Join Us To Congratulate New Zealand Boat Builder Rosie Lees Today

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Wooden boat builder Rosie Lees in her new boat “Summertime” during the New Zealand Antique & Classic Boat Show.

Today we would like you to join us in congratulating Rosie Lees for her big win at last weekend’s New Zealand Antique & Classic Boat Show. Over the years, much the success of Woody Boater, ACBS HQ / Chapters, and the hobby in general has been due to the contributions, hard work and dedication of countless numbers of women throughout the hobby.

So today we would also like to recognize that dedication by saying THANK YOU – Victoria Lynn Bauer, Julie Bullen, Maggi Cassell, Sandy Chase, Ginger Clark, Michelle DeMist, Kathy Dow, Carla Gernhofer, Anne Guldemond, Karen Harrison, Jean & Terry Hoffman, Kim & Natashia Kadimik, Sheena Kerfoot, Marianne Lewandowski, Kathy Muller, Jerri Nowlen, Kathy Parker, Sabina Pellissier, Kathy Rhodes, Deb Salt, Suzanne Smith, Gail Turner, Jenna Kovacik Turner, Angie Wilkins, WoodyGal, Kristen Winn – and all the wives, daughters, and companions of boat owners & builders everywhere. I put this list together from memory (and I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday), so if I missed your name I apologise in advance ladies. – Texx

So let’s send Rosie Lees a message-in-a-bottle (via the Internet) from 9,000 miles away to congratulate her in the comment section.

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Boat Builder Rosie Lees Wins Jens Hansen Cup
Story by Jacquetta Bell – Nelson Media, NZ
Photos by Alan Doak

This year’s Antique & Classic Boat Show at Lake Rotoiti (March 7 & 8) had its first female winner of the top prize, with the Jens Hansen Cup for the Best Vessel Overall going to the classy runabout, Summertime, owned and built by Rosie Lees of Blenheim.

Lees says she saw a boat of this design, ‘Fullafun’ at the Boat Show in 2012 and started looking on Trademe for something similar.

“I showed a family friend, Frank Pelin, some photos of ‘Fullafun’ and he recognised it as a Venturer, one of his designs,” she says. “I didn’t have any luck buying something similar on Trademe, but I did find Venturer plans and built the boat with my father’s help at our boatyard at Sandspit, Warkworth.”

Ms Lees (26) works in environmental monitoring for the Marlborough District Council.

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Youth was also to the fore in the other top boat – the winner of People’s Choice and Best New Craft, Mrs Robinson, owned by 14-year-old Oli Malthus of Wellington.

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Winner of People’s Choice and Best New Craft – “Mrs Robinson” owned by 14-year-old Oli Malthus of Wellington, NZ.

Oli built the smart red and white 9’10” hydroplane to the Jupiter design last year as a year-10 school project. This type of boat, designed by Hal Kelly, was a popular racer in New Zealand in the 50s through to the early 70s, and in 1963 reached 79mph to set an Australian speed record for its class.

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Race boat builder Oli Malthus prepares to climb aboard “Mrs Robinson” for a – dry – test run on Lake Rotoiti.

Judges Ben Cox and John Harris paid tribute to the dedication that had gone into the new builds and restored craft on show.

Harris said the age of the owner-builders of the top two boats came as surprise: “To be honest we wouldn’t expect boats to be built to such a high standard by the younger generation. It’s great to see young people getting involved in the classic boat community, showing an interest in boating history and winning competitions with such skilful builds of wooden boats.”

Organiser Pete Rainey said the weather affected turnout, though the show did go ahead on Saturday in heavy showers, with a small crowd of mainly boat owners and die-hard enthusiasts.

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Show organizer and fellow Woody Boater Pete Rainey (left) appeared surprised by the cool summer weather on Saturday. That vintage Titanic PVD inspires confidence – Texx

“The weather came right in the afternoon and we got the boats on the lake but didn’t run any of the scheduled races,” he said. “Then yesterday (Sunday) the summer weather returned and we had a good crowd of spectators for a great day of racing and general ‘messing about in boats’ on the shore and on the lake.”

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The crowds returned on Sunday for the boat show at Lake Rotoiti.

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Our friend and long time fellow Woody Boater / Contributor Philip Andrew of Wellington – with “Sparkle Horse” his (now) perfect 1956 Century Palomino he bought at the Warner Auction in 2010.

