Thanks to long time Woody Boater Phil Andrews for reporting in from the other side of the planet where its summer and proof that the little blue ball we all inhabit is made for all of us to enjoy woody boating! Take it away Phil.
The 18th Annual Classic Boat show was held once again in the small lakeside town of St Arnaud on the shore of Lake Rotoiti. Registrations were up on previous years with over 124 boats signed up.
I had just taken delivery of my Century Resorter 16 after she had had a new 5200 bottom installed by the talented boat builder Harry Nordberg, so that meant a ferry ride and a 2 hour drive to the lake for me.
I had hoped to have the Blue Grey Arabian ready for the show but with her new trailer still a month away from completion she had to stay home.
The show is a very low stress affair that takes place in the national parklands and also on the water. They have races for all classes, culminating in a drive by of all boats as the afternoon farewell.
This year there were many of the boats that come year after year and some eagerly awaited interesting new arrivals.
An 9.15am departure out of Wellington on the Interislander. The couple in front of me had towed their old clinker dingy from Warkworth in the far north to enter her in the show. Now thats commitment!
It always makes me anxious having to park the truck and trailer tightly onboard next to massive trucks but so far ( touch wood ) the boats have been fine.
Arrived at Picton in the Queen Charlotte sounds at 12.30pm and set off through the famous Marlborough wine producing area and up into the mountains. The road is currently the only way to drive from Picton to Christchurch since the Kaikoura earthquakes damaged the main route so the traffic was heavy. The narrow winding road proving too much for this truck and trailer unit overturned 4 ks from St Arnaud.
Malolo a super cool old 1930’s boat built north of Auckland in a place called Kerikeri. Max and Ra the owners of this boat had just completed a full restoration of her. Max used to wag school as an 11 year old and hide out in this boat as it lay in the long grass of the paddock behind his home.
After many years of badgering the owner he finally sold it to Max ( now in his 50’s ) and they set about bringing it back to life. This weekend was the first time it had been in the water since 1947.
Jet boat ( #120 ) ‘Going Places’ was the first Jet boat in NZ to do 100mph. It achieved that in 1982 on Lake Ruataniwha with driver Blue Derry at the wheel.
PT-109 was a static display last year and this year she had power! A patrol boat made out of found crap in the back of the shed.
Monster green jet turbine boat didn’t run but we have been promised it will next year.
Team Century lined up on the grass.
Omerta a beautifully restored boat originally made in Hong Kong. Cool to see all the fittings in brass rather than chrome.
Bruce Judge in Baby Thunder the replica Bootlegger built by Harry Nordberg. Bruce and Harry on the slip about to make some noise. ( Bruce in the cockpit and Harry in the background )
This was Baby Thunder’s last splash in the lake as she is headed for Sierra Boat on Lake Tahoe in the next few months.
Bel Air, the World Speed record holder had one run on Saturday morning but developed a problem that laid her up for the rest of the show.
I was lucky enough to get a ride in Baby Thunder an experience I won’t forget in a long time. One word. Brutal.
My Love, CC Racing Runabout and Catherine 53 CC Riviera in the que to launch.
A line up on the shore with ‘Summertime’ a previous show winner in the foreground.
The start of the over 100hp powerboat race
I took ‘Sparkle Horse’ my 56 Palomino out super early Sunday morning on a lake with steam rising off the surface and the sun just kissing the tops of the mountains.