Saturday, January 28, 2017


Sullivans Bay, Mahurangi West, Northland, New Zealand.

Stunning scorcher of a day - dazzling sunshine - fresh SW wind - The good old classic Kiwi summer has kicked in at last.

Today we drove down from Whangarei and just had a quiet relaxing day on the beach, so I didn't get out on the water and take any close up photos of on the water classic yacht action.

Beach and boats - a good combination.

A large contingent of yachts had raced up from Auckland to watch the classic wooden boats race.

The now ubiquitous John Welsford 'Scamp' design.

Ian Oughtred design.

Interesting little yawl - designer?

Welsford 'Scamp' and to the right a Welsford 'Truant'.

Big, strong, hearty double ended rowing boat.

In the foreground a classic clinker dinghy. In the background a classic raised deck 'Mullet' boat.

A fleet of catamarans demonstrate the advantage of shoal draft.

A 'Captains Gig' design.

Just above the bough of the Pohutakawa tree the big doghouse windows are a dead giveaway for a classic Des Townson 32 footer.

Pohutakawa trees give beautiful shade around Northland beaches.

The Mullety gets ready for a sail.

I think the double ended dark green hulled lugsail rigged boat is yet another Welsford design.

The classic wooden boats start their afternoon race.

An interestingly named boat - of course if Pooh is the skipper, there is plenty of room aboard for Christopher Robin, Tigger, Kanga, Piglet, Eeyore et al.

This gaff cutter in the foreground is very reminiscent of the famous Peter Pyes famous 'Moonraker'.

A ramble over volcanic rocks baking in the sun - very satisfying.

There are a growing number of  Chinese Junk rigged yachts in New Zealand.

Sand castle competition.

Look closely - the finishing tape is on the right of the picture - the children are running in the backwards running race.

The head of the Mahurangi river. Follow the river to the left and sail up to the small town of Warkworth. Sail to the right back to Auckland. Sail around the headland to the left and head for Whangarei and the North.

Next year I will either compete in the classic sailing dinghy racing in 'Slipstream' or sail 'Mariner' down from Whangarei and race her.

Sullivans Bay is a fabulous place especially for families with young children - plenty of shade under the large number of Pohutakawa trees, and a safe shallow shoaling beach without a huge surf - ideal. 

I may go down for the day sometime soon with Slipstream and explore the Mahurangi River and the surrounding area.


Bursledon Blogger said...

Alden, looks like a great event and what a fantastic location. The first question I wanted to ask is what is that interesting little yawl.

Alden Smith said...

Good question Max - perhaps someone can let us both know.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Oh man, those do look superb sailing conditions and what a lovely location.. can't wait for summer to arrive here.. here, I went to work in the dark, came home in the dark, and it was just above freezing this week..!

Paul Mullings said...

Glad you made it Alden, even if you didn't get to sail. It certainly is a spectacular sight,made better by beautiful weather. I only briefly made it ashore, lured in by the sight of the SCAMP, and to catch up with its designer, John Welsford recently back from Chile. The guy who owns the SCAMP has recently just completed a four day circumnavigation of Waiheke Island with his wife! The yawl you and Max both admired is a Bay Raider 17...

Alden Smith said...

Steve, you Brits could take up ice yachting LOL - an extremely fast and scary looking way of sailing, but when the Thames freezes it's 'needs must' LOL.

Alden Smith said...

Paul, we didn't get down until the middle of the day and most of the small centreboarders were already out waiting for the start of their race. I looked hard for your boat but was unable to see it among the general melee. Never mind I am sure we will catch up some time. Thanks for the link and the information about the Bay Raider - she looks a nice solid design - made even more attractive to me as I have soft spot for the yawl rig.

Patrick Hay said...

I think the yawl is one of the Swallow Yachts Bay Raider range. Possibly not a current model, but it has all the design hallmarks.

Alden Smith said...

Patrick, thanks for your comment confirming Pauls information that the yawl is a Swallow Yachts Bay Raider - the design certainly looks like a serious little centreboard cruising yawl.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Wow... That Swallow is a long way from home... Alden, ice yacht would be ace but but​ all we get is drizzle and temps just just ​above zero! :-)

Bursledon Blogger said...

Well spotted Patrick, I sem to recall a company in Aus building Swallow boats under licence.

Steve is on the money with is comments, I was up in London this week, not only left Hume but arrived there in the dark and left in the dark


Alden Smith said...

Steve, there's no doubt that the warmer seasons are the best no matter where in the world you live. We have great summers (when they arrive) but here in the North of NZ we get some pretty endless rainy winters as well that turn our lawn into a muddy bog. At least in the UK you get really good contrasts between each season.

Ben Deveson said...

Looks like a lovely cruising ground.

regards Ben

Alden Smith said...

Ben, it is a lovely cruising ground. Apart from the beauty of the place, the north east coast of NZ from Tauranga northwards has safe anchorages all within a day or half a days sailing of each other. The climate also allows for pretty much all year round sailing.

Ben said...

This must have been a fun day. What a lot of interesting boats. Wish I could have been there myself. Need any help next year? .
The Google street view photos have dramatic clouds.

Alden Smith said...

Ben, it was a very relaxing time and a very interesting venue for someone who such as myself who is 'mad keen' on boats. You are more than welcome to come along next year :> )