Woody Classics Weekend Riverhead Trip Report

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Woody Classics Weekend Riverhead Trip Report

We had 23 classic launches confirm for Sundays Riverhead cruise but folks I can report that the weather at times was a little evil. Not too bad for the big girls but the sub 30’ crowd were rocking & rolling. Lots of white water over the top. But it was only for a short time, after Herald Island things improved 🙂
On the day, 15 launches travelled to the Riverhead Tavern and had a ball, neat people , stunning boats, lots of good chat. Big ups to those that came by car to join the gathering, nice gesture.
Now – confession time – on the email I to sent the skippers that had RSVP’ed I gave everyone a big wind up about behaving e.g. Indian File, follow the leader, no over taking etc etc and bugger me – Raindance went aground. Last bend before the hotel & I’m up on deck laying out the lines & fenders and  the ‘duty’ skipper puts us in the mud. No amount of forward / reverse would move her. Thank goodness for my boatbuilder Geoff Bagnall and his wife Theresa on board Achillies, who came to our aid and pulled us off. Not before 1/2 the fleet passed us – very embarrassed. Hopefully the oops cleaned off some Baywater sludge. But I was not alone………. 2 others parked up as well 😉
Not a great day for photos, overcast and drizzle but the sun shone thru at the important times 🙂
Remember to put a big circle in your diary for the weekend of 19/20th of October for the next Woodys Classics Weekend. Its a picnic cruise to Still Water motor camp – Master of ceremonies / Officer of the day / Rear commodore / Chief Poo-bar / Mark Edmonds (who like titles) is finalising dates and details but there could be a band, classic cars / motorbikes and vehicle access for the boat less Woodys – more details soon.
Special thanks to Brendon Gardiner, Margo Hudson, Jason Prew and Alan Houghton for the photos.
Photos below from Michelle Maitland onboard Cleone

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And more ex David Plummer and Geoff Steven

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B/W photo below ex Mike Mahoney

WCW Riverhead ex McH

Great view of Jason Prew’s – My Girl below. taken by Angus Rogers. Really shows off her lines, no wonder she is so quick 😉

My Girl @ Riverhead Sept2019

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

 

 

CYA Double Banger – Riverhead Launch Cruise + Vintage & Veterans Yacht Race

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Achilles

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My Girl

 

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My Girl + Raindance

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Monterey, Te Arahi, Altair, Manapouri

CYA Double Banger – Riverhead Launch Cruise + Vintage & Veterans Yacht Race

While mooching around under the Harbour Bridge waiting for the launch stragglers , I snapped a few photos of the yacht fleet tuning up for the start of the annual Vintage & Veterans yacht race – Photos below
The weather for the launch cruise was almost ideal, after we had arrived at the Riverhead Tavern and had planted ourselves in the bar, the rain started, so while we by dinning and chatting – the old girls got a fresh water wash down – perfect.
A good turn out for late in the season – 16 woodys – made up of 12 CYA members and 4 woodys that joined us for the day. I convinced one to join, but Jason Prew tells me I need to improve on my 25% conversion rate 🙂
Nice to catch up with those that made the trip by motorcar.
As always the food was excellent, just a wee hick-up with a power oops slowed the service down a tad but all good.
Sorry if I missed your woody with my camera – the fleet were very spaced out, so arrive times didn’t suit the need to sustenance 😉
As always, click photos to enlarge.
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Rawhiti A2 + Rainbow A7 + Waitangi A6

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Arcturus K8638

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Little Jim A16

Photos below of Thelma sent in by Simon Smith

Fritha

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FRITHA

Chatting with Chris McMullen and he mentioned that he had been recently contacted by Morgan Dawicki, the captain of the 74’ Brigantine – Fritha that Chris built back in 1986 for Jack R Butland. Chris commented that Jack Butland came to him with a modern design of what some one imagined a old time sailing vessel should look like. Chris was horrified and found him a nice design depicted in a 1940’s Rudder Magazine he had. They tracked down the designers son and bought the plans. The result  was ‘The Fritha’ and a very happy owner. Chris said he owed a great deal to the Butland family. McMullen and Wing built them three significant wooden boats. The first order placed was when Chris was under thirty years old.

