty could breed the attitude amongst some that might just blag their way through a fleet rather than abiding to the very clear and proven racing rules of sailing. Stating that their will be no protests must only add to these competitors feeling untouchable.
Whilst this is only one aspect covered by the comments above (and thankfully there were no serious accidents at this years regatta yacht race) I think it has some relevance to the bigger picture. I must have done about 10 Mahurangi regattas, all racing on the A class. The heated on the water interactions for this race are often worse than any other race in our calendar.
Which is a shame for a fun event and a true highlight of the season. It doesn’t need to be that way and using the Racing Rules of Sailing can go a long way to address this. The COLREGS were never written with sailboat racing in mind. That is what the Racing Rules of Sailing are for. When skippering an A class around the harbour the skippers have enough on their plate without having the rethink the rule book.

22-02-2021 Update ex the CYA Feb Newsletter – lets hope they read this, tucked away at the bottom of the newsletter 🙂

Exclusive Lady




The photos above from Dean Wright show the game boat Exclusive Lady fishing the Duke Contest in 1984. While the photos are a little ‘grainy’ from the scanning of 33 year old film negatives, the Lady still looks majestic. Thank you Dean for sharing 🙂

Question of the day woodys – what more do we know about her?


The Ultimate Woodys Friend

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 8.15.26 PM

Ever thought -what’s the name of that boat or who designed her, or who owns her? well if its wood, a classic & the owner is a member of the CYA – then finding the answer is easy – grab a copy of the NZ Classic Yacht Association Register for the ridiculously low price of $15 & you will have access to the ultimate classic woody must have. Fathers Day is fast approaching…….. drop a hint to the partner / kids / grand children 🙂
To grab a copy (or 2 – one for home & one for the boat) contact the CYA on this email link admin@classicyacht.org.nz


Upper Harbour Cruise to the Riverhead Hotel



Upper Harbour Cruise to the Riverhead Hotel

Yesterday had the makings of a stay at home day – the forecast was looking very average & the All Blacks ‘v’ Ireland test was kicking off at 9.00am. Unfortunately the gods only smiled on us once – the weather never eventuated but the AB’s dropped their guard & for the 1st time ever lost to the boys in green. Given the location – Chicago, I say it wasn’t a real test 😉
The following classics from the CYA launch fleet made the trip – Mahanui, Te Arahi, John Dory, Te Hauraki, Trinidad, Lucille, Juanita, Raindance, Matira, Lucinda, Kumi & the motor-sailer Bliss.  These were joined by others who traveled by car. Over 100 gathered on the outer decks for lunch & one or two cleansing beverages.
Another great day & special thanks to the organizer – CYA Launch Captain Angus Rogers, Tony Stevenson for the use of the Tino Rawa Trust tender ‘Whistleblower’ & the publican, Stephen Pepperell, always nice to greeted at the wharf on arrival.

CYA Patio Bay BBQ & Xmas Race Weekend 2015

CYA Patio Bay Weekend 2015
photos ex Alan Houghton & Fiona Driver

Just back from another spectacular wooden boat weekend at Patio Bay, Waiheke Island. The weather was good for the yacht racing but a little rolly in the bay. This put a few owners off anchoring but most bit the bullet & dropped the pick & were rewarded with another brilliant evening ashore at Margaret & Burt Woolicott’s waterfront bach. It had all the ingredients of a classic kiwi boating function – sun, sand, wood fired BBQ’s, the odd cold beverage, a barrel of rum, fire works & lots of nice people.

The evening was made special by the presentation to Chris McMullen of the CYA Outstanding Achievement Trophy for services to classic boating. See the previous ww post for more details.

Even yours truly got a mention in dispatches – I was the surprised recipient of the 2015 Patio Bay Trust Book Award – for my work on/with setting up this site & ensuring that future generations will be able to better experience our wooden boating history.

Enjoy the photos. Sorry that its light on yachts but conditions did not suit bobbing around in a wee dinghy & by now I hope most people realize that a ‘drive-by’ past Raindance almost always ensures a photo on ww 🙂

Must also mention the  magnificent sight of having Viking sailing in the fleet.

