Whangateau Traditional Boats Regatta – Part One
This is the coolest thing happening, down under, in the traditional wooden boating world – if you have not been to Tramcar Bay, you need to ask yourself how serious you are about wooden boats.
photos Shane Anderson, Mark Lever, Alan Wallace & Phillip Jones
Clicking on the photos above will enlarge them 😉
Saturday March 8th was the 12th year that Whangateau Traditional Boats has hosted a regatta at Tramcar Bay Whangateau. The regatta was initiated by Russell Ward who in the early days focused on steamboat maintenance. Russell held 2-3 regattas before Pam Cundy and George Emtage started repairing their first boats at the historic boat building sheds 9 years ago.
Whangateau Traditional Boats are involved with the preservation and restoration of classic and traditionally built wooden boats, both big & small. George and Pam (both boat builders) have amassed a fleet of traditional planked small craft. Some purchased, many donated, some saved from the tip but all needing their restoration skills. The regatta is a perfect venue for Pam & George to showcase these boats & provides the local community with the opportunity to participate. The craft are offered for the publics use, as they want to create opportunities and acceptance of our traditional wooden boat heritage. These craft are complementary to the ongoing survival of the historic boatbuilding shed and yard.
On regatta day some arrive with their own small boats, others help and crew on the WTB fleet, many just enjoy the spectacle and a day on the beach. Among the small boats held by WTB are 7 x Z class, 3 x Idle Alongs, 1 x Frostbite, 3 x Cadet training boats, 2 x Dory’s, 1 x S class open 16ft, 1 x T class open 14ft & then some.
Bridging the gap between these small boats and some of the larger boats WTB are restoring is Desdimona, an 18ft Mullet boat seen in some of the photos.
The conditions on the Saturday were near perfect – full sun, high tide at 1.00 pm & a light 5 knot breeze.
The historic red sheds sit amongst the mangroves on Tramcar Bay. The beach is very tidal with enough water for small boats approx 1.5 hours either side of high tide. So the regatta is a brief 2-3 hours of sailing time & the format is casual – sail it, row it, talk it. All levels & ages of sailors & rowers are welcome. But keep an eye on your watch, get the timing wrong & there’s a long walk over the mud flats. The regatta is a great get together for the local boating community. Pam and George generously host the event with the historic boat building sheds open on the beach. The March regatta was so popular another will be held very soon – date tbc.
Enjoy the photos, more tomorrow 🙂