Rocky Bay Woody Weekend – CYA Launch Race

Saturday was one of those days that started out looking good, turned crappy (on lots of fronts), got better and then finished average. A gallery of photos above – launch race and in the bay, not a great day weather wise for good photos.
From a launch view point, it was the first launch race in the CYA’s summer racing series and excuse the pun – it got off to a rocky start e.g. start boat broke down and had to call Coast Guard for a tow. Jason Prew deputised me into starting the race, only 4 boats so that was easy. Then 3/4 of the way into the race I got a call from the CYA finish boat, “running late, won’t be there to take finish times”. Bet they weren’t late for the yacht finish…………. Alan Good on Lucille was given the job of recording the times and these were relayed to Jason Prew who calculated the handicap results. All that aside Lucille, Kumi, Ngaio and Meloa all  played well together and crossed the line in that order. 

Handicap results were 1st Kumi – 2nd Meola-  3rd  Lucille (& 1st cross the line)

As a woody treat for the launches WW arranged with Waiheke residents Tim Evill and Mark Stratton to secure access to moorings in the bay for the night – thank you Mark and Tim 🙂 Several more launches cruised down but conditions in the bay were ‘unpleasant’ so they and it would appear a large % of the yacht race fleet, either went else where or headed back to the city.

Along with the mooring access came an invite to attend Happy Hour/s at the Rocky Bay Memorial Cruising Club, with a 3pm start time it was perfect timing for a catch up before the CYA prize giving in the village hall. The club rooms are perched on/over the western end of the bay and a pleasant time was had by all. The club has a very cool, new t-shirt – details at link below

We had to be back in the city later in the evening, so departed the club around 6pm, collecting CYA secretary – Joyce Talbot, who also needed to be city-side. Trip back was very average but the company was good.
SCORE CARD Weather – 4/10 Organisation – 2/10 On-The-Fly Recovery 11/10 Hospitality – 10/10

RBMCC photos below

Too rocky (rolly) for Centaurus – did a drive by and headed off for a quieter bay 🙂

Mahurangi Weekend – Biggest On-The -Water Wooden Boating Event Down Under  – 200+ Classic Wooden Boat Photos










Mahurangi Weekend – Biggest On-The -Water Wooden Boating Event Down Under  – 200+ Classic Wooden Boat Photos

I think I should start today by apologizing to all the partners and bosses out there – I can see a very slow start to the week, might take a few hours to digest the above photo gallery – a selection of photos from Friday night thru until my trip home on Monday.
The weather for Auckland’s long weekend was just ace – for everyone, launches and yachts, for the whole 4 days.
As always the turnout for the regatta was incredible, I would predict record numbers afloat. The woody launch parade saw 25 launches register and another 17 (approx.) joined in on the day. One of the photos above shows some of the parade launches snaking across the harbour. Well done woodys.
If the attendance count was based solely on the number of dinghies at Scotts Landing for the Saturday night party, again it would have to be a record.
I apologize for the lack of photos from the Saturday night party at Scotts Landing, I was unable to attend, I was banned . Now I can imagine maybe one person on any committee could be a dog hater, but for the ‘Mahurangi Action’ (formerly  known as ‘Friends of Mahurangi’) committee to agree on a total 48hr dog ban ashore is hard to believe. But then I was told by a very public figure in the area – none of them have ever had to buy contraception in their lives – they use they personalities. So my question – Is it actually their ‘role’ to decide on whether boat owners can bring Fideo ashore?.
Maybe Mahurangi Action should stick to their core reason for being i.e. the Mahurangi Harbour.
I can imagine the relationship between the Mahurangi Cruising Club, the promoters of the actual boating regatta – the reason we all attend and Mahurangi Action, who run the shore based activities at Sullivans Bay and the Saturday night party, must at times be interesting. If I was MCC I would be appointing an event manager and running a solo event, including a function that the revenue from, would help fund the club. The weekend has got too big – I and a lot that I have spoken to would buy a ticket to attend – food for thought MCC ……..
Ps There were numerous dogs ashore, I was just one of the unlucky one that were apprehended coming ashore. What a waste of rate payers money to have professional security there + a dog ranger……….
A special thank you to Roger Mills for the aerial (drone) photos of Scotts Landing and the launch parade. Also Graeme Finch for topping up my photos with some of his own – thanks Graeme.
The photo below, while out of focus due to distance and 2 moving boats – sums up woody boating perfectly. The launch is Linda and the gathering of life jackets on the bow is the Brooke clan 🙂
Monday also saw the CYA running a launch race as part of the Auckland anniversary day regatta – coverage of this later in the week.
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WAITANGI DAY WOODY BEACH PICNIC – FEB 6 – Put A Circle In Your Diary, All Woodys Welcome. RSVP Below
Woody Waitangi Picnic





