Log of The Rawhiti – bringing her home – Sydney to Auckland Passage

LOG of The RAWHITI – 1947 Sydney > Auckland Passage

The log is reproduced below via the generosity of the Mahurangi cruising club, who ran an abridged version in the 2020 year book. Click link below to read/view – its a cool story, enjoy

The Log of the Rawhiti

Today’s WW story is an amazing account of the return of the 1905 Arch Logan designed, Logan Bros built yacht – Rawhiti from Sydney, Australia to its place off birth – Auckland, New Zealand.

Almost immediately after her 1905 launch Rawhiti headed off across the Tasman to Sydney where she spent the next 41 years. Sadly the last 10 of those years saw her laid up on the hard, rapidly deteriorating.

Luckily for the yacht and all classic boaters in New Zealand, Sydney Ernest Marler (Hek to most) entered the scene and purchased Rawhiti and immediately made plans to sail her back to NZ. Some rather questionable repairs were undertaken and she set sail on December 17th 1947. Her crew for the passage was Hek + Peter Henley (navigator) Brian Lane (shipwright) Roy Johnson (bos’n and ships ‘surgeon’) Norman Vickery (signaller and radio operator)

The passage was recorded in the form of a ships log, written by Hek to his father Hank ((Henry Maitland Marler) outlining the voyage and the crew’s experiences. The trip took 11 days, said to be a record passage from Sydney to Russell, Bay of Islands, that was unbeaten until the 1970’s. 36 hours of the 11 days saw the yacht becalmed, so woodys she was greyhound 🙂

It would be an understatement to say it was a pleasant passage – Brian Lane is on record saying that they were very lucky, if the weather had got any worse they wouldn’t have made it, Rawhiti was hopeless at laying up into the wind. But very fast, built to race on the Waitemata Harbour not ocean passages. At times they trailed anything spare off the stern in an attempt to slow her down. Brian constantly thought she would split in two when coming down off a wave, no splash just a crash that Brian described as like being dropped off the back of a truck onto a concrete road. If he had known the yachts condition and blue water abilities, he would not have ventured past Sydney heads – but they did and Hek went on to raise a family with salt very much in their veins. Son Bruce and grandson Rod continuing the families association with wooden sailing craft.

In the mid 2000’s Rawhiti underwent a total rebuild / restoration while in the ownership of Greg Lee, Greg and master wooden boat builder Peter Brookes conducted the 7 year restoration. Without a doubt she is New Zealand’s finest restoration of a classic wooden vessel. If you search Rawhiti in the WW search box you will get an insight into the restoration.

I bet her crew on the passage back to Auckland in 1947 would not have imaged that 73 years later she would still be sailing and commanding a prime spot  on the world classic wooden boat stage. One of the worlds most admired (&selling) wooden boating items is the Calendar of Wooden Boats by Benjamin Mendlowitz and Maynard Bray. Rawhiti is centre stage in the 2021 edition for the month of March. As are two of our launches – Jason Prew’s – My Girl (April) and Peter Boardman’s – Lady Margaret (June). Owning 25% of that real estate is pretty good for little old NZ, but it comes at a price and that price is all the time that a small bunch of woodys put in making Ben and Maynard so welcome in NZ.

Copies of the 2021 edition are available at

 https://www.woodenboatscalendar.com/wooden-boats-calendar.html 

 

 

Waikere

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WAIKERE

Today’s woody comes to us from Bryce Strong’s photo collection – another CV-19 clean out bonus.
Above we have the launch Waikere, an unknown to me, so keen to uncover her past and whether she is still around today.
The top photo is dated Easter 1988. The bottom photo lists the location as Ponui Island, and is dated March 1989.  This photo comes with an added bonus – the woodys in the photo are (L>R) Lady Margaret (1940 Dick Lang), Altair and Waikere – the bonus is that I have never seen a colour photo of Altair with varnished coamings and pre the ‘block of flats’ she now carries (current photo below).
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Input from Jeff Norris – Waikere belonged to my brother Dave Norris back then he used to keep it up the Clevedon river on a private marina along side Altair and a another boat called Apacha. He told me she was 32’ and built by Shipbuilders with a carvel hull and powered by a 100hp Ford

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

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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
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Lady Margaret Back Home (briefly)

