WES IN THE WARS
Our best wishes go to Wes Purves who is recovering well from the weekend’s most noteworthy mishap (Isn’t there always one?). Wes was launching his Joel White Shellback dinghy, Oky Dorey at Akaroa’s public ramp when a sudden gust brushed Wes off the adjacent elevated walkway. Wes reached for the handrail, but there wasn’t one, so he toppled into the waist-deep water. He’s not sure of the details (unsurprisingly), but thinks he landed head first on the rocky bottom. At some point on his descent he managed to bash his face and take a gouge out of his right thumb.
Some of our group went to Wes’ aid immediately and the local constable was on the scene very quickly. From then on Wes was in good hands and taken directly to the medical centre. While he was there, his car keys were recovered and handed in by some locals. His (by now worthless) phone (with a good collection of boat pictures on it!) had to wait for low tide to be returned to its owner.
By Takamatua barbecue time Wes was feeling a lot better and is photographed here with a yarn to tell and a beer to enjoy!.
It’s been a tumultuous year in more ways than one. Our regatta this year followed form too. With the possibility of reduced numbers due to Covid restrictions and the significant cost of using the Akaroa Recreation Ground we decided to base our event at Chisnallwood Intermediate’s School’s outdoor camp at Takamatua. This was a successful move, especially being able to socialise.
The late tide and a blustery NW complicated sailing, however RO Roger France had it covered and outlined sailing conditions at the morning briefing, promising lighter wind conditions in the evening. Boats were trailered to the Akaroa launching ramp and rigged mid afternoon for a 3pm start.. It was still quite gusty and many decided to sit it out on shore.There was a diversion when Wes Purvis’s Shellback, on its way to the ramp, caught a sudden gust and was launched 2m on to the beach. Even worse was Wes, taking photographs from the finger wharf, took a step back and fell on to the rock retaining wall and into the rising tide. A very bruised and bloodied Wes was rescued and dispatched to theMedical Centre with the welcome assistance of Snr Constable Anita Osborne from Akaroa Police, Everyone was so relieved that there were no broken bones...or worse. (The Shellback had minor abrasions)
So in spite of this drama, three boats faced the start at Daley’s Wharf, Hugh Hobden’s Shellback Pipi, Bill Beere’s Pelin Gem and Neil McLennan’s Wellsford, Janette. The wind was fresh but manageable. A circular course, in the inner harbour, marked by the harbour’s 8KPH markers, was ideal and as Roger predicted the wind became lighter and lighter. A hollow victory for the Shellback with full sail. It was good to see Russell Cloake’s Little Honey and Nigel Cook’s Radley also enjoying the improving conditions under motor.
The social side was well supported at the camp that evening with the excellent catering services of Pat Braithwaite and family who provided a great BBQ and supper. A big thanks.This was able to be held in the outside eating area and we repaired inside for the Prize Giving and speakers..
Winners of the Whalers Trophy were Craig and Alex Howie, deserving so because their International 14, Finito, is a true classic from the 1950’s in original condition. They had a late sail after the race in ideal conditions.
The Speaker(s) for the evening were all those gathered! Names were drawn out of the hat and each speaker was given three minutes to talk about “things nautical”. What great stories ! Mind you Nigel Cook’s song “Taranui on the Main Trunk Line” stretched credibility ! Russ Cloake from Mossburn on piano and Nigel, on guitar, entertained to end the evening.
Special thanks also to our pick up boats, the Akaroa Sailing Club RIB, Simon Rutherford, Grant (Sky) Lomax and Sean Braithwaite on his jetski. Chisnallwood Intermediate for the use of Camp Taylor and all its wonderful facilities.
We will be back!
Late last winter Pat and I took the camper to Auckland to have a few repair jobs done on it. While we were there we stayed with our daughter and her family.
I made contact with Tony Stevenson the chairman of the Tina Rawa Trust , this is the organisation that is now looking after Otira, the Logan oil launch I restored in 2007. The Trust had two yachts in its keeping that started life in Canterbury in 1950’s. Intrigue, (the 18 footer that won the World Championship twice, once in Fiji and then again in Auckland) and Frith (the last of the Rona Jellicoe X Class Sanders Cup 14 footers). Tony gave me these two wrecks to bring south for restoration as the Trust had neither the time, nor the inclination, to do the work themselves, besides which, they are both Canterbury boats!
While viewing the Intrigue and Frith at Yachting Development’s yard I was also shown Darling a 1860’s 48ft trading vessel that ran aground on the Northland west coast in the 1880s and remained there, hidden under sand, for over 100 years until she was found and retrieved two years ago. Now under a large marquee, she will probably stay as she is as there is no plan to restore her. I think it’s fine to view her just as she was found.
After leaving Auckland we travelled home via Hamilton and visited a boat yard there where the 1880’s Lyttelton yacht Pastime is being restored by Craig Wild. She will be ready for the Classic Yacht Regatta being run in conjunction with the America’s Cup early next year.
There is something special about lake sailing whether you are in a powerboat, sailing, rowing or paddling. Lake Hood, Ashburton is no exception. Again, hosted by the Ashburton Sailing Club, this man-made lake was the venue for the 2020 rally of Canterbury Classic Boats. The Sailing Club generously provided marks, pick up boat and a sausage sizzle. Many thanks must go to them for their continued support.
Conditions were cool and cloudy, but an ideal sailing breeze made for a great afternoon on the water. The day started with a lament from piper Chris Thompson who did the same last year after the Christchurch Mosque attacks as this was the anniversary of that terrible event. This year is another extraordinary one with so much uncertainty over the world-wide pandemic
It is always a pleasant surprise to see new boats appearing at the lake. This year there were several – a steam launch, Stephen Jarvis with a Dudley Dix, Cape Cutter19, a massive steel pilot boat from Oxford, Ian & Alison Milne, fresh from winning best sailboat at Lake Rotoiti with their Ian Oughtred. “Kotik” and greatly admired by all, Roger and Diane France's picnic boat “Vive la France”. This boat was created by Roger, drawn out on the garage floor, moulds made and fared then planked with recycled cedar from a neighbour’s earthquake-repaired house! It is immaculate, with attention to detail as you would expect from a retired aircraft engineer. The boat was on display only, as Roger has a period of convalescence to complete.
New this year was a rowing challenge for the Armstrong Trophy. There were four contestants, two Shellback dinghies, a Pelham dinghy and a dory. After a Le Mans start the race was around two buoys. As expected, the slippery dory of Brett de Thier was an easy winner! The next item was the Parade/Race for all boats on the lake. This was around a box course set out by the Ashburton Sailing Club. Conditions were ideal with a moderate NE breeze and the bigger boats were able to stretch out once we all cleared the usual chaotic massed start. It's a credit to all taking part that there were no incidents and skippers were free to sail as many times they wanted around the course. The sailing conditions were enjoyed by all. If you wondered why sailing became progressively slower, you only had to look at rudder and centre plate to see why – weed!
The usual after match function at the Lake House Restaurant gave everyone a chance to chew over the day’s events, the general consensus was a great day and maybe the need to have two regattas at this popular venue.
I started writing this before the worldwide emergency we are now in. How things change so quickly. We can be thankful for a wonderful day; who knows what the future will bring?