The full list of awards from the 2015 Antique and Classic Boat Show:

Best New Craft: Mrs Robinson,
Owned by Oli Malthus of Wellington;

Best Restoration: Svago,
Owned by Mark O’Neill of Nelson;

Port Nelson House Parts: Best Rowed Craft, Maggie,
Owned by John McConway of Picton;

CWF Hamilton Trophy for the Best Jet Propelled Craft: Impulse II,
Owned by Matt Wicken of Christchurch;

Johnson Family Trophy for the Best Sail Powered Craft: Boat 101,
Owned by Keith Hensen of Picton;

Mathieson Jeffcott Trophy for the Best Motor Powered Craft: Principessa,
Owned by Philip Andrew of Wellington;

Best Outboard Motor Boat: Keeper,
Owned by Todd Johnson of Leithfeild, Canterbury;

Eventiac Award for the Best Themed Display: PT109,
Owned by Michael Sharratt of Christchurch;

Ron Culley Trophy for the Best Steam Boat: India,
Owned by Rick Osborne of Renwick;

People’s Choice, voted for on the day: Mrs Robinson,
Owned by Oli Malthus of Wellington;

Jens Hansen Cup for the Best Vessel Overall: Summertime,
Owned by Rosie Lees of Blenheim.

Jacquetta Bell – Nelson Media, NZ

Thanks for the great report Jacquetta. Here are a few more photos from the show courtesy of Alan Doak. Alan has been sharing his photos with us and reporting in from the New Zealand Antique & Classic Boat Show every year since 2010. We not only get a chance to see some of our favorite boats that return every year, but also get to see new classic boats and new creations for the first time. The range of boats is always impressive.

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Vintage Jet Boats are something we don’t see often at boat shows in America, however they are always popular in New Zealand.

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Alan Doak captured a shot of this beautiful Classic Craft gentleman’s race boat – with room for four.

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Smiles all around for these Woody Boaters! – Happy to be on the water with friends.

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The happy folks as they pass by in their vintage steam boat, with the boiler providing some heat on a cool day.

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It’s not every day you get to see a classic Morris tow rig – very nice ride.

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Not sure what model of classic fiberglass boat this is, but it sure looks great on the lake.

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The mobile race control shack on the shore – looks like a custom job…

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And beside the mobile race control shack is what appears to be a vintage boat race starter / countdown clock (I think). – Texx

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Co-pilot takes over at the helm of the Chris-Craft while the Captain makes some minor adjustments (or something)

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“Blondie” a rare Chris-Craft 20′ Custom is a regular at this event, and it’s always great to see her.

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When the wind is calm, Lake Rotoiti is a perfect place for a quiet, relaxing boat ride.

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“Vanquish” – Another fine example of a gentleman’s racer in New Zealand.

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Another shot of “Vanquish”

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And after a busy day of boat racing on the lake, what better way to end the day than with Peanut Butter on Toast…

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The empty dock at Lake Rotoiti, NZ – by Alan Doak

We can’t close out our story today – reflecting on our appreciation for the Women of Classic Boating – without mentioning the late, great Joan Greene from Lake Hopatcong. Joan was a long time friend of fellow Woody Boaters Wayne Moxfield, Bob Kays, and Seth and Renee Katz. Joan was one of Wayne’s original customers when he started the Marina on Lake Hopatcong which is now Katz’s Marina.

It’s always fun to experience classic boating events in other parts of the world, and see what they have to offer – as we all share a common interest. Thanks to everyone involved for sharing this story with us today.

Have a great first day of Spring in North America and the first day of Autumn in New Zealand.


30 replies
  1. Marianne Lewandowski
    Marianne Lewandowski says:

    Texx, I am honored to be included on your list of WoodyBoater girls that support their crazy husbands that enjoy life through classic boating. I hope I will be able to thank you personally in Algonac in June.

  2. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:


    Some GREAT boats and nice pics of them. I love the way they pull the boats up on the beach for the show.

    Speaking of great women in the hobby, does anyone know what is happening to Joan Greene’s Pink Continental. I would love to see that boat one day.

    • Nick Caselli
      Nick Caselli says:

      Sure looks like the sister boat to my 59 connie .The main difference is the stern and bow poles Almost the same interior to . Although is not pink is a rare color ” Coral” as i’ve been told by many in my club. My Chris is all original ” preserved ” with 256 hours on the clock . It has been shown at the Lake Geneva show in Wisconsin and the Fox Lake show in Illinois and has won many awards.

