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
Today’s story and photos comes to us from Little Jim’s skipper and owner James Mortimer and crew – Ash Smith, Rodrigo Salas, Janez Mikec, Max Goutard, Erwann Jooris.
I’ll let James share the story with you, as always – click on photos to enlarge. Enjoy 🙂
“After four long months out of the water at the Milford marina yard over winter, I know that Little Jim had been wanting to stretch her legs and get a good long sail up the coast. She feels fast with her newly reinforced decks, rebuilt rudder, and all over paint job. Or maybe it’s the long winter without any sailing that has made her crew push her along that little bit more.
The weather forecast for Labour weekend had been looking challenging, with light northerlies and rainy weather predicted. On Tuesday night we got together on the boat to go over safety and systems, not at all confident that we would even start the race. Over the next two days the forecast slowly got a little better, with the wind direction moving ever so slightly toward the east. On Thursday night, we made the call to go, knowing full well it was going to be tough.
Early Friday morning and with enough food and beer to supply a small army, we got ourselves into racing mode and set off for Devonport. There is something special about this race, with more than 150 yachts lining up across the harbour, a sense of anticipation building as the gun gets closer, an adventure ready to start.
We made an early call to cross the channel toward Rangitoto and escape the worst of the incoming tide. Little Jim made excellent ground on most of the fleet who were busy short tacking up Cheltenham Beach in very little wind. A long tack due east across the top of Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands allowed us to finally turn north and lay the outside of Tiri Island and and make some miles to the north. As it turned out, the short stretch between Tiri and Kawau Island was to be the best sailing we would get all day, with a perfect NE’er of 12 to 15 kts, and boat speed above 7 kts.
On any Coastal Classic, there is a decision to make off Takatu Point. Is the boat and the crew in good shape and ok to go on. In any adverse weather this is no small call to make. As all boaties know, crossing Bream Bay can be brutal, and there is no decent shelter until Tutukaka. An easy decision this time, and it was champagne sailing as we passed Cape Rodney. It didn’t last though, and as afternoon slid into evening the wind eased away and turned back north. A frustrating night of slow tacking between the Hen & Chick Islands and Whangarei Heads began, with not a lot of northward miles being made. What the wind failed to deliver the night sky made up for, with an impressive meteor shower, a crystal clear Milky Way, lots of phosphorescence, and an incredible sunrise.
At 8.30am, we made the difficult decision to pull the pin on the race just south of Elizabeth Reef. The forecast was light until afternoon and we had little hope of reaching Russell before cut off at 3pm.
Ending the race early wasn’t going to put a damper on the weekend though and we spent the next three days sailing downwind back to Auckland under spinnaker via the Poor Knights Islands, Tutukaka, the Hen & Chicks, and Kawau Island.
Little Jim, built in 1934, was the oldest boat to enter in this year’s race, and it is a fitting testament to the skill of New Zealand’s early boat builders and designers that we can often keep up with boats that are 60 or 70 years younger!
Can’t wait till 2021”
A16 – bermudan rigged, she was designed & built in 1934 by Arch Logan & Bill Couldrey. LOA: 42’10”, LWL: 28′, BEAM: 9’1″, DRAFT: 6′
SARITA I have been contacted by Brian Blake in regard to his launch – Sarita, a 28’ possibly built by Shipbuilders. Brian purchased approx. 12 months ago and knows very little about her other than she was kept at Rocky Bay, Waiheke Island. Prior to this she may have resided in the Tauranga area. In the next few weeks Brian plans to haul her out for a refit that will include re-powering. Like all of us woody owners, Brian would love to learn more about Sarita’s past – so any help would be greatly appreciated.
Make sure to check out WW tomorrow, we have a stunning photo gallery of the classic yacht – Little Jim, competing in this years Coastal Classic Yacht Race. Tease photo below 🙂
Coming back last night from a 5pm re-launching at The Slipway Milford, I spotted a pod of Orca off NorthHead – that is two sightings in the last month.
Over the last few days I have had cause to be in the vicinity of several boat yards
THE SLIPWAY MILFORD
Jason Prew has his 1925 Dick Lang built speedster – My Girl out and is in the process of re-powering her with a ’newer / better’ version of the 100hp Volvo that powers her. Given an engine box hasn’t been ticked off the To-Do List, this ones being pimped and blinged a little.
The new engine wasn’t the primary reason I called in, I had to see Jason’s just added, Riviera styled set up for his Robert Brook built classic dinghy. I’m told it all comes apart and tucks away out of sight for photo oppo’s. Thats a relief 😉
Also at the yard are Eileen Patricia , Peter and Jenni Mence’s 1933 Arnold Couldrey designed and built launch. Out for even more enhancements and a coat of paint.
Meanwhile Connie V the 1949, Lane Motor Boat Co. built launch waits her turn.
Jason Delamore who purchased the launch Mahanui off Angus Rogers, is a clever chap and very handy with the tools. Jason has just recycyled an old oak table into a very smart table that alternates between the saloon and cockpit, thanks to a ‘Langun’ base / mounting system (ex UK).
The flip hinges give both a small drinks table and larger table for dinner.
Jason commented that he was pretty happy with the result and breathed new life into some gorgeous timber that will last another 80-100 years on top of its current 80+ years.