I have posted on the CYA forum photos from the yacht post race prizing giving  – link here


Yacht race results here http://classicyacht.org.nz/sailing/

10-12-2015 Sailing Photos below ex Carolyn Anderson (Waimiga)


A Woodys Weekend


A Woodys Weekend
photos ex Alan H

Just back from a really great woody weekend. The CYA hosted a gathering at Fairway Bay Marina, Gulf Harbour that saw the boats all rafted up in the ‘gated’ upper lagoon. We were greeted by Grant the marina manager in his tender that made berthing easy for those without bow-thruster ;-). In fact Grant was the perfect host & made the weekend extra special.
I have to say that rafting up & boat hopping is such a cool thing, perfect way to catch up & tell fibs about your boat while enjoying a refreshing .
When I slid Raindance alongside Trinidad the smell was amazing, bread baking – the latest additional to Trinny is a ‘fitted’ bread maker. It doesn’t get much better than waking up to the smell of bread baking 🙂
Nice to see CYA vice chairman Peter Mence mooching around in his rather cute gaff rigged clinker.
After an afternoon of socializing we all went ashore for a BBQ at the marina bar. Nathan Herbert & Jason Prew were the the chefs on the BBQ & did a superb job, its not often I trust someone to cook my thick-cut aged sirloin steak.
Special mention to the CYA members that turned up by road, Sue & Mark Edmonds (Monterey), Ian Miller (Alpheus) & the new owners of Young Nick.

Included are some random photos of woodys I spotted along the way. Enjoy.

ww is not the place to air ones dirty laundry but I have to say that despite the amazing job that CYA launch captain Nathan Herbert did promoting & hosting the weekend – 7 boats is a p_ss poor turn out from a fleet of 200+ vessels. For those that did not attend, again you missed a great event. Maybe next time………………………?

Photos below from Ken Ricketts taken at arrival & departure.

Now heading back I got a call on the mobile from Jason Prew to say Dolphin had entered Milford Creek (marina) on the wrong side of the channel mark & was aground & could I try & tow them off. When I arrived it was looking like a long day/night for the crew of Dolphin………., Milford is intimidating to even the locals so I was on high alert as we nudged Raindance in VERY close. Robyn was on rock watch & telling me “they are right in front of us”. We managed to get a line bow to stern but she would not budge – not surprising when you look at the photos from later in the day, with the tide out. Hopefully she re-floated last night. She was on-route to Geoff Bagnall’s boat yard so any damage will not be a problem to Geoff & his crew. One negative was that in the process we pulled the outboard off the stern 😦


2015 Mahurangi Regatta Weekend – 70+ Photos

2015 Mahurangi Regatta Weekend – 70+ Photo Parade

The photos tell the story of the weekend – perfect weather, stunning boats & nice people having a great time. Todays post is just a slice of the 3 days of classic wooden boating. I have 100’s of photos that will filter thru into ww over time. Not all are ‘picture perfect’ – its hard to helm the boat (solo) & take photos in a very congested waterway.
As always you’ll see a mix of motor-boats & yachts because even though some people seem blind to the world of classic launches – the weekend is in fact the biggest collection of classic wooden boats afloat in one place in NZ. Remember people – its all about wooden boats 🙂
Saturday nights prize giving & dance ashore at Scotts Landing was one of those evenings out of the bag – a perfect sunset to cap the day off, the panoramic photo above was sent to me by Mark Lever (owner of the very smart 1926, B.J.L. Juke designed launch – Nereides) & portrays the scene perfectly.
I counted 30+ classic CYA launches around the bays – I’m sure there were more, just didn’t see them all. The launches had a wee parade around the bays on the Saturday to fly the flag for the CYA launch fleet. There was a ‘names in the hat’ draw at the prize giving & one of our newest members – Bill Mitchinson owner of MV Gay Dawn, who traveled up from Tauranga for the weekend, won the ‘Motor Launch Log Trophy’. Now all we need is for last years winner (a non CYA member) to play the game & return the trophy 😦
The trip north for me had one big objective – to see Pauline & Harold Kidd’s just re-launched classic launch – Romance II afloat. Harold & boat builder Marco Scuderi have rebuilt R2’s dog-house & tram-top to pretty dam close to the day in 1919 she slipped down the Bailey & Lowe ramp. In my eyes her lines & proportions are spot-on. There is a photo of her in todays post but I will feature her in more detail on ww tomorrow.
Winners Are Grinners – the CYA boats, skippers & crew cleaned up all the major sailing races at the regatta – photos from the prize giving at the end of the post.
Enjoy & remember you can enlarge any photo by clicking on it 😉


This is what makes the regatta racing so special – where else do you get sailing like this?