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Lady Margaret Back Home (briefly)
There has been some robust debate on WW in regard to the 38’ Lady Margaret’s pedigree, for WW records it goes like this. Built in Mt Albert in 1955 by L. Deacon. As launched she was named Lady Mary, sadly her builder / owner passed away in 1956 and Lady Mary was sold to Mr John Senior, who changed her name to Happy Wanderer. At some stage she was renamed again to Lady Margaret (what must be the most popular name in classic motor boating).
When launched she was powered by a 6 cylinder Perkins later changed to a Ford 6cyl. 90hp diesel engine. This was upgraded to a 120hp version in the late 1990’s >early2000’s by her then owner at the time Steve Varley. Steve has commented on WW that he sold her to the South Island (Blenheim) around this time. LM remained in the South Island until recently purchased by Alistair McRae, who over the last week has relocated LM to Auckland, but sadly for Auckland woodys, her time here will be short, home port will be Whangarei.
I caught up with Alistair last Monday at the Orams yard in Westhaven as she was unloaded from the transporter and re-launched. I briefly went aboard for a chat, sorry didn’t take many photos as she was in ’transit’ mode. Alistair has promised more when he sorts her out. I can report that she is a very fine woody and with some TLC will be a stunner.

16-07-2020 Photo below hauled out in Whangarei for some TLC

Lady Margaret Jul2020

The Marine Photographer’s Eye, Benjamin Mendlowitz – OCH Video Featuring Kiwi Classic Wooden Boats

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The Marine Photographer’s Eye, Benjamin Mendlowitz – OCH Video Featuring Kiwi Classic Wooden Boats – The best photos of our fleet you will have ever seen!

Today’s story is rather special as the team at offcenterharbor.com have given waitematawoody readers access to their latest video that features woodys from this years Mahurangi Regatta. The OCH site contains over 500 videos (& 500 articles) that range from boatbuilding, to trimming sails, to a complete course on understanding every aspect of your marine diesel engine. There’s even a 42-part series on how to build a Caledonia Yawl camp cruiser. The collection of videos features mariners and craftspeople at the very top of the boating field, showing exactly how they do things, and which products they use in their work.

One of the OCH founders is Benjamin Mendlowitz who, in my eyes, is the worlds finest photographer of classic wooden boats, this January, Ben and his co-founders escaped the US winter and headed down under. Whilst in NZ their #1 mission was to attended the Mahurangi Regatta and to this end on the Saturday Jason Prew with My Girl & myself with Raindance hosted – Maynard Bray, Benjamin Mendlowitz & Steve Stone for a Regatta photo shoot.

In the 11 minute video, Ben talks us through his day on the water filming woodys. In the opening section when Ben is commenting on our classic fleet he says “I was newly inspired in my photography”. When a photographer with as much experience as Benjamin Mendlowitz says that – that is saying something about our woody fleet. Plus the video is a master class for anyone interested in marine photography.

CLICK THE LINK BELOW AND SIT BACK AND ENJOY + CHECK OUT THE COOL OCH OFFER BELOW

https://www.offcenterharbor.com/videos/marine-photographers-eye-benjamin-mendlowitz-in-new-zealand/ww190523

SPECIAL 50% OFF – LIMITED TIME OFFER

The OCH site is 100 percent membership driven, and they do not accept advertising. Not lining their pockets with advertising enables them to provide OCH members with the unvarnished truth, straight from legendary masters of their craft – without worrying whether they piss off an advertiser 🙂

In addition to allowing WW woodys to view the video at no-charge, they have also put together a one-off subscription offer for WW readers.

They are offering 50% off the annual rate – thats an amazing US$24.50 – BUT woodys be quick it will not last for long + there is a Risk Free Guarantee – try it for a few days, if your not happy they will provide you with a 100% refund. I’m a subscriber – I love the site, I have watched one story probably 10 times.

JUST CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO SUBSCRIBE  

https://www.offcenterharbor.com/join-now-2450-ww/

WHAT YOU GET:

  • FULL ACCESS to everything on the site for 1 full year (including our growing library of over 1,000 videos and articles)
  • Your membership includes three full “how-to-build” video series (80+ videos worth over $500 that you get free)
  • You can get your questions answered in the “comments” section under each video and article
  • Join our community of “off-center” boating enthusiasts around the world

 

 

A Woody Tour of the Tamaki River – 70 photos

A Woody Tour of the Tamaki River – 70 photos

Todays story so needed to be done, and woodys, John Bullivant is a legend for grabbing his camera and heading out on our behalf. I’ll let John tell his story 🙂

“Thought it was about time I got a few photos on the Tamaki River boats before they disappear, (and they are going fast by the look of some). There are only a fraction of the numbers of wooden boats that were moored there in the 1960s and 1970s and as I previously mentioned, living on the waterfront at Bucklands Beach for around 25yrs I had seen most of them go by (was like Queen St on Friday nights most summer weekends) I did 2 trips down from Orewa and took pics from Panmure Boat Club and up to and under the new Panmure Bridge, end of Gabadore Pl (off Carbine Rd), the old Panmure Marina, (going with many houses from Panmure to Pakuranga Town centre, to make way for new highway widening), along the Tamaki River walkway for about 4km (Rotary Walk,- starts at the old Panmure Marina and goes all the way to Gills Rd in Howick, for those who like walking), Half Moon Bay and Bucklands Beach.

