Press Release – Auckland Anniversary Regatta
The weather is coming to the party for the more than 450 boats, an estimated 2,000 competitors, and many thousands of spectators that will be on or near the water for Auckland Anniversary Regatta on Monday.
Moderate Easterlies that are forecast for Anniversary Day will make for champagne sailing in the waters off Auckland, says Auckland Anniversary Regatta Chairperson, Eric Mahoney.
“Anniversary Day is about Auckland’s maritime heritage – it marks the time that the founding of Auckland, which was then a province, was first celebrated in 1840, and it is a day where Aucklanders can focus on our glorious harbours.”
The huge fleet anticipated for the historic Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta includes tall ships, gaff riggers, sloops, racing keelers, multihulls, sailing dinghies, radio controlled boats, Waka ama, dragon boats, sea scout craft, classic yachts, and vintage tug boats.
These add up to make the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta one of the biggest regattas in the Southern Hemisphere, but it’s not just about boats: Auckland Anniversary Day is also a great day out for many thousands of spectators who flock to waterfront locations including Princes Wharf, Orakei Wharf (on Tamaki Drive), Bastion Point, North Head, Maraetai, and the East Coast Bays.
“Pack a picnic and enjoy the festivities,” says Eric Mahoney.
Some of the famous yachts to look out for include Katrina, Ranger, Waitangi and Rawene, perfectly restored sailing vessels that have pride of place in New Zealand’s marine heritage.
It is the first race back after time away for Moana, a Bermudan cutter rigged “A” class keeler built in 1895 by Logan Bros as a cutting edge racer in its day, and a true reflection of the design and workmanship of New Zealand designers and shipwrights in the late 19th century. Moana has been in Chris Smith’s family for 44 years: he originally purchased her with his three brothers and their parents, and she was initially restored by their father and refitted periodically over the years by the brothers.
Moana has faithfully adhered to classic sailing tradition and will race with few changes to its rig and layout, although the addition of a motor is a major change for the boat.
“The family love her, we love sailing. We plan to keep her in the family for as long as possible,” he says.
Some of the fastest small boats on the harbour will also be present in the Harbour Challenge, which starts off Orakei Wharf at midday, and the detail of remote control yacht racing, will be fascinating for all ages.
A fleet of 20 working boats of all shapes and sizes are expected in the spectacular Tug Boat Race – tug boats are not designed to race, and the wake they leave behind them when they throttle down off the startline is immense. Spectators will have plenty of opportunity to see these boats in action both before and after the race.
For those that would like to get up close to the boats and maybe even try a water based activity or look at a boat first hand, the Viaduct is the place to be.
On Monday, up to 400 dragon boaters will be out in force, and Waka Ama battles will be heated, with the option for the public to have a go at Waka Ama, between 1 and 4pm at the Tidal Stairs in the Viaduct. Visitors to the Viaduct will be able to take in Tug Boat demonstrations, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s aerobatic team, the Red Checkers, will fly over Auckland City at 12pm. Many classic yachts will be berthed in the Viaduct for viewing from Sunday evening until about 9am on Monday morning, and races start and finish off the end of Princes Wharf throughout the day.
One of the Navy’s two ANZAC Class frigates, HMNZS Te Mana will cross the harbour to spend the weekend in Auckland City supporting Anniversary Day activities. Te Mana will be offering tours of the ship on Saturday and Sunday, from 10:00am – 2:30pm, Members of the public are warmly invited to come down to Queens Wharf West to see your Navy in action. Te Mana will then sail on Monday morning to be part of the activities at sea.
Those in South Auckland will enjoy the remote control yachting take place at Wattle Farms from 10am. Three types of miniature yachts will race, spectators are welcome, and Wattle Farms is a wild life reserve and ideal picnic destination for families. A different type of remote control racing will happen at Westhaven Marina from 10am.
Organisations supporting the event are the Royal New Zealand Navy, Classic Hits 97.4FM, the Spirit of Adventure Trust, The Southern Trust, The Lion Foundation, and Ports of Auckland Ltd.
Programme of Events for Monday 28 January:
Waitemata Harbour (between the Harbour Bridge and Devonport)
0830hrs: Tugboat Parade from Viaduct to North Head
0900-0945hrs: Tugboat Race: North Head, Torpedo Buoy, Salt Works Buoy to Devonport Wharf
0900-0940hrs: Waka ama Race from Okahu Bay to Princes Wharf
0900-1600hrs: Dragon Boat racing in Viaduct Harbour
0945hrs: HMNZS Te Mana departs Queen’s Wharf
1000-1045hrs: Races start off Princes Wharf at 5 minute intervals
1030-1100hrs: Tugboat display off North Wharf area
1100hrs: Tugboats parade in Viaduct followed by judging at 12 noon
1130hrs: Waka Ama display in North Wharf area
1200hrs: Harbour Challenge starts off Orakei Wharf
1300-1600hrs: Waka Ama ‘have a go’ off Tidal Steps
Hauraki Gulf Passage Races (finishing off Princes Wharf in the afternoon) :
0900hrs: Keelboat races start from Mahurangi and Ponui, Waiheke Island
1000hrs: Keelboat races start from Rakino Island
Princes Wharf finish line
1300 – 1700hrs: Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf race fleets expected
Centreboard Racing (arrive one or two hours before race start to see the boats rigging up):
0945hrs: Narrowneck Beach – Sea Scouts
1000hrs: Maraetai Sailing Club – Starling Auckland Championships
Wakatere Boating Club – Opti – Auckland Championships, Sunburst & Hobie 16’s
1100hrs: Kohimarama Yacht Club – P Class, Starling, Arrow, NS 14, Splash, 29er, RS:X and
Northcote Birkenhead Yacht Club – Idle Along, Navy Crown, YW Heron, X3, 2.4mR,
Access Liberty and Jolly Boats
1230hrs: Tamaki Yacht Club – Laser, Laser Radial, Laser 4.7, Mistral and Phase II
Radio Controlled Yachts
1000hrs: Electron Fleet at the Marine Association Pontoon, Westhaven Marina
International One Metre, A2 and Marblehead fleets at Wattle Farm, Manurewa.
The regatta website is www.regatta.org.nz