  3. Rabbit
    Rabbit says:

    I like how you removed the graphics from Rosie’s Yamaha outboard on the header. (Is there a “hair dryer” button on Photoshop?)

    Also love to see the Wisconsin registration numbers on Phillip’s Palamino a half a world away.

  4. Bill Hammond
    Bill Hammond says:

    That beautiful Hand-Built boat of Ms. Lees’ is beautiful! I always admire the lines of so many Non-US built boats and this is a stunner! Congratulations to You!

    And Congratulations to Oli Malthus as well!! Great job!!

    I’ve only been a member of MIACBS for 3 yrs. but I have to say that in that short time I’ve been very impressed with Anne Guldemond. She has served wonderfully as our Cpht. Pres. as well as other positions. When it comes to Ambassadorship I take my hat off to Anne and say Thank you! She was the very first Chpt. Member to welcome me in person at a Club Event!! Oh, and take a tour of her ‘Back Room’, it’s full of cool boats and they let folks work on their boats inside!!! I saw my first ever Red & White Express there!

  5. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Speaking of women, with Tavares right around the corner, we ought to mention 90+ year old Lois deSousa, Grand Dame of Sunnyland and Ingrid Scherb who was there from the begining as was past ACBS Prexy Ann Matheson. Sunnyland’s first ( I think) Lady President Lynn Shinn. There were other Sunnylander ladies but like you I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday but I do remember Patti Hinson at the Mariners Museum.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Thanks for mentioning these great woman Wilson for our story today. We all know you have a special way of communicating with the ladies. – Texx

  6. Dick Dow
    Dick Dow says:

    Great Story! Looks as if they had NW WA weather… I have to add Marsha Erickson and Peggy Corley of the ACBSPNW chapter as tireless supporters of the hobby and difference makers. All who have attended the Seattle Opening Day quarterly meetings have been recipients of Marsha’s wonderful, creative headgear and Peggy’s decor and hospitality at the CWB Saturday morning send-off.

    I love the toaster! 🙂

    • Wilson
      Wilson says:

      Marsha Erickson…The Northwests answer to Martha Stewart…Still remember all she did to make the Lake Roosevelt trip prior to the ACBS Annual at Couer d’ Alene so much fun…And then there was the time she helped organize the Seafest Opening Day event when were all woody ( I think) woodpeckers.

  7. Doug P in the PNW
    Doug P in the PNW says:

    Texx, I would the name of Linda Zwarg be included to the list of ladies who have made the hobby what it is today.

    • Texx
      Texx says:

      Thanks Doug – Absolutely, Linda has contributed a great deal to the hobby and the Inland Empire Chapter.

  8. Steve Moreau
    Steve Moreau says:

    Super job ladies as if anyone could have doubted it! First class jobs hope I can do as well. Also thanks to every lady that is involved in the hobby. I hope that we never forget that this is NOT A MAN’S THING! But a hobby for all of us. I hope the we continue to see the gals in the winner circles. Again GREAT BOATS LADIES.

  9. Cobourg Kid
    Cobourg Kid says:

    Fantastic work Rosie and Oli , it’s always inspiring to see folks under 30 take an active interest in wooden boats ….. On an unrelated matter , Philip what the heck is with that peanut butter and toast mobile? Is that for real? Bizarre man, totally bizarre …. But then again so is “chikin”on a stick.

    • Philip Andrew
      Philip Andrew says:

      Hi CK, theres quite a story attached to that toaster on wheels. My wife’s stepdad Pic Picot started a small Peanut Butter making business to make the best Peanut Butter in New Zealand. He has knocked it out of the park where his Pics Peanut Butter is now the biggest selling Peanut Butter in the country. He sells more than Sanitarium and Kraft. He had an idea to build an ‘ airstream ‘ style trailer and take it around the country promoting his Peanut Butter. My 16 year old daughter Lily did a sketch of it for him and drew a couple of pieces of toast out the top and he loved it, so there it is.
      He is now venturing off shore and recently launched in New York. Its fantastic stuff. Even the All Blacks eat it!

  10. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    On a more personal note. Hat’s off to my own Boating Babes / Boatresses.

    First Sandi (the real owner) at the helm of AB. (She seems a little focused, but has a big smile.)

  11. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Remember Irene Green, Chris Smith’s sister ?…Used to travel with him to many of the boat shows…She and her brother made quite a pair…just talked to Chris…Says he won’t be making Tavares this year…but he will be at the cruiser event in Seattle later in the year..

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