I also went down to the 1960s site of the private ex RNZAF W1  haul-out ramp below the old Alright property (well covered in bush now and a near vertical climb down a 30ft bank), – lost a bit of blood but well worth it for me, as I last stood on that spot 50yrs ago when we sneaked on board W1 to have a look around while she was up there. Original ramp and haul-out dolly is still there (see pics) although time has taken its toll. I’m amazed, looking at the crude set-up today, how Mr Alright got a 64ft boat weighing many tons, sitting on rubber tyred dollies (which ran in grooved concrete) lined up and hauled out with a winch and by the looks of it, the large tree in line with the ramp, not to mention getting it back out again (I’m assuming he must have winched it back out somehow). Massive effort not only to build the ramp on mud, (all by hand, no concrete pumping trucks) but to be able to use it.

Hope these photos are of interest to people who may be able to identify some of the mystery boats (especially the light blue launch with the chrome ventilators and light, (looks ex RNZAF ?). The yacht hidden near the big boatshed is around 45ft looks very old and has been there for many years, as has poor old Imatra, a once grand yacht which is in a very sad state and in urgent need of care (must have been there 30 yrs odd now). I have included a few other launches and yachts to show the sad state of many good looking (and once expensive) boats on the river crying out for attention, but I guess many people have other priorities and sadly their dreams are just floating slowly into oblivion. It’s pretty hard to get rid of a rusty rotten hulk, so there they will stay till it’s “business time” (flight of the Conchords) for the 20 ton digger.

I may have some of the boats names wrong as I was using a telephoto lens for most of the pics and with enhancing colour, contrast etc was as near as I could get. I’m sure someone will correct any if wrong.”

NOTE: With the photos that John has named, I have tagged the photos with those names. Scroll over the photos to view the names 😉
I could have used the individual images on WW over an extended period, but they need to be together in one spot. Enjoy 🙂

Lady Mary > Happy Wanderer > Lady Margaret

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LADY MARY > HAPPY WANDERER > LADY MARGARET
 
Woody Mark Jarvis sent me the above 2 photos of one of his families old boats – the top photo, in Auckland, was taken during their ownership c.1964/65. When they owned her, she was called Happy Wanderer, later changed to Lady Margaret. In the bottom photo, taken recently by Mark, we see her in berthed in Picton.
Mark commented that the 38’ boat was a 1948 home build, but to a high standard to a Colin Wild design. Zoom zoom was / is via a Ford 6 cyl. diesel.
 
Aside for sharing the photos of a beautiful woody – the main reason for todays story is point out how aesthetic trends change the look of boats e.g. the character gets bleached out of them as time passes even if the condition is maintained. Comparing photos you will see that there has been a number of useful additions but still the same cabin albeit minus a few tasteful styling details but in both our eyes still a good looking boat even in nice monochrome condition 🙂
 
Any woodys able to enlighten us more on LM’s past?
Input from Bob Deacon – “My father built this beautiful craft inMt Albert Auckland. Launched in 1955 at Okahu Bay then named Lady Mary unfortunateatly father passed away 1956 The Lady Mary was sold to Mr John Senior senior of aboat building company. the name was changed by Mr J Senior to the Happy Wanderer. When launched it was powered by a 6 cylinder Perkins later changed as stated.If further info is required I am more than happy to oblige as I was with my father thru the whole build. I am sure photos will be found of and during the build even of the timber for the keel {which was 42ft long} arriving.”
26-11-2019 Update – LM has been sold and is on her way back to the northern waters. Currently at Mana after an uneventful trip from Picton, and scheduled to be trucked to Auckland approx. 30th November. Once in Auckland her new owner, Alistair McRae will point her northwards to call Whangarei home (bugger).
Lady Maragret @ Mana Nov2019

MAHURANGI REGATTA  2019 – The biggest & best classic wooden boat regatta in NZ – 90+ photos

FRIDAY NIGHT

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SATURDAY – REGATTA DAY

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SATURDAY NIGHT AT SCOTTS LANDING

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SUNDAY MORNING

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MAHURANGI REGATTA  2019 – The biggest & best classic wooden boat regatta in NZ – 90+ photos

