Oceanbridge Anniversary Day Regatta salutes maritime heritage

Anniversary day 2011 - AC45 prototype

Two waka hourua, the Spirit of New Zealand, 'Little Toot' tugs, elegant sailboats, waka ama, tall ships and flying 'cats' will be part of the huge flotilla celebrating Auckland’s maritime heritage on the Waitemata Harbour on Anniversary Day on Monday January 30.

The Oceanbridge Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta is the oldest sporting event in the country, open to all sailors in different classes of craft from the professional workboat skipper, a sea scout, an all out racer waiting to gun the engines in the Harbour Blast, a youngster in his first dinghy or an enthusiast who has spent thousands of hours restoring one of the great kauri- hulled classic sailing boats that Auckland has retained and maintained.

'The regatta is history on parade to be celebrated on the water and on land with excellent vantage points around the harbour for everyone to enjoy this unique display,' says organising committee chairman, Eric Mahoney. 'The event provides a spectacle of the best of yesteryear and the promise of a bright future for our sailing, boatbuilding and seamanship. We have a proud heritage and a world-class reputation for excellence for all to see in a salute to our province’s history.'

The regatta organisers are especially thrilled that Starling dinghy sailors, the up and comers, are incorporating into the programme their North Island Championships, organised by the Maraetai Sailing Club at Maraetai Beach. The Sunburst National Championships, organised by the Wakatere Boating Club at Wakatere over the long weekend, will also form part of the regatta activities.

One of the brightest stars racing on Monday in the classic division will be the recently restored Rawhiti, a 107-year-old Logan Bros. 54-footer, which was the runner up in a recent international competition judging sailboat restoration.
'There is a growing interest in these sailing crafts of such rare beauty and functionality with individuals and philanthropic trusts undertaking their preservation and continued upkeep for the next generations,' says master boatbuilder and restorer Peter Brookes. 'There is huge interest internationally in the Auckland classic yacht fleet as we have the artisan skills, commitment and passion to bring them back to life which is a tribute to the quality of the original design, materials and craftsmanship.'

Oceanbridge Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta, Auckland New Zealand

The classic yacht fleet will be moored in the Viaduct on the Sunday evening, January 29, and lit up Mediterranean-style for sightseers to look at them at close quarters before races on Monday morning.

The sailing boat races start at 11:00am off Princes Wharf with keelers, modern classics, tall ships, waka starting at five minute intervals before the Harbour Blast at noon when the fastest craft of the harbour race down the channel.

There will be dazzling aerobatic displays over the city skies from the Red Checkers starting at noon too followed by the Warbirds and the whole of the downtown viaduct area will have entertainment for all the family.

Flagship for the day is HMNZS Otago with the Governor General and dignitaries on board. The family of regatta sponsors is headed by Oceanbridge Shipping Limited, Auckland Council, Ports of Auckland Limited, Classic Hits 97.4FM, Lion Foundation and the Spirit of Adventure Trust and Southern Trust.

For more information and entry forms go to:
www.regatta.org.nz or phone 0800 REGATTA (0800 734 2882) or checkout our Facebook page
It costs $15.00 for centreboard yachts and radio controlled yachts to enter and $25.00 for tugboats, keelboats and multihulls.

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