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 🙂
WoW what a weekend – perfect weather, perfect location and as always stunning boats. We saw a record turn out for the classic wooden boat parade on Saturday morning – the crowd ashore at Sullivans was a little thin on the ground, but if we are honest, we do not do it for them – its all about us 🙂 , a little like going for a motorbike rumble. We need more events where we just ‘hang-out’ together.
The regatta’s main event – the yacht race appeared to be a big success, the A-Class Logan – Rawhiti, in the hands of her new owner – Peter Brookes, cleaned up all the major trophies. As has become the norm at Mahurangi races, the results process was a total balls up, it was very dark and late into the night before the final, final results were announced – fingers crossed its all kosher, last year it took days and numerous oops lets try that again announcements 🙂
The big band beach BBQ, was a hit, perfect on all fronts – weather, tide, the band, bbq’s and the people. Given the number of boats in Bon Accord Harbour, Kawau Island, most people headed there on Sunday. The Kawau Boating Boat was bursting at the seams but handed it well. I have split the photos into 4 galleries – Classic Wooden Boat Parade – Yacht Race – Beach BBQ – More (includes Kawau). If I missed your boat, you were somewhere I wasn’t, or in the wrong light , or your’e boats ugly (joking – sort off). Enjoy a peak at the weekend., click individual photos to enlarge. Next weekend I’m off to the Lake Rotoiti Classic and Wooden Boat Parade – its a biggie – they have 70+ entries
Dennis Macconaghie sent in the above collection of photos from Te Kouma Harbour. Dennis had just finished a charter and in his words ‘did a quick flick around the harbour to take a few picks of some local woodys’. Many thanks Dennis also good to see what’s wintering on the Coromandel side.
I have to say the all white double-ender (1st photo) is very salty – anyone able to enlighten us more on her?
Input from Jim Lott
The ketch shown in the photos is Aorangi II, a Bert Woollacott 34 ft design (Ladybird?). She was built by Ron Evans who lived at Bucklands Beach out of full length kauri planks over frames, launched late 60’s. From about 1977 until 2017 she was owned by AAH (Hubert) Schulte of Howick and berthed at HM Bay. Around 1980 the original Kelvin engine was replaced with a Yanmar and centre line shaft.
LAUGHING LADY STRUTS HER STUFF
Always look forward to getting the email from WoodenBoat advising my digital copy of WB is available for download – so pleased to see James Dreyer’s Laughing Lady has made the front cover of the July/August issue – well done James and everyone that rubbed up against her during her restoration.
2020 New Zealand Classic Yacht Regatta Photo Gallery – 100+ photos and videos
As I have mentioned in the last two WW stories, the Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand have over the last 3 days been running its annual classic yachting event on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.
The near perfect conditions on all three days made for happy skippers and a relieved race organisers. I was on the water for two of the three days and had a blast. The gallery above is a mix of Races 1/2/3. If your boat doesn’t make an appearance, I apologize, I was only a passenger, so captured those that were within range.
On the second day, James Dreyer and myself hosted the world acclaimed marine photographer Benjamin Mendlowitz onboard Jame’s motorboat – Laughing Lady, the perfect platform for recording the on the water activities.
For me it was a master class in boat positioning and photography angles, I tried to keep out of Ben’s way and took the above photos / videos when I could without being in Ben’s line of sight.
These days the CYA run the regatta using the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron as Race HQ and entertainment hub, it is the perfect venue and as always the service and staff were 10/10.
Scroll down for the official regatta results below
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.
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
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.
The photo above shows the ketch Shemara being launched in Wellington 0n the 9th August 1958, it looks a very miserable day – the wee girl I’m sure would rather be elsewhere. Photo ex Lew Redwood > fb.
Do we know what became of Shemara?
