Auckland Anniversary always starts with the famous Tug Race which starts off Westhaven. They then head down towards Orakei to round a buoy and then back down to the bridge for the finish.
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A few years ago when I was involved with the Classic Yacht Association Committee, I helped organise a few of the Launch races and for me it was really nice to see some of the old Launches in this race still going for it.
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One of Aucklands older original Tugs Te Hauraki
Jeneusse off to the line
off to the line
Not to be outdone
Sterling always used to do well and it was nice to see Ronaki, Te Hauraki and Jeneusse out there too.
The Rudder cup was first run in 1908 and again on its 100th anniversary in 2008. The race involves some of NZ’s finest Classic launches racing overnight up to Sail Rock and back. This is the third time the full length race has been held.
Sail Rock is just over 100 nautical miles from Auckland and is just off the coast by Pakiri. north of Auckland.
In 2008, I was keen to run but Rorqual had an overheating problem and it would have been too risky but now that my son Drew has spent the last year going over the boat completely and has largely sorted out all these issues, we’re getting much closer but its great that he’s basically beaten it.
Because so much has been done on Rorqual recently and it has literally only just been put back together with so many changes, it was deemed to risky to go the whole distance but we thought we would show up on the start line and join in the fun and then peel off.
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We left Milford on the tide around lunch time and headed down to Westhaven marina to the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron (Home of the Americas Cup for those overseas) which is a bout 40 minutes by water. There we were to join up with some of the other boats who were going to start the race.
We had a great afternoon at the Squadrons visitors berth catching up with everyone and checking out different boats.
With us at the visitors berth was Jason with his boat My Girl that he has been restoring over the last couple of years and she looks fabulous. It has a big Turbo charged Volvo in her so she was one of the race favorites for her class. Behind us was an old work boat owned by Ian called Meola. Ian invited us on board and and showed us around. He has repowered it with a 4 cylinder Gardner and she looks a picture.
Not long after we arrived, old friends Barb and Dave arrived with their old Salthouse classic Trinidad. It was nice to see them too.
About 6:30, everyone started to head out towards the startline under the bridge. There were 14 boats racing and they were all ready to go. While we waiting there, race official Baden motored around in a tender and checked all the boats had all their safety gear.
Click on the Gallery below for a Slide show
Everyone milling around the bridge before the start
Jason’s crew with their Christmas gear on
Race officials in the tender.. Baden in the blue.
Ferro and Kumi getting ready
Getting ready to start. Kumi, left and My Girl
Alan on the bow of Trinidad
Waimiga and Meola
The good crew of Ferro
Waitangi won the vintage division
The weather forecast for the race was a little grim with heavy rain and thunderstorms predicted for most of the race area and Auckland and while we bobbed around waiting for the start time at 7pm, the patchy showers were heading across Auckland.
The Cannon sounded at 7pm and Drew opened up the noise and we were off. With a puff of black smoke we were heading off down to North Head at the entrance to Auckland Harbour. As there is a 12 knot limit in the harbour until you get to North Head, Drew kept Rorqual’s speed down until we got well past Devonport and then opened her up to 16 knots.
Click on the Gallery below for a Slide show
And we’re off.. Trinidad and Sterling
Sterling won the Veteran Division
Trinidad won the Classic Division
Lady Margaret with her new John Deere motors!
Trinidad passing Takapuna Beach
By the time we got to Devonport Wharf which is about half way down the harbour, we were well ahead of most of the fleet and only one of Drew’s mates in a Thundercat with a 50HP Yamaha on the back was with us. He spent 10 minutes or so playing in our wake which provided some entertainment for us.
We got about half way across to Rangitoto light when Drew decided to withdraw from the race and we headed back sedately at around 15 knots.
Rorqual performed amazingly and I was really pleased that Drew has managed to crack the heating issue with only some small things to be done to finish things off.