WoW what a woody weekend – simply stunning on all fronts –  sun > wind > location > people & of course the boats. On my estimate, the biggest turnout of classic wooden craft ever. Record numbers for Saturday mornings launch parade.
I’ll go out on a limb & repeat a comment made to me on the deck of Lidgard House, Kawau Island on Sunday night by one of our most prominent & influential classic wooden boat people – “Mahurangi is the real Auckland Anniversary Weekend Regatta” & after cruising back into Auckland today, & not seeing a lot of yachts, I would have to agree.
On Saturday between Jason Prew on My Girl & myself with Raindance we hosted three of the wooden boating world’s superstars – if you read or follow the WoodenBoat magazine, Classic Boat & the hottest property on the block – the vblog, https://www.offcenterharbor.com
then the names Maynard Bray, Benjamin Mendlowitz & Steve Stone will be very familiar to you. These gents were motored around the harbour & very selectively photographed / filmed our beautiful woodys. When I mentioned that I had cancelled my trip to next months Hobart Wooden Boat Festival, one commented “why would you go – it’s all here” & woodys – it was.
I have never attempted to understand the ‘politics’ / issues between the Mahurangi Cruising Club & The Friends of Mahurangi people – but between them they turn on a wonderful day, that equals anything on the world classic wooden boat calendar. As with anything, a few wee niggles e.g. crap PA sound system at the beach prize giving meant most people didn’t know the results – but I can tell you that Tony Blake & the crew on Thelma gave all the other A division skippers as master class in regatta sailing. It was wonderful to see the big 5 Arch Logan yachts – Thelma (1897), Rainbow (1898), Ariki (1904), Rawhiti (1905) & Rawene (1908) all on the same race track together, for the first time ever (I think I’m right – Harold?) The results were:
Thelma, followed by Rawhiti, followed by Ariki, then Rainbow & Rawene.
As a result of playing driver for the overseas crew – I’m a little light on sailing photos, but you can see from the gallery above that it was a special day.
Well done MCC and F. of M. for another magic weekend.
If anyone else had the camera out & captured some goodies, email them to   waitematawoodys@gmail.com
We bailed out of Mahurangi on Sunday morning & headed to Kawau Island for some family R&R – photos below.
Question – what do you do when there is no shotgun to signal sunset & the lowering of the burgee? – well a few lads decided to bang some pots together, then drop the flags at Lidgard House – me thinks there might be a letter in the mail to certain members 🙂
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A WEE BIT OF PR GOING ON HERE – WW T’s & OFF CENTER HARBOUR CAPS 🙂

 

THERE ALWAYS HAS TO BE A FOOD SHOT – KAWAU BOATING LUB, DINNER SUNDAY NIGHT.
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Check out the video below of Rawhiti – sent in from Benjamin Mendlowitz from Off Center Harbour

http://offcenterharbor.com

 

Update – due to not all launches completing 2 laps of the launch parade – I missed photographing a few boats – photos below ex Justine Ricketts (edited by myself)

 

AND MORE – link below to the Off Center Harbour video of the 2017 regatta, featuring Steve Horsley’s stunning 1904 Chas Bailey Jnr – Ngatira

https://www.offcenterharbor.com/videos/new-zealands-mahurangi-regatta-featuring-chas-baileys-ngatira/?prev=yes

UPDATE ex Graeme Finch of the A Class fleet racing Saturday + one of Raindance showing myself & Steve Stone from Off Center Harbour filming / clicking away 🙂

As always – click photos to enlarge 😉

rd @ mr2019

Also from Graeme – one of Bruce Tantrum’s pride & joy – Paramour + Graemes stunning ship – Te Arahi 🙂

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UPDATE – An early Saturday morning drone fly-by over Sullivans Bay, Mahurangi. Filmed by Neil Lawton, heads up on the movie from Ian Gavin.

30-01-2019 Update – photos of Laughing Lady ex Jason Prew

Update 11-02-2019 photos below ex Angus Rogers.

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The Rudder Cup From Up High

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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

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My Girl

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Waitangi

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Rorqual

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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 🙂
VETERN DIVISION (pre 1918)STERLING 
VINTAGE DIVISION (1919-1949) – WAITANGI (note: no photos below of skipper Ian Cooke – as RNZYS commodore, Ian was attending another function)
CLASSIC DIVISION (1950-1978)TRINIDAD
OVERALL RUDDER CUP WINNER – STERLING 
 
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 waitematawoodys@gmail.com
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 🙂
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CYA Chairman James Mortimer + Brett Evans – Sterling – Winner 2018 Rudder Cup

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Sterling Skipper & Winning Crew

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

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

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

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Ferro Skipper – Dick Coughlan – Spot prize winner

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Ronaki Skipper – Daniel Thomas – Spot prize winner

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Korara Skipper – Anatole Perry – Spot prize winner