These days Fritha is owned by the Northeast Maritime Institute, USA, who have recently dedicated a room to Jack Butland at the Institute, check out the opening here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5L13LucfDQ

Her captain – Morgan told Chris that they are doing their best to share the lovely lady with our Kiwi friends and to share in her memories. His words were “She truly is the most beautiful boat on the water (in my opinion!) The craftsmanship is impeccable and it is nice to make the acquaintance of one of her builders”.

As of late, she has been spending the winters in North Carolina and summers in Buzzards Bay as a sail training ship for local high school age students. We mostly sail around Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

The Butland’s are a very old New Zealand boating family and their name has been alongside some of our best  examples of NZ boat building e.g.

J R Butland • an H28 then a Sailar 40 then the Fritha.

Ken Butland • Triton then Sirdar.

J M Butland • Thetis built by Lane Motor Boat Co. Panmure.

• Dufesne built by Max Carter.

• Durville built by Steel Yachts and Launches (McMullen and Wing)

• Inverness built by McMullen and Wing

Pleasant Surprise – while mooching around Mahurangi during the recent regatta weekend, a gent by the name of Tony McNeight unbeknown to me did a sketch of my Raindance, and it popped up on facebook. If you ever want a sketch / drawing of your boat, give Tony a call  021 925 031

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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 Smith 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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Summer / New Year 2019 Raindance Cruise Photo Gallery – 70+ Classic Wooden Boats

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282′ – Available for rent NZD$970,000 week

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Very cool packaging design & yum

Summer / New Year Raindance Cruise Photo Gallery – 70+ Classic Wooden Boats

The above gallery is a selection of photos I mostly took at random over the 12 days we were floating around the bottom end of Waiheke Island. I apologise for the quality of some, but the light & direction I was heading were not always my friend in terms of image quality. I just wanted to record & showcase some of the craft out & about over the holiday period. Remember click photos to enlarge 😉
Like most people in the upper north island we were gifted with stunning weather – I rolled the cockpit canopy clears up on day one & rolled them down again when we returned to the marina 12 days later. I can honestly say that it was the best cruise we have had aboard RD, just perfect.
For those of you that were cruising in other parts, email in some photos so we can share.
Even last week the weather remained near perfect, & allowed me to get the sandpaper & Awlwood (Uroxsys) out & re-varnish RD’s trim – 9 coats, looks very smart.
As I write this I’m hoping for some rain, the garden is crying out for a downpour.
Mahurangi Regatta is fast approaching, I say it every year but in terms of vessel numbers & location, it has to be NZ’s premier classic wooden boating event. Put a circle around Saturday, Jan 26th in the diary & make the effort to be there. More details closer.
Check out WW tomorrow for some great photos from the Bay of Islands Tall Ships Regatta – there will even be a photos of Tony Stevenson on the helm of a classic, its been a while 😉

Garden Cove, Waiheke Island

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Garden Cove Waiheke Island

Over the New Year period we were very lucky to ’score’ an anchorage not once, but twice in Garden Cove on the the Northern side of Waiheke Island.
It’s a very special spot & due to it size, can only really handle 2 >3 boats. The advent of the SeaLegs amphibious craft, means a few more craft can enjoy the venue via parking on the beach.
On our first visit we were joined by the 1946 Lidgard built launch – Monterey.
Second trip we shared the bay with the magnificent1935, Colin Wild designed & built motor launch – Lady Gay & a very cute woody ‘picnic’ boat.
If you ever get the chance, be brave & enter the gap (right side – ALWAYS), it is worth it.
BUT – folks, the 1st visit was a little tarred by a group of white trash that appeared to have overnighted on the beach (New Years Eve), the beach was a tip & included toilet paper. Come on kiwi’s – show a little respect for the environment & other people. A took few photos to name & shame 😦