Auckland Anniversary Regatta

1889 regatta photo ex Wilson & Horton

Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta

Late January > early February is always a big weekend on the yachting calendar – it is Auckland’s birthday and one of the lead events is the Anniversary Day Regatta – started way back in 1840 it is New Zealand’s oldest sporting event and in fact even pre-dates the America’s Cup by 11 years.

In recent years as competition of peoples leisure time has increased, the number of competitors has dipped, but the good news from a woody view point is the event has been propped up by the classic boating fleet and in recent years the inclusion of Tug/Work boat race and a classic launch, round the buoys drag race. If you are not away boating this long weekend, I would encourage you to visit the waterfront to catch some of the action – the Tug/Work boat race at 10am is a hoot. Best viewing spots found here


Heather Dawn + John Street on Tug Boat Racing on the Waitemata

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This double-ender launch has got Lake Rotoiti written all over her – her trademe listing (thanks Ian McDonald) states her design is ‘lifeboat’ and built in 1955 – this would suggest that she has been converted to pleasure use. The first thing I would say is the photographer has not been kind to her, in most photos she looks a lot shorter / ‘chunky’ than her actual length of 21’ 6” (the last photo gives us a better view).

Heather Dawn is powered by a 34hp Yanmar diesel. And is very well fitted out.

Home is the bottom of the South Island > Dunedin – but she comes with a new purpose-built braked trailer, so woodys this makes her very flexible in terms of her future location/s.

That diesel stove would help take the chill out of an early morning Lake fishing trip J



Every day this week WW featured a video filmed at John’s recent speaking engagement at the New Zealand Maritime Museum. The language is a tad ‘blue’ in places, but that is how John rolls 🙂 NOTE VIDEO IS COPYRIGHT DO NOT DOWNLOAD WITHOUT PERMISSION. Videos edited & enhanced with the help of Andrew Christie

PART Six – Tug Boat racing on the Waitemata (turn your sound up)


Monday –          Fosters the Beginning

TUESDAY–        History of The Breeze

WEDNESDAY– The schooner Daring

THURSDAY–     Amercias Cup

FRIDAY –            The steam crane ship Rapaki

SATURDAY–      Tug Boat Racing on the Waitemata


Big Boys Toys




Big Boys Toys

Auckland’s Anniversary Day Regatta attracts a huge fleet of vessels from sailing dinghies to tall ships & is one of the biggest one day sailing regattas in the world. One of the most popular events with the spectators is the Tug (work) Boat race. The race sees 20+ tugboats tearing around the  harbour in very close combat. The skippers are some of the best seaman on the harbour & they need to be with the almost ‘bumper-to-bumper’ racing.
This year was no different 🙂 in the photos above we see two of the Classic Yacht Association launch fleet, Ferro & Sterling almost dwarfed by modern day tugboats.

To view more of the tugboat action & more CYA classic boats competing – click this link

Now in the last photo above I bet the bloke on the helm of the yacht is asking himself – “what the hell am I doing here?” 🙂

Very Cool Video from the Race

Yesterdays Mahurangi Regatta post on WW broke all the records in terms of visitors & viewing numbers, over 14,000 in the first 24 hours. Thanks should go out to all the boat owners that make the effort to attend the event & spend all the time & effort prepping their pride & joy.

The classic of the regatta in my eyes would be Tasman, the 1927 Colin Wild launch. She is one of those boats that no matter what angle you look at her she is just perfect & a credit to owners D O’Callahan & A Tyler.


176th Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta

Akl Ann Day


Today’s photo is from the Mac Taylor collection & shows what I suspect is one of the Colin Wild ‘3 sisters’ my pick is Lady Gay, I’ll need help with the two yachts 🙂

Hopefully the weather gods will smile today & there will be some exciting racing to watch.

One of the real hoots of the day is the Tug Boat Race – it starts at 10.00am off Princess Wharf – course chart below + viewing points map.

Recent WW Posts – Sorry if some of the recent posts have appeared at ‘odd’ times but the platform that WW runs on has been upgraded & I have been having a few teething issues.

Just returned from the Mahurangi Regatta – amazing number of classic woodys in residence for the weekend – a big WW post on Tuesday 😉

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Full details here

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A collection of photos ex Martin Turnwald on the day, taken from North Head.

2015 Auckland Anniversary Regatta Tug Boat Race

2015 Auckland Anniversary Regatta Tug Boat Race

Below is a selection of photos from CYA member Brett Evans of Mondays inner harbour Tug Boat race. This looks a lot of fun & great to see so many of the CYA fleet ex work boats competing.

Tug Boat Tuesday


Now folks if you are in/around Auckland next Monday, you must check out the Tug Boat Race that is part of the Anniversary Day Regatta – some would say its the best part 🙂 its certainly the most spectacular & it all happens in the inner harbour (refer chart below). Just make your way to a vantage point (pack the binoculars) & I can guarantee you will be entertained.
The race starts at 10.00am. off Princes Wharf.

If you are a float, give them plenty of room – they are deceptively fast & rather large 🙂