The 1905 Bailey & Lowe 40′ launch Kumi has appeared numerous times on WW but Nathan Herbert was recently poking around in the Auckland Library Heritage Collection section and came across the above photos attributed to Mr. and Mrs. MF Russ. National Publicity Studios; Riethmaier. Nathan asked me if I supported his belief that the boat featured was Kumi. A quick search in my WW files popped up an email (repeated at the bottom of this story) that Kumi’s owner Haydon Afford sent me back in August 2014, that made a reference to Kumi being used as a cray fish boat between 1955 and 1975 in Whangaroa, Northland, by a Mr Russ – so jack pot – its Kumi. Catch out the size of those cray fish.
Now if you know Haydon you would have to be surprised that he had communicated with me via email – in fact he told me I was the first person he had sent an email to 🙂 Haydon is a wonderful man, they broke the mould after he entered this world. Back in the summer of 2012 > 2013 Haydon undertook a 3 month circumnavigation of New Zealand in Kumi. This achievement was acknowledged in late 2013 by the NZ Classic Yacht Association awarding Haydon the ‘Outstanding Achievement Award In Seamanship’. Below is a photo of Haydon accepting the award along with his father. A group of woodys motored out to welcome Haydon back into Auckland Harbour after the circumnavigation – he celebrated with a pint of ice cold beer.
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Haydon shared his story of the trip with CYA members at a special evening at the RNZYS and it was pure gold, good old school story telling at its best. Unfortunately no-one recorded it but prior to the evening I twisted Haydon’s (writing) arm to tell me about the trip, I typed this up and you can read it at the WW link below
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The Rudder Cup From Up High













The Rudder Cup From Up High

It is only been a week since the Rudder Cup Launch race but it was such a cool woody event that when the above photos arrived from Sally Teesdale I couldn’t help doing another WW post.

Sally was up North Head, Devonport with the camera & captured the fleet rounding North Head heading north.
As always – click the photos to enlarge. (I have cropped / colour enhanced the photos – the weather was a tad bleak?)

2018 Rudder Cup – Motor Boat Race – 60 + Classic Wooden Boat Photos


My Girl









Lady Crossley

2018 Rudder Cup – Motor Boat Race – 60 + Classic Wooden Boat Photos

Friday 14th December , was only the third time in one hundred & ten years that the Rudder Cup race has been run – previous dates were 1908. 2008 & now 2018. Always in December, always the same course to Sail Rock & back, always overnight & always 108 nm in distance.
The background to the race has been well documented on WW so I will not re-hash the details – WW search Rudder Cup for more details.
2018 saw 15 classic Woodys assembling on the start line in front of the RNZYS for the 7pm start. The fleet were joined by almost as many fellow woodys who gathered to see the fleet off. John Street fired a magnificent cannon (details of which will appear on WW at a later date) to start the race.
Conditions were overcast & a little damp but that did not stop the skippers & crew from putting on a stunning sight for the crowd assembled on the foreshore.
By North Head the fleet had established itself in terms of boat speed & positioning – the race is a sealed handicap event, with skippers not knowing their handicap until the prize giving. This year, technology via the PredictWind race tracker app, allowed skippers & shore based woodys the opportunity to view the position & speed of the boats in ‘real-time’. Helped make the hours slide by quicker.
I had a very comfortable race aboard Barbara & David Cooke’s sensational Salthouse motor-yacht Trinidad. The mix of vessel, company, catering & banter was perfect – a good time was had by all. Not a lot of sleep (zero for myself & the skipper), but when dawn came around we all had found our second wind, or maybe it was Brian Fulton’s scones topped with brandy butter 🙂
We ran a sweep onboard Trinidad as to our finish time & I won – only 10 seconds off my prediction of 12 hours / 40 minutes.
Results below – you will see that Trinny won her divisional prize, which made Captain Cooke a happy chap 🙂
VINTAGE DIVISION (1919-1949) – WAITANGI (note: no photos below of skipper Ian Cooke – as RNZYS commodore, Ian was attending another function)
Todays photo gallery of the race, comes to you via the camera’s of numerous woodys – thanks go out to Graeme Finch, Rod Marler, yours truely – Alan Houghton. Some are not any where near perfect – boat speed, sea conditions & a very long tele-lens are not a good mix if you are aiming for great photos.
I’m sure I’ll get sent more in the next few days, so will update when & if we get more. If any of the skippers want a copy of a photo – drop me an email at
I would like to thank the Rudder Cup Race Committee for pulling the event together, a huge amount of time & co-ordination goes into one of these events & with out the folks below, it would never have happened:
Jason Prew (Chair), Nathan Herbert, Barbara Cooke, David Cooke, Alan Houghton, Joyce Talbot (Wonder Woman), Chris Collins & Baden Pascoe.
I would also like to mention the support we received from the Classic Yacht Association committee in stepping forward & underwriting the event – a progressive move from the then new CYA Chairman, James Mortimer. Thank you James.
ENJOY – As always, click on photos to enlarge + I have been extra nice today & captioned most of the photos 😉
Photos below from the prize giving at the RNZYS on Saturday night – weather was perfect & the food VERY good- well done RNZYS team.
A few ‘tired’ eyes – most of these guys had been awake for 24+hrs 🙂


