These are photographs that I took before and after the start of our race and between vigorous bouts on the coffee grinder winch.
This is a full sized half model of Steinlager 2 that is bolted to the wall of the Auckland Maritime Museum. This museum has a good collection of historical boats and is well worth a visit.
Here I am looking pretty pleased with myself - and why not! It was such a perfect day on the harbour weather wise and I was pleased not to be just a spectator but a full part of the crew.
Just behind where we were moored there was a full on session of Dragon Boat racing with all women crews. The paddling is done in time to the beat of a large drum positioned in the stern of the boat. There was much cheering and shouting and merriment going on.
Crowds of people enjoying the sun and water and activities at the Viaduct Basin.
There were lots of punters out on various ferry boats watching the days events.
This is the tugboat race. The old coal fired tug got beaten by the new diesel model.
The Navy ships were all decked out in their flags for the occasion.
The New Zealand Navy owns four of these Chico 40 sloops that they use for sail training purposes. They all looked very smart in their deep blue colour.
This is possibly an old Logan designed cutter. I don't know its name.
Here is the old Logan designed Rainbow. She was owned by Chris Bouzaids father. The young Chris helped to continue New Zealands prominence in ocean racing by winning the One Ton Cup in Heliogoland and the Sydney to Hobart yacht race in the late 1960s in his yacht Rainbow 2.
Sailiing well here is the yacht 'Young Nick' designed by Sparkman and Stephens. She is of the same vintage, type and age as Rainbow 2. She is a beautiful classic yacht.
This old classic is one of the 'Malabar' class of schooners designed by my namesake the great American yacht designer John G Alden.
'Ranger' built in the 1940s by Lou Tercel a working class 'wharfie', is a famous Auckland yacht. For decades she was virtually unbeatable on the Waitamata. She is a long lean racing machine and very beautiful as well.
Little 'Gleam' sails like a witch. Designed by Don Brooke she was radical for her day (again the 1940s) as she was built as lightly as possible with the incorporation into her build of balsa wood.
Two old gaffers fight it out. I am not sure of their names, perhaps the leeward one is the old 'Viking'. The one to windward is possibly 'Ariki'. They both made a beautiful sight sailing and are a remnant of
days gone by.
I was glad to see this sight. Such a large number of little Optimist dinghies being sailing off Takapuna beach by their young skippers means that the future of New Zealand yachting is in good heart.
Ooops - the Navy breaks down mid harbour and two tugs take charge!
The small brigantine 'Breeze' was designed and built by the amateur yacht builder Ralph Sewell - quite a feat. He sailed her for many years and she now owned by the Auckland Maritime Museum - I think the public can go for a sail on her, so that's something to look forward to!
Typical Auckland harbour racer setting her spinnaker on her retractable bowsprit.
'Ranger' again. I think she is now owned by either a trust or a private syndicate. A few years ago she was shipped to England where she took part in the famous 'Around The Isle of Wright' yacht race - A race that I hope to do myself sometime soon.
Here she is again. She is based on a design by the famous Swedish yacht designer Knud Reimers whose yachts have two great qualities - speed and beauty.
A cute little gaff rigged masthead sloop giving her skipper much joy.
A speedy little French number - don't know much about her.
This yacht moored at the Museum is one of many sisterships built to the plans of the original 'Wylo'. Nick Skeats has lived and sailed on 'Wylo' pretty much his whole life and completed thousands of ocean miles, including circumnavigations.
The old 'Rapaki'. She is an old steam driven dredge that spent all of her working life in Lyttleton in the South Island of New Zealand. She is now owned by the Auckland Marinetime Museum. Every time I see her at the end of the wharf here in Auckland I always get the impression that she an exhibit that is just a little too big and no one quite knows what to do with her.
Another exhibit at the museum is this old shallow draft scow whose name escapes me at this time of writing. She is a good example of the many dozens of her type that plied the northern coast of New Zealand between the 1880s and the 1950s with cargoes of sheep, wool and timber etc.
The Arthur Robb designed 'Sapphire' is I think the prettiest example of the Auckland 'K' class of which a dozen or more were built mid last century. She doesn't have a 'doghouse' so her low coach roof is uninterrupted and adds to her overall aesthetic appeal in my opinion.
Lots of Aucklanders walking over the Viaduct Basin bridge as we approached in Steinlager 2 and waited for it to be lifted so we get out and go sailing.
'Lion New Zealand' is owned by the same trust that owns and operates 'Steinlager 2'. She was sailed by Sir Peter Blake and crew in one of the Whitbread Around The World yacht races. She also won line honours in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race before she took off in the Whitbread. She is another very big 'Maxi' yacht which I am developing a taste for sailing on.
I think she is available to the public to sail on pretty much on the same basis that I sailed on 'Steinlager 2' ---- The Volvo Ocean Race competitors arrive in Auckland in a months time and I am sure 'Lion New Zealand' will be out and about when the next leg of the Volvo starts in Auckland! - so I will have to do some homework and see what I can come up with. Happy Days!