Input below from Gavin Pascoe
I own Sherama. She’s moored at Clyde Quay Wellington. 23′ LOA but feels more like 26 or 28′. She was Roydon Thomas’s first design. Built by Frank Ballinger. That’s him with his two sons Peter and Trevor, who are both still active boating in Wellington. She’s an awesome boat, Australian hardwood to the waterline, Alaskan cedar above. There’s footage of her being hauled up to Grafton Road prior to her launching (plus other cool footage) here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hSB9RWMMlw&t=29s. Many, many stories go with both the boat and Roydon Thomas. Stories of Roydon Thomas’ exploits are legion. Some clean ones may be read here:https://thomasfamilyhistorynz.wordpress.com/
And speaking of miserable days – the November 1963 photo below of the Oriental Bay boat harbour in Wellington, is proof of why they build such sturdy vessels so down there 🙂
Not often a classic woody graces the cover of a NZ boating mag
When you are out & about, pick up a copy of the May issue of Boating NZ, they feature Laughing Lady, post launching at the Mahurangi Regatta. Great story & photos. You can see / read about her restoration > launching at the link below (lots of links to stories). There is also a feature on my boat builder friend, Geoff Bagnall, another great reason to grab a copy 😉
The above photos showing James & Michael Dreyer’s recently relaunched 33’ 1949 Luders designed motorboat – Laughing Lady & Jason Prew’s 1904 Arch Logan gaff rigger- Wairaki – are my 2 favourite photos from this summer. They capture what classic kiwi wooden boating is all about – fun, friendship & fraternity.
The rebirth of these woodys would not have happened without people like Jason & James & the dozens of talented, enthusiastic craftspeople & helpers that rubbed up against the projects. And amazingly both of the guys have other classic woody projects on the go – Jason is restoring (rebuilding) the 1925 Dick Lang motor launch – My Girl. And James has a Rhodes 33 sloop in restoration in the USA, that hopefully will makes its way down under one day. In the meantime he gets his sailing fix from a 1937, 31’ Yankee One Design – made of kauri here in NZ, that he co-owns with his dad, Barry.
If your interested in viewing the restoration of LL or Wairiki, just search they name in the WW search box.
At the other end of the scale below is a short video on the 1910 Camper & Nicholson 162’ classic super yacht – Orion of the Seas, for sale in Italy. It is just magnificent but her maintenance budget would be bigger than the GDP of a lot of African nations. Enjoy the varnish porn. Tomorrow I’ll share with you my trip aboard Trinidad from Whangaroa, down the west coast of NZ to Queen Charlotte Sound, Picton.
LAUGHING LADY – 1949 33’ USA LUDERS COMMUTER / SPORT MOTOR BOAT REFURBISHED IN NEW ZEALAND
Yesterday, I was privileged to join a small group of friends of the extended Dreyer family at Omaha wharf to celebrate the re-launching of Laughing Lady, owned by brothers James & Michael.
It’s hard to believe it was over 4 years ago that I first talked to James about the purchase of Laughing Lady in the USA & where would be a good home for her during her restoration. Given James overseas work schedule & desire to be hands on with the project, there really was only one option – the Whangateau boat yard, so that was where she went, just under 4 years ago.
With projects of this size & standard – the end result is always a reflection of the number & calibre of people that have ‘rubbed-up-against’ the vessel, in LL’s case there have been a lot – from Pam, George, James & an army of friends & family. As time ticked on & a re-launch date was set, more wooden boat artisans were roped in. Having seen LL in the flesh, the photos above do not do justice to the work that has been done on her, everyone should take a well deserved a bow.
I was very pleased to see that the project has been a restoration, not a rebuild, James & Michael have kept most things as close to ‘as-launched’ as possible – sure there is modern material & technology in play but its tucked away out of view – the GPS / nav unit is a perfect example, when not needed, it drops down out of sight – very James Bond.
Stunning boat, but the big question, where to keep her – anyone got a vacant boat shed for hire?
I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I did taking them.
The old lady has had a lot of air time on WW – click the clinks below to view the process (top > bottom) – enjoy