CYA Chairman James Mortimer + Brett Evans – Sterling – Winner 2018 Rudder Cup


Sterling Skipper & Winning Crew


CYA Chairman James Mortimer + David Cooke – Trinidad – Winner Classic Division


CYA Chairman James Mortimer + Iain Forsyth – Meola – Spot prize winner


Peter Boardman Skipper – Lady Margaret (D. Lang) Spot prize winner


Ferro Skipper – Dick Coughlan – Spot prize winner


Ronaki Skipper – Daniel Thomas – Spot prize winner


Korara Skipper – Anatole Perry – Spot prize winner

CYA Patio Bay Weekend – 2017 – 50+ Photos




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CYA Patio Bay Weekend – 2017

The photos show that 2017 was another cracker Patio Bay year, but what photos don’t get across is what a great group of woodys were there. The numbers were down a little on previous years but those that made the trip will remember it as one of the best. Plenty of room to walk around & mingle without standing on someones dinner plate.

Several Riviera owners, did they bit to re-confirm that they all have big egos & small brains – motoring thru the race finish line at 25+ knots & creating wakes you could surf on. A little exciting if you are sitting in an 8’ dinghy taking photos & wondering if the Riviera is on autopilot & the skippers playing with his small willy 😦

One of the Patio Bay race traditions is the winning skipper of the A Division has to fill the trophy barrel with rum for the following years party. Last year Prize was the winner & based on dock chatter, a sample was drawn off for analyse at the Mount Gay distillery –  purity & alcohol content results to follow 😉

(remember to click on photos to enlarge)


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.




I received an email a few weeks ago from someone that talked about the launch Kumi – problem was it was not from the owner & I had no idea who they were. They did talk as if they had an interest (past / present) in the boat. I even rang Harold Kidd & asked him if he knew of xxxx xxxxxx, the name drew a blank with Harold also.

So I call Kumi’s owner Haydon Afford & ask him if he knows someone called xxxx xxxxxx – the answer “thats me, I get sick of having to spell my name so for years I have used xxxx xxxxxx for the unimportant things in life e.g. ordering a pizza etc. xxxx even has his own email address…….. which is more than Haydon does, no mobile phone either 🙂

Hayden then realizes that on the email to me he did not say it was from him. I have re-printed the email below.

” Dear Alan. Quiet at work so found all these fantastic pictures on your extremely good website . if you wanted to include Kumi in the  Bailey and Lowe  chapter I wouldn’t mind. brief history?  Launched aug 1905 as ‘Eliza’  for Henry Adams as a lorry to take produce to and from his island Moturoa in the bay of islands. Raced in 1908 rudder cup ;failed to win . The annoyed  mr Adams challenged any body [mainly aimed at line honours winner James Reid with Seabird] to a race for 50 guineas to Russel wharf and back . Kumi beat Seabird more by good luck than boat speed , since in the rerun of the rudder cup it was very obvious that Seabird is a faster hull! Adams  had some bank trouble in 1913 and Eliza vanished  never to be seen again , but fortuitously at exactly that moment ‘Kumi’ appeared built by the same builder to the same design and launched on the same date as ‘Eliza’ .whew. She was sold to other people and in 1928 sold to Whangarei harbour board as a pilot boat and used as such till 1955 .She then went to Whangaroa harbour as a crayfish boat for mr Russ and did this till 1975. It was during this time  that an oyster barge made a mistake in berthing, crushing Kumi against the wharf and sinking her in apparently three minutes. In 1975 she went to a  Whangarei back yard till 1985 where she was modernised. Mr pont of Whangarei sold her to mr  Tercel and she came back to Auckland where her modernisation rapidly deteriorated through several owners until 1999 when  the present owners purchased her in spite of the surveyors comment of “not even any use as firewood, too rotten and wet”. The Affords took her back to their place and rebuilt her to close to 1905ish ; which was lucky because she ended up the same as her launching day photo in the maritime museum which Harold Kidd told us about after  her relaunch. Kumi has had several engines but mr Pont in Whangarei installed a 1963   six cylinder Ford  rated at 80 horse power  and this engine still gives perfect service .Kumi is a fun boat, fast enough [if not a line honours winner] but sea kindly and comfortable and ready for the next 100 years.”

