Celebrations of boating

Feb 21, 2019 Boating history ,General Interest ,Racing

The weather gods were in a good mood for the two annual regattas that dominated the Auckland region in the closing days of January 2019 – the classic extravaganza at Mahurangi, and the Auckland Anniversary celebration.

Both events drew record participants and spectators, a testament to the organisers’ abilities and proof that boating – in all its multiple, diverse forms – is a core component of the New Zealand public’s DNA, perhaps more so than in any other country.

The Mahurangi Regatta is always a colourful affair, with its extraordinary mix of classic yachts and launches. This year’s event, though, chalked up a particularly important milestone because it witnessed five of the most legendary Arch Logan yachts coming together for the first time in decades.

In a splendid display of ‘functioning history’, Thelma (1897), Rainbow (1898), Ariki (1904), Rawhiti (1905) and Rawene (1908) drew resounding rounds of applause. Magnificent stuff. And proving that age and wisdom often outweigh youthful boisterousness, the graceful Thelma, under the expert guidance of skipper Tony Blake, proved the quickest of this A division quintet.

Two days later, the Auckland Anniversary Regatta – held in equally glorious conditions – drew one of the most eclectic selections of vessels ever seen on the Waitemata. The stiff breeze made for quick and competitive racing for the sailing fleets – and added an extra edge to the rivalry between the classics, while steam and paddle-powered competitors enjoyed great conditions for racing too.

Two world-class events – exceptional experiences, exceptional viewing