Auckland Anniversary Weekend and Mahurangi Regatta – all the details

The wait is over! Another fantastic classic weekend is here!

42nd Mahurangi Regatta and the 179th Auckland Anniversary Regatta
25 – 28 January 2019

For full details for both race events and social events – keep scrolling down!

If you have never been to Mahurangi before, then make sure you do this year – it promises to be another spectacular weekend. The launch parade is back – bigger than ever – and the Prohibition Band are sure to put on another big night under the marquee at Scott’s Landing. There’s road access to both Sullivan’s Bay and Scott’s Landing for friends and family to join in.

This year also sees the first Classic Launch Race as part of the Auckland Anniversary Regatta in 100 years, so it promises to be something special!

See you there!

Night Race to Mahurangi – 25th January

This race is organised by the Devonport Yacht Club. Enter on the CYA website here

Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions

Please note that classic and modern classic yachts competing in this race are to take their own finish times and provide these to Joyce Talbot via text message on 021 818 448. The finish line is described in the Sailing Instructions.

Anchoring in Sullivan’s Bay – all arriving yachts and launches are requested to keep clear of the fairway marked by orange buoys laid in Sullivan’s Bay – this will form the access route into the bay for the classic launch parade on Saturday.

42nd Mahurangi Regatta – 26th January

42nd anniversary of regatta revival by Mahurangi Action
160th anniversary of the first-recorded Mahurangi Regatta

A full programme of events is available on the Mahurangi Action website. Here are the highlights:

  • 0900-1000 – Registrations for Classic Launch Parade
  • 0900-1130 – Entries for sailing events
  • 0900-1100 – Launching of trailered boats entered in regatta, at Sullivans Bay
  • 0930-1130 – The Jane Gifford assumes her station as start boat
  • 1030 – Classic Launch Parade—best viewed, and commentary heard, from southern half of beach
  • 1100 – Shoreside events begin—running, sack, three-legged, and spud and spoon (enter at starting line)
  • 12 pm – Master of the Mahurangi
  • 1240 – Sailing events commence – Te Haupa Trophy
  • 1250 – Frostbites, Mistrals and Zephers
  • 1300 – Reactor and H28
  • 1320 – A Class
  • 1340 – Mahurangi Cup, L-Class, and Traditional Spirit Trophy
  • 1400 – Modern Classics
  • 1300-1430 – Sand Sculpture competition. Divisions for under 7 years, 7 to 11 years, 12 to 16 years, adults
  • 1400 – Shoreside events resume—swimming, kayak, open (sit-on) kayak, and, possibly, dinghy, blindfold boat, lost-the-dinghy-oars, rowed inflatable etc.— and any other event suggested that seems a good idea at the time! i.e. water run (enter by presenting at starting line)
  • 1600 – Tug-of-war
  • 1615 – Humongous annual egg-throwing competition
  • 1630 – Lolly scramble (grand finale of shoreside events)

Saturday evening BBQ & dance

Kick-off from 1800hrs. Prize-giving will be held in front of the marquee at Scott’s Landing, followed by dancing under the big tent to the Prohibition Big Band (West City Jazz Orchestra). Free barbecues will be provided – BYO everything else.

Entry for sailing events

Please enter Mahurangi Regatta sailing events on the Mahurangi Cruising club website

Regatta information

Sailing Instructions

Please note that the Mahurangi Regatta race is run under the International Regulations For Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs), rather than RRS.

Return Passage Race to Auckland – 27th January

Sailing Instructions

There will be a prizegiving held at the members bar of the RNZYS from 1800 hrs Sunday for both passage races. Come along for a drink and a catch-up. There are wine and rum prizes for top finishers – but you have to be there to claim your prize!

Auckland Anniversary Regatta – 28 January

Check out the AAR website for full details of events around the harbour on the day. The highlights:

  • 0930 – Dragonboat Races kick off in the Viaduct
  • 1000 – Tugboat Race
  • 1100 – Classic Launch Parade (see more details below)
  • 1200 – Keel boat racing gets underway including:
  • 1215 – Modern Classic
  • 1220 – A Classic
  • 1225 – B Classic

For those on a weekend cruise wanting to take part, passage races are part of the event – from Mahurangi, Kawau, and Rakino.