A little more about Kumi – in the summer of 2012/13 Kumi completed a circumnavigation of New Zealand, I have covered this previously on ww but if you missed it, click the link below to read Haydon’s tale. Post the trip Haydon gave a talk to CYA members at the RNZYS, it was one of most entertaining evening I have been to. Haydon & Kumi’s vovage was acknowledged in 2013 with the presentation to Haydon of the ‘CYA Outstanding Achievement Award In Seamanship’ (photo above)

Recognition – Kumi also features in the CYA Classic Register 2014-15 edition – the link below takes you to the section.

The story of Haydon Afford’s 3 month circumnavigation aboard Kumi his 1905 Bailey & Lowe launch


The story of Haydon Afford's 3 month circumnavigation aboard Kumi his 1905 Bailey & Lowe launch

From the pen (no computer) of Haydon Afford

It seemed like a good idea for years so in the end I said, 15th December I’m leaving. Which I did with a sack of potatoes, sack of onions, sack of rice, sack of muesli, sack of bread mix, a new foresail (instead of the sack I’d previously had) and heaps of diesel (not in a sack).

The plan was simple: out to The Barrier and turn right, so I did that and went to Great Mercury Island. Great feed on the most luxurious boat I’d ever been on and belonging to a chef from Whitianga. Next day off to Tauranga, but all friendliness was off the menu when they found I was not insured. I anchored on the other side of the harbour and in the middle of the night things felt wrong, so I looked out the window and saw the wharf motoring past. That was definitely wrong, so I re-anchored with heaps of scope and thereafter the chain was out the front, not in its locker.

Off to Whakatane and surfed in the bar. Wowy Zowy. They closed it for several days then, while it looked like Piha; then off to Omaio Bay, then Hicks Bay, then Te Araroa to anchor ready for East Cape. I don’t think Te Araroa is the perfect anchorage, but at least the wind was off the land, if rather fast … OK though, plenty of scope.

East Cape deserves its reputation and I noticed that the waves can get quite big off the east coast end. You have to go over them sort of diagonally, but by the time I got to Gisborne, it was nice and sunny and calm and I had decided to convert the non structural bulkhead at the front of the boat into a structural bulkhead. While I was there, Gisborne had a big song and dance and boozy festival, which doubles their population, but I was too involved with timber, glue and bolts to go to it. Also, I might have been a bit old.

On to Napier and off Portland Island in the middle of the night the sea decided to give the strengthening a big test, but no more creaking and groaning. I have a fuel tank built into the forepeak. It’s meant to hold 300 litres, but when you fill it up you have to pay for 500 litres, so it might be quite heavy for poor old Kumi!

Napier Yacht Club was very friendly and there I met Bill, who agreed to come to Wellington with me because I was a bit scared. Turned out perfectly fine and I learned a lot from Bill, who has coastal skipper qualifications. Cape Palliser was calm, but lots of big swirly bits.

Wellington forecast was terrific: 50 knot northerly, changing 50 knots southerly later that day. Outlook following three days: 50 knots northerly, followed by 50 knots southerly, etc.

After 10 days, a big high appeared and we were off to Marlborough Sounds. Great if you’re into vertical bush with a thin rind of rock at the bottom and 40m deep, 20m from the shore. I found a couple of nice beaches though, then to D’Urville Island. Admiralty Bay suddenly turned very windy, and wavy, dead ahead. Makes you go slow, but on D’Urville Island the bay that looked good on the chart was actually a pub with moorings for the night. They said 50 knots was blowing, but that was normal.

Next morning, French Pass at low tide was calm, (but obviously could push you where you did not want to go), and down to Nelson in brilliant sunshine. Up to Golden Bay and into Tarakohe harbour, which I left at 2am for the West Coast. Farewell Spit in the early hours; Cape Farewell and the Navy spots me. A warship of some sort comes roaring over, straight at me, big bow wave, big rooster tail – oh! oh! It’s OK, he applies full port rudder so that I can see his beautifully anti-fouled starboard bottom. Someone on the after deck waves and he is gone into the mist. I wouldn’t mind a ride on that little number.

Cape Farewell is correctly named, because the South Island disappears behind mist there and does not reappear until you’re getting up close and personal with the Greymouth Bar. The night off Westport, though, was the most spectacular of the journey. The moon was full and the sea so calm that there was no reflection of the moon off the water except just on the horizon.

