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







Jeunesse Awaits A Letter From the Queen


Jeunesse Awaits A Letter From the Queen

John Wright’s woody – Jeunesse, built in 1919 (most likely) by Dick Lang has hit the ton, she turns 100 this year and John is in the process of giving her a wee tart up, which any old girl of this age deserves.

John is a master craftsman’s who has the eye and skills to turn a woody from a good looking woody launch into a stunning classic launch.

Jeunesse measures 39’, with a beam of 11’ and draws 3’. Tucked away down below is a 180hp Hino so when asked she can lift her skirt and dance 😊

You can view a gallery of b/w photos from her early days here

UPDATE 02-03-2020 Photos below of John Wright’s – Jeunesse in the 2020 Auckland Anniversary Day regatta. Sent in by Brett Evans.

Jeunesse 1

Jeunesse 2



photos ex John Wicks, ex John Wright, details ex Harold Kidd

The 37 footer Jeunesse was built for W J Harper and launched in March 1919 as Rambler. Harper changed his mind and renamed her Jeunesse by the start of the summer of 1919-20. None of the magazines or newspapers say who built her but Dick Lang seems a fair bet as she was built-in St. Mary’s Bay. Reportage on such things was pretty scant at that time because of the Spanish ‘Flu outbreak. She was fitted with a 40 hp Reutenberg 4 cylinder engine. Harper sold the launch Kotiro when Jeunesse was built. He kept her until 1923 when he sold her to H Hewson. N C McLean & R Kirkwood owned her in 1926. She spent a lot of time in Whangarei after that. In 1951 she was owned by S H R Smith of Onehunga, Richard Leary in 1990, John Wright in 2003 – who still owns her today.
The b&w photo above was apparently first published in the Weekly News in about 1923. There’s no info on it about the photographer, but in John Wicks eyes it’s good enough to be a Winkelmann. The colour photo is relatively recent, and shows her pretty much as she is now – great to see she has remained so true to original design. Also amazing that she has retained the name Jeunesse” for the last 95 years – quite an achievement considering how many changes most of the launches of her era went through.

Lots more photos here from her earlier days



b/w photos ex Keith Munro

Built & launched by Dick Lang in 1919, LOA 39′, Beam 11′, Draft 3′. Powered by a 180hp Hino, she is rather quick 🙂

Currently owned by John Wright

Colour photo was taken in November 2013 during the CYA Launch Cruise to the Riverhead Hotel.