Notice of Race

Sailing Instructions

Please enter online here

Classic Launch Race

Have you entered yet? Time is ticking, and there’s some fantastic prizes on offer! Time’s running out to enter the Ports of Auckland Anniversary Regatta and put yourself in the running to win cash, a huge pool of spot prizes including a holiday in Hawaii, and your name on our historic trophy collection.

It’s been 100 years or more since a race for power craft was part of the Auckland Anniversary Regatta. But this year, for the first time since the early 1900s, the regatta will feature a Classic Launch Race – and we’d love for you to be part of this historic revival.

This “new” (old) event is the perfect opportunity to show off these wonderful vessels in front of a huge audience of spectators, and a chance to prove once and for all – who has the fastest launch of them all.

Entries cost just $30, and every entry received will go in the draw to win a holiday in Hawaii plus loads more.

Enter now at

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Mahurangi Regatta Launch Events – 26 to 27th January

Auckland Anniversary Weekend is fast approaching, and with it comes two great events for launches at the Mahurangi Regatta

Launch parade

The Mahurangi Cruising Club and the CYA are keen to make the 2019 Classic Launch Parade even better than last year’s!

To help us achieve this, can you please register with Joyce Talbot via email. It would be great if as many as possible of you can register with Joyce, so that we have a list to hand to the commentator ashore. If this list is available, we will email it to you a day or so before the weekend to give some guidance as to the order of boats in single- file. If you don’t receive the list, please aim to congregate at Scott’s landing at 1015am and begin single file towards the marked fairway at Sullivans Bay for a 1030 parade.. Ideally we will do two ‘laps’of the beach with boats being announced for the first lap.

‘Up The Mahu’ Cruise to Warkworth

In support of works to improve the boat-ability of the waterways leading to Warkworth, please join for a flotilla to Warkworth on the Sunday following the Jane Gifford up the River and back again. Take this opportunity to experience an off-the-beaten-track waterway.

Click here for flotilla details


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Happy New Year from the CYA

A big Happy New Year from all of us at the CYA – we hope each and every one of you have had a wonderful summer holiday period whether on the water or on land. While the weather up until Christmas Day was ordinary to say the least, summer arrived in full force on Boxing Day, making for perfect boating conditions around the country. There were plenty of classic yachts and launches on the water and it was great to see so many folks out there flying the CYA burgee and catching up with other members.

To celebrate another summer of classic boating, Roger Mills, videographer extraordinaire and longtime friend of the CYA has put together a wonderful new video showcasing the best of our classic fleet of launches and yachts. Scroll down for more.

Also, we’ve got a shout out from someone wanting to get involved in a classic project – either a restoration or a new build. If you have a project in mind or a friend needs a helping hand getting theirs going – here is your opportunity.

We wish you all the best for 2019 – happy boating!

Happy New Year!

Check out two great posts on Waitemata Woody’s here and here from a bit of summer cruising!

photo courtesy of Jason Prew – My Girl anchored in Whangaroa Harbour

Celebrating a summer of boating

Check out this new video from Roger Mills over at Hummingbird Video and Photography

Anyone needing a helping hand on a classic project?

This could be your opportunity!

I am in the hunt for a an individual that needs help with a restoration or build. I have a little experience building and repairing wooden boats but I am new to NZ and dont know many people or organizations.

I am in Wellington now but will to travel if need be. Hoping to find a project that needs a helping hand for a few months if not longer. I have a 12 month VISA so I am keen to find a project that I can get more experience.

I am hoping you know a member or two that needs help or perhaps an organization/group that needs volunteer labor.

My background has been working in the private yachting industry for 20 yrs or so. I went to a wooden boat building school a few years ago and want to get more experience building and repairing.