Then a ripple must have started, because the moon’s reflection reappeared as spot lights in the line from me to the moon … pow, pow, pow they would go, very sudden on and off. Lasted a minute or two, then more ripples appeared and the reflection next to the boat appeared as almost stationery zebra stripes. These very slowly undulating stripes gradually crept out to the horizon, turning off the spot lights.

The Greymouth Bar was fine, fishermen friendly. Haydon has a big sleep. Milford Sound spectacular, but tour boat operators definitely not friendly. And on down Fiordland where there is a lot more vertical bush, strong winds and hard to find a good anchorage. I think we are rather spoilt in the Hauraki Gulf!

It nearly all ended at Riverton, where I misread the GPS coordinates. With zero visibility in fog this was not the perfect place to do that, but I noticed the depth was wrong (not enough), so it was OK.

Then Stewart Island.South of Mason Bay, the waves and wind got up to their normal size again (can’t see over them, rigging makes a whirring sound) and I’m aiming for ‘Easy harbour’. I make the turn, so I’m now running with the waves – fast and easy, (Kumi is a fantastic following sea boat), straight at a very smooth and clean cliff. Not very high, but looks very wet.

I dodge an ugly reef off the island to the left. I dodge an even uglier ‘sister’ on the right, but I’m having trouble identifying the rocks off the entrance to this harbour. It is all rocks and Kumi is having a terrific time surfing down the waves at 10 knots straight at them.

Half a mile and it is all over. I look left and there it is. Hard to port, plenty of throttle and all is soft, but still not easy. Do I anchor and eat my celebratory steak at the silver sand beach with the sapphire water? Or, do I go 300-400m to the right to the golden sand beach with emerald water? Decisions, decisions.

Next morning, great – gone calm again around South Cape, and up to Port Pegasus where there is more vertical bush. But it is not so deep. I even managed to hit the bottom. Then up to Golden Bay in Paterson Inlet (in time to join a team for pub quiz night). Then over to Bluff, where the tidal range and the tidal overfalls in the channel are big.

Out again at dawn for Port Chalmers, past the attractive cliff, beach, harboury bays and rolling hills background of the south coast. Round Nugget Point and next day cruise into Carey Bay at Port Chalmers. Then off to Akaroa, once again dodging cruise ships, which seem common around the coast.

At Akaroa, 100% fog – better not misread the GPS here because it’s cliffs, not a beach. I sail out of a curtain into brilliant sunshine and I’m half a mile inside Akaroa Harbour. I think I’m clever this time.

Next, Lyttleton (rather wrecked by the earthquake), and another over-nighter to Port Underwood. This leg used too much oil. Across to Wellington again and through the ‘Karori Rip’. You are supposed to avoid this area, but it was a calm sunny day. Then ahead the sea went white, so I thought, oh! oh! and hung a hard right. I stopped the 5 knot nonsense and started the 12 knot nonsense … wow that water moves! Then it started going white around me and we seemed to be going up and down a lot. It all happened very quickly, and then, 10 minutes later, we were out of it. It’s probably best to avoid this area.

At Wellington, after lots of phone calls to James Mobberley (thanks James), I replaced an O-ring and we stopped using oil.

Then New Plymouth, through Hokianga, more over-nighters in what seems like the west coast of NZ to me – calm, fine weather with the wind and waves more behind than ahead, motor purring, sails drawing GPS speeds over 6 knots. Captain happy.

Hokianga Bar is quite shallow and I waited there till the weather was such that it would change SE to SW at the top of the Island. This worked. Anchored at Ahipara, then up to Maria Van Dieman, Reinga, North Cape (very rough) and, because it was now SW, across to Parengarenga to the lee of the land and down to Henderson Bay for the night.

Next day called on Mangonui, then Whangaroa, where Kumi spent 25 years as a crayfish boat. The family of the fishermen were happy to meet her there. My cousin boarded here and we went to the Bay of Islands in perfect conditions. Next day was good, but forecast not so good, so overnight to Kawau and waited out the 35 knot SE by sleeping, then next day back to a terrific welcome home party. Thank you everybody.

Now if you are a Classic Yacht Association NZ member, put a circle in your diary for the evening of June 11th, 6pm at the RNZYS, as Haydon is the guest speaking at our club night.
Haydon’s a bit zany – never owned a cell phone, a camera or a computer, so don’t expect a slide show, this will be a good old fashioned story telling session. RSVP (soon it will be popular) to Barbara Cooke
When Haydon sent me this story from a friends computer, he very proudly told me I was the first person he had ever sent an email to.