They dropped me off in Viaduct Harbour and I caught the ferry home to Devonport. They went on to Islington Bay for a boys night away. A fun day!
I was watching the race on my phone on a tracking app and I noticed some of the Rudder racers had returned back to the Squadron base in Westhaven by 3am in the morning which is great timing.
Every year at Waitangi weekend for the last 4 years , Alan and I have hit the road in Rafe and headed down to Lake Rotoiti and joined the Lake Rotoiti Classic Boat Association, who have a parade with their lovely boats and a picnic day out on the beach. Its a great occasion where the public can watch from the shore or any other vantage point they can find and enjoy the spectacle.
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We left Auckland in the middle of the day on the Friday to try and avoid some traffic. We were half successful and we arrived around 4pm and set Rafe up at the Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park. We were given a park right next to our friends from Taupo Shawn and Cathy. Just around the corner were Tim and Pam with their Chev and Miss Belair which they parked right next to us.
After registration, a few drinks and a meal at the Pikiao Rugby League club we returned back to Rafe for a few drinks with our friends and neighbours, Tim, Pam, Shawn and Cathy.
The next morning, we were up early as it was parade day. The previous Commodore of the Classic boats, Fraser had offered us the use of his Tender as a platform for taking some images from the water. Alan was driving so I could concentrate on getting the images and we could use them both here and on his blog, Waitematawoodys.com
Fraser came and picked us up from the campground and after a look around his amazing waterfront house on the lake, we went and got settled with the boat.
Enjoy the images.. Click on an image below for a slideshow.
Shawn and Cathy’s new boat
Tim and Pam with Miss Belair
Time for a selfie
Friends from Auckland
Fraser’s Guests watching the parade
It was a great day with lots of the Classic crews ready to show off their lovely boats and most were dressed in period costumes for the occasion. The winner of the costume award went to the crew of Alberta.
After the parade, everyone headed over to Wairau Bay for a picnic and catchup. It was great to catchup with old friends and meet some new people and see their boats.
The Barge at Wairau Bay
People getting ready to picnic
One of the things about the lakes is there are no tides so they run their boats up in the sand and step off their bows with ladders onto the beach. Some choose to anchor and get picked up by the barge.
A great day on the water finished off with a beer at a bar which was accessible by boat and then back to the camp.
There are lots and lots of pictures duplicated on Waitematawoodys.com taken by me with Alan on the helm.
Every year at this time, the Classic Yachts and Launches of the CYA race down and anchor at Patio Bay and enjoy a great knees up for Christmas.
The old girls (Wooden boats !) and their owners enjoy a few cold ones on their boats together before heading to shore to Bert and Margaret Woollicotts family Bach. Several Barbeques are setup(with wood) and everyone does their own thing.
Click on the images for hi res or a slideshow
Alan and I are both ex Launch Captains of the CYA and have been on the committee and helped organise different parts of this great annual event. My old boat Rorqual was still in bits in mid restoration by my son Andrew, so I was really pleased to be able to go down with Alan on his 1928 Lanes launch, Raindance.
After getting things ready at Bayswater marina, we headed off to the start line of the yacht race at Orakei Wharf. It was going to be a long day as there was absolutely no wind. The sea was flat calm.
Alan at Bayswater getting ready to go.
Alan preparing his #1 tender “Peg”
Peg behind with the Auckland Harbour bridge behind.
The start boat Wild Duck with Tony on the bow
We hung around for 20 minutes or so to get some pictures and then handed down towards Waiheke. After a couple of hours or so so later, we arrived at the bottom end of Waiheke with quite a few boats already there, mostly from the day before making a weekend of it. The weather was just stunning even a little too hot.. Everyone was looking for shade and there was no wind at all.
We visited Roseanne and Brian on their boat Silens which as anchored just behind us and later were visited by our friend Richard from the Devonport Yacht Club.