If you would like to get in contact please contact Johnathan by email

Anniversary Weekend only just around the corner

Full details here

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Sheerlines – December 2018

The latest issue of Sheerlines is now online – check it out!

December 2018

Newsletter of the Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand

Rudder Cup wrap-up

Safe to say that last weekend’s Rudder Cup Launch Race to Sail Rock was a great success, with 15 of the Classic Yacht Association’s finest launches turning up on the start line on a rather stormy Friday night! The race was only the third time in 110 years that the event has run, with other two events in 1908 and 2008……..

Read the newsletter here

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Rudder Cup Rerun

In the run up to tomorrow’s Rudder Cup race, we thought we would share this recent article from Boating NZ for anyone who hasn’t seen it. Republished courtesy of Boating NZ Magazine

Marking 110 years since it was first run, December 2018 sees another iteration of the legendary Rudder Cup – a fun arena for vintage launches. Harold Kidd has the story.

In 1908 the editor of the American yachting magazine Rudder donated several trophies to yacht clubs around the world for offshore racing. Two came to New Zealand, one to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and one to Otago Yacht Club.

The RNZYS decided to run a night race for motorboats on December 12, 1908, from the Auckland wharves, around Sail Rock and back, a distance of 108 nautical miles. It had the benefit of a full moon and a kind westerly.


The race was a huge success, with 14 entrants, of which 12 finished. It marked the coming of age of the motor launch as a serious, safe and efficient vessel. Line honours went to James Reid’s Seabird, but the handicap winner of the superb silver Rudder Cup was the Matheson brothers’ Maroro, itself a Rudder magazine design built by the Mathesons. Another entrant was the husky Bailey & Lowe double-ender Eliza which had engine troubles in the race.

Renamed Kumi, Eliza was subsequently owned for many years by the Whangarei Harbour Board. Kumi is now owned by veterinarian Haydon Afford who floated the idea to me of a centenary Rudder Cup rerun. I wrote two Boating NZ articles on the race. The vintage launch community became fired up with the idea; the Classic Yacht Association of NZ picked it up and organised it magnificently.


Boating NZ sponsored the race and there was great help from the RNZYS, the Coastguard and the Harbour Master. Steve Thomas, Seabird’s present owner, brought her up from Nelson for the race, with generous assistance from shipping, haulage and crane operators.

The race was just magic. 26 launches, two of them built in 1905, took part in a mass start off Westhaven at 1900 on Friday December 12, 2008. The Waitemata rocked with the wash of elderly hulls streaming towards North Head and then sweeping round into the Rangitoto Channel as daylight faded.

The relatively modern planing hulls soon cleared out. These hot ships were closely tailed by James Mobberley’s 36-footer Falcon, built by Lane Motor Boat Co for G.R. Chamberlin of Ponui in 1930. She was touching 17 knots as she thrummed through the night.

No one who took part will ever forget the thrill of approaching Sail Rock, standing sheer 455ft out of the sea, in the dark, just a gentle slop around its base, the rock echoing the roar of the engines. Kevin O’Sullivan, navigating Seabird, thrilled the fleet with his clipped, precise RT sked, “Coastguard, Coastguard, Seabird has rounded Sail Rock for the second time in a hundred years.” Skipper Steve Thomas says he felt builder James Reid’s presence with him.


Eliza/Kumi had engine problems again and there were other minor discomforts, but 26 old launches started and 25 finished.

The prizegiving was another thrill. The extremely popular winner of the new Rudder Cup Trophy was the lovely 1918 Bailey & Lowe-built 45-footer Joan owned by Ray and Jill Russell. Seabird won the Veteran class, bettering her 1908 time by 90 minutes. Falcon romped in third overall, out-performing launches a fraction of her age in a magnificent performance.

Sail Rock, 1908

That night the CYA rekindled the flame of launch racing, for so long a feature of Auckland sporting life, but which had died during the 1930s.

Ten years later, the CYA is running the race again, this December 14th. Entries are good, so look out for another mad spectacle at dusk on the Waitemata that night.

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