Yes, there were life jackets on-board for everyone

Saturday Night Prize Giving & Dance


Grinners Are Winners

CYA Patio Bay Weekend 2014

CYA Patio Bay Weekend 2014

This weekend is the best event on the CYA calendar, ticks all the boxes – enjoy the photos, I took hundreds – below is a slice of woody nirvana. Enjoy 🙂

As always – click on the photos to enlarge 😉

CYA Launches

Some Sailing

Party Time

Prize Giving

Now hows this for a mark foy finish after 17.8nm – take a bow Steve Cranch – the King of handicapping 🙂

Chad T When He Discovered It Wasn’t Fancy Dress This Year 🙂

I knew it was going to be a good day when we had a visit from these beauties

A Woody Weekend

A Woody Weekend

photos from alan houghton & brian fulton.

Just back from the CYA Waiheke Cruise, 9 woodys did the trip to the bottom end & despite the weather forecast – enjoyed stunning weather. It was great to see some of our new members joining in – Seagull (Lyndsay & Paul Burton), Manapouri (Suzie & Mark Sorrenson) & Ngaio (Lancia & Ian Kohler). The hardy souls (yes I was one) that did the Stoney Batter walk on Saturday morning certainly earned the ice cold beer that greeted them back at the beach front Man O’ War Winery. It was extra nice not having the normal long weekend / xmas period crowds.
On the subject of MOW, I have to say that the Spencer family have done Auckland proud with their total Island experience, the farm is beautiful (if you can say that about a working farm) & the winery has added another gem to boaties things to do at the bottom end list. There were a few teething problems in the early days but now it very very slick.

Late Saturday afternoon saw the flotilla move over to Rotoroa Island for a BBQ, again another of Auckland’s old families – the Plowmans – need to be thanked for their generosity, the Island & it facilities are amazing. The sunset was the icing on the cake.

On route to Rotoroa we had one of those wow on the water moments – the 300′ super yacht Nahlin cruised by. Most saw her berthed at the Viaduct but out & up close in our gulf – a breathtaking sight. I used to say Rawhiti had the best bum in the fleet (technically she still does) but the stern on Nahlin is a work of art. As Barbara Cooke (Trinidad) commented “I think she’s the most beautiful thing that ever floated on water. Hauntingly and nostalgicly romantic”.

Enjoy the photos, we enjoyed the weekend.

Keeping Fine Company

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Keeping Fine Company

photos ex Brian Fulton
Anchored this morning at Rotoroa Island along with a fine collection of classic woodys. Yesterday after lunch at Man ‘O War vineyard (Waiheke Island) several of us where motoring across the Waiheke Channel when we were ‘joined’ by the rather grand 300′ super yacht Nahlin, owned by British industrial entrepreneur Sir James Dyson. Truely a magniciciant 1930 ship.
The CYA gang all went a shore for a BBQ dinner at Rotoroa & later a very shinny black chopper landed to collect Sir & Lady James who had spent the day on Rotoroa.
We were treated to a stunning sunset.

Waitangi Day CYA Picnic @ Motuihe Island


Waitangi Day CYA Picnic @ Motuihe Island

Waitangi Day CYA Classic Picnic @ Motuihe Island

Thursday 6th February – Put this one in your diary!

Motuihe beach picnic, a new Classic Yacht Association social event aimed at the whole family.

Pack a picnic lunch, chuck the kids on board and roll up to Motuihe Island around 11.00a.m. for a lazy day on the beach.

Its a whooper tide – 3.3m @ approx 1.30pm.

All classics and hang-a-bouts are invited.

Refer flyer above for full details

Don’t own a boat but would like to attend? email       drenall@gmail.com