Zephyr Nationals Worser Bay Wellington 2018 - I am sailing Zephyr 195
Imagine it is circa 1680 AD. You live in the province of Lombardy, in the city of Cremona in northern Italy. Your name is Luigi Romano and you are an amateur violin maker and modest violin player. One day someone called Antonio Stradivari rings you up on your cell phone. You have met him a couple of times briefly and know exactly who the maestro is. "Hello Luigi" he says, "It's Antonio Stradivari, the violin maker, I am coming to live in Cremona next month; lets get together sometime soon, we could help each other with some violin making and perhaps play a few duets together." ............. Hold that thought .................
Early in 2017 I wrote a blog post here: http://yachtee.blogspot.co.nz/2017/02/prophecy.html
This blog post is titled 'A Prophecy',
which at the time was really just a bit of wishful thinking. But to my surprise and delight my wishful thinking came true when my mate Burnie purchased Whangarei's second Zephyr yacht. When I posted 'A Prophecy'
I knew Bernie was looking to possibly buy a Zephyr, so it is a bit of a stretch to use the word 'prophecy', but who am I to let the facts get in the way of a good story.
The story of the arrival of Burnies Zephyr Racing Stripes
is posted here: https://yachtee.blogspot.com/2017/02/then-there-were-four-or-is-that-two.html
The story of why, before the Zephyr Nationals Burnie changed the name of his Zephyr from Racing Stripes
to its new name of Bad Boy
is a story for Burnie to tell - my lips are sealed.
The story of our adventures at the 2018 National Zephyr championships is told here: https://yachtee.blogspot.com/2018/02/zephyr-nationals-2018.html
Then; almost exactly one year out from the 2018 Zephyr Nationals, like lightening out of a blue flagged sky I get a ring from Antonio Stradivari (aka Don Currie).
"Hi there Alden" he said. "We've sold our house in Auckland and have bought a house in Whangarei. We move up on the 22nd of February; let's get together sometime soon, we could help each other with some boat building and perhaps go sailing together" - "Yes! that's great" I replied, immediately empathizing with how Luigi Romano would have felt when Antonio Stradivari held out the hand of friendship and equivalence in a similar way back in the 17th century.
Equivalence is true of course in terms of zealotry for sailing, but in terms of boat building skill Don Currie is a Mr Stradivari of sorts. In terms of sailing skills he has already thrashed me several times on the water which won't do me any harm. But best of all; apart from being an intelligent, interesting and engaging individual, Don has an enthusiasm for boats of all shapes and sizes in general, and a depth, breadth, experience and knowledge of Zephyr construction and sailing in particular, which is going to be a huge asset to our fledgling little fleet.
It is most heartening that there will now be three Zephyrs here in Whangarei sailing and racing regularly. We can hardly call ourselves a fleet yet, but I keep telling myself that providence has a way of casting a fruitful net upon a faithful ocean.
Then there is this: I have heard that there is a another master violin maker who hasn't moved to Cremona in Lombardy, in northern Italy ... Yet.
His name is Giuseppi Guarneri ........... moreover, there are others. The ordinary folk of Lombardy. All with a passion for violin making and playing. I have no doubt they know exactly how to use a cell phone. Luigi Romano is waiting in quiet expectation.
So shipmates here is the drill. The new trio of skippers have decided to sail two days a week. These days being the Tuesday evening racing at the Onerahi Yacht Club (3 - 4 back to back well organised races) and Sundays at Parua Bay Yacht Club. Here the mornings will be taken up with rigging, tuning and discussion combined with on the water sailing and racing tactics practise. In the afternoons we will compete in an all comers series of back to back races - Wood, wind and water, bliss really.
Don Currie (aka Antonio Stradivari) completing the woodwork on the first ever fiberglass hulled Zephyr.
The very high degree of woodworking skill is apparent in the completed fiberglass hulled boat.
Don Currie (left) master mind and master craftsman behind the
restoration of 'Julie' complete with traditional wooden mast, boom,
beautifully varnished deck and flash wooden rudder and dagger board
finished in the traditional manner. (From NZ Boating World 2019).