Around 5, the yachts had finally arrived and we headed into shore to enjoy a meal from heaven that Alan had already prepared. …Alan’s a great cook and is legendary for his skills in the galley 😀
A great night of catching up with old friends and we later headed back to Raindance.
In the morning, we were visited by Steve who had sailed down from Mahurangi for the event. Alan cooked up a great feed of Baked Beans on toast and several cups of tea to blow the cobwebs out for all three of us.
By 9ish, we were under way for the 3hr trip back to Bayswater. A great couple of days and nice to see everyone.
With the All Blacks losing to Ireland and the weather forecast looking miserable, you could have easily flagged the day as one for the slippers and the fireplace but when the call goes out for the Classic Launches Riverhead trip, it is one not to be missed!
Fiona and I have done this for years, usually twice a year and it never disappoints. See a previous trip here.
Click on the images for Hi Res or a slideshow
Classic boat owners Paula and Stephen Pepperill sold their Classic Yacht to renovate their newly purchased Riverhead Hotel and have done a stunning job in rescuing it after years of being run down and neglected. These days, ferry loads of passengers make the day trip from Auckland to have a great lunch with a few drinks and to enjoy the river trip. It has also become one of the more popular trips for the Classic Yacht Launches too.
Its always a fun event and can be quite nerve racking for the novices as the channel is quite narrow in places and can be only a 1 metre or so deep in places so its a great event for confidence building and to join in with a new adventure.
Fiona and I decided to take Rafe down to the marina carpark and stay two nights so we could get away early and stay the night after.
We were meeting Alan and his wife Robyn on their 28ft 1928 Lanes tramtop at the marina at 9.00am. Friends Dani and Grant were going to be there too. Alan was Launch Captain of the CYA (Classic Yacht Association) for 4 years after my 2 years as LC, and Alan, Grant and I have done lots of boating together when I had Rorqual.
We met under the centre span of the Auckland Harbour Bridge and at 09:30, Alan led the way up to the first meeting point at Lucas creek, about half way where we were meeting several other boats and their crews.
In the well sheltered upper harbour, the water was calm and there was very little wind. About an hour later, everyone was jockeying for a parking spot, some rafting with friends and the Tino Rawa Trust tender Whistleblower was on hand to ferry people into the Pub’s jetty.
Marita with the city behind
John Dory, under the bridge
Mahunui, city behind under the bridge
John Dory arriving at Riverhead
Trinidad at Lucas creek
The Ferry at the jetty
Fiona nd Robyn at the Riverhead.
Boats moored below the pub
About 100 people turned up, some by car as well. There was a band playing, the sun made an appearance and it was a great few hours of catching up with old friends and meeting a few new people too.
About 2pm (1.5hrs after full tide), many started to leave before the creek ran out of water 🙂 We had a fun trip back with a couple of drinks, some Sausage Rolls and some chocolates and strawberries which Fiona had prepared.
We stepped off the boat to a hot shower and a cup of coffee after a neat day out. Thanks for a great day out on the water Robyn and Alan, and its always fun to see Grant and Dani too.
On the way back from Waihi, we stopped in at the Paeroa Maritime Museum.
With my past involvement with Classic Launches, I was keen to see what was there. The main building is the ex Paeroa Post Office and is chocker with relics from the area. Apparently Captain Cook sailed up the Waihou and checked it out for Spars.
The old Paeroa jail house
The camping area, normally there are no cars here.
Paeroa didn’t see roads until the mid 1940’s and the main transportation method was ships up the streams to where the Maritime Museum is today.
They also provide overnight Motorhome parking with power for $15 and there are toilets and plenty to see and do.
You can also go for a ride in one of their two vessels up the Waihou river.
After the torrential rain on Saturday morning, the organisers of the Rotoiti Classic boats decided to postpone it until Sunday.
We left the camp early and after a quick breakfast, we took Rafe around to the top of the “viewing platform” which is a park and parking area just along the road from Okere Falls Store.
As a lot of my last years images were in the Rotoiti Classic Boat Associations 2016 calendar, we were welcomed by commodore Grant and past commodore Fraser down by the water and offered several options to help with pictures.
Alan took his from the back of the commentary boat which is where I took mine from last year but I set up my nice comfy deck chair and sat right by the waters edge and shot from there.
Several hundred people materialised from everywhere quite quickly and made themselves comfortable on the grass.
At 10:30, the whistle sounded and the first boats started the parade. From Rowing boats right through to big launches. All meticulously maintained and most with oodles of history.
As always, click on the images to see them in hi res and the slideshow below.
A great spectacle. A nice weekend.
After the parade finished, the boats all headed over to the other side of the lake and enjoyed their annual picnic on the beach.
We headed for home after stopping briefly at Tirau for lunch.
The weather dealt to the Rotoiti Classic Boats parade today. It has been postponed until Sunday so this morning, we arranged to stay here another day.
Our friends Shawn and Kathy from Taupo arrived late yesterday from Taupo with their two children and despite the rain, people came out from under cover to admire their 1960 Dodge with their new Retro Chris Craft.
Not long after that Tim and Pam arrived with their 2 door pillar less Chev Bel Air coupe with their custom made Miss Bel Air speed boat.
Russell Ward also arrived late with Steam Boat Romany and spent the morning getting her ready for the parade while kids were doing antics around with bikes in the rain.
This morning we were invited around to check out a boat Kereru that’s for sale so we went around in convoy in the Dodge and Chev and later to the Orere Point Store for lunch.
The Steam boat Romany at the jetty
Kids doing gymnastics with bikes in the rain
The Orere point Store
Orere point store
Tim and Shawns son having fun.
Alan giving me some instructions, can’t remember what they were.
Alan sitting in the Chev
Russell with Romany
The store has a really nice outdoor area complete with a stage and has a great selection of food and wines.
One of the nice things about Lake Rotoiti and the boating setup here is their lakeside covered docks where they are used as vehicles to get about in. Backing out their boats just like the rest of us do with our cars. Fantastic.
The boat parade is on today so we are looking forward to that.
For the last three years, Alan and I have been invited by the Classic and Wooden Boat Association to join in with the parade of classic boats on Rotoiti. We also photographed their classic boat parade for their calendar and for Waitematawoodys.com and now this blog.
Alan and I are both ex launch captains of the Classic Yacht Association here in Auckland.
This is the second year we’ve come down in Rafe and it’s always a real hoot. They have a parade of all the boats on the lakes edge and then cross to a bay for a combined family picnic.
We left Takapuna around 10:30 this morning and after a brief stop for diesel and fresh water, our first stop was KFC Matamata where had lunch and got “provisions” for another meal for the boat parade cold.
Just out of Tirau, we had to stop for a cup of coffee to wash down the KFC!
Feeling much better, we were under way again for Rotoiti.
The Classic and Wooden boat associations opening do is always a barbecue at the camping ground on the lakes edge. We’re fortunate that their secretary Rachel and the committee look after us so well.
The Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park was once a fully fledged camping ground and caravan/Motorhome park. These days it’s unfortunately is set up for annual cabin rentals more than the conventional Motorcamp setup. The facilities are fantastic although now geared more for the cabins.
Cabins and cabins
The lakefront and jetty
A Maserati was parked in front of this one!
Fiona and I came here about 20 years or so ago with a jet ski and stayed in a cabin. After parking the JetSki on the jetty, we were able to just come and go without launching it from the trailer. Being a fresh water lake too meant we didn’t have to flush the motor! We stayed for the best part of a week exploring the hot pools and lake Rotoiti and through the weir to lake Rotorua too. I remember this being a great holiday and nice spot to stay.
Roll on the BBQ. This year unfortunately, the weather isn’t playing the game. It is forecast to be showery tomorrow so let’s wait and see. Boats are made to get wet after all!