Fri. Nov 18th, 2022

Reduced to one day on the water, there was no sinking of interest in the history and craftsmanship of the countrys most treasured classic boats at Lake Rotoiti.
Billed as an opportunity for glorious hydromatic relaxation by organisers, the New Zealand Antique and Classic Boat Show brought a wide range of clinkers, steam launches, classic motorboats and sailing dinghies toNelson Lakes National Park on Sunday.
Held annually since 1999, the show once again delivered on the nostalgic and the quirky just as youd expect from a boating event held 640m above sea level.
Organiser Pete Rainey said despite the constraints placed on the event through Covid-19 alert levels, the day had more than met expectations.
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Theres always surprises with what we see and this year was no different.
Initial entries saw around 120 boats scheduled for display, with another 30 registering on the day to bring the total near 2020s record number of 155.
Boaties towed their prized originals, restorations and rebuilds from as far away as Wanaka and even a few from Auckland who had left on a road trip well before the city went into alert level three last Sunday.
Each boat had its own story to tell.
The annual NZ Antique and Classic Boat Show was full steam ahead on Lake Rotoiti, running for one day in 2021 due to the changes in Covid-19 alert levels.
Among the fleet of vessels on display were a Great Lakes speedboat with a bootlegging past, an Edwardian steam-launch fired on Vietnamese anthracite, and a restored sailing dinghy crafted from kahikatea New Zealands wooden equivalent to fibreglass.
Normally a two-day affair, this years event was restricted to Sunday on the lake due to the elevated Covid-19 alert levels, while a planned dinner and prize-giving was cancelled on Saturday evening.
However, the return to level one at 6am on Sunday ensured the event could proceed.
By 11am the Kerr Bay carpark was full, with hundreds making the trip to St Arnaud.
The judges were impressed with the overall standard of entries and with innovations such as Pete Murtons fan-tailed clinker, which was now powered with an electric motor.
The wooden power boat Rita took the Jens Hansen Trophy, having been towed up from Tarras, Central Otago, by her owner Michael Hayman.
The six-metre boat was built in Waimate, with its design based on similar craft seen on Sydney Harbour.
Boat show judge John Harris said the winner was impressive as a 100-year-old veteran of the water.
Rita impressed us as a wooden plank runabout built in 1920, still in relatively original condition and still enjoyed on the water by her owner.
Twelve other awards were presented on the day, including Port Nelson trophy for best row-boat to Murchisons Kevin Hislop for his former Otago pilot boat built in the 1870s.
The best restoration went to Lindsay and Stuart Mann of Rangiora for their Cougar jet boat, while the Peoples Choice award went to Gary Tomlinson of Christchurch for his 1969 Foiling Sunburst.
Full results:
Best New Craft and Eventiac Award for the Best Themed Display: Wooden kayaks owned by Lindsay Norris, Blenheim
Best Restoration: Cougar jet boat owned by Lindsay and Stuart Mann, Rangiora
Mathieson-Jeffcott Trophy for best inboard-motor craft: runabout Amalfi, owned by John McLean, Timaru
Port Nelson trophy for best row-boat: former Otago pilot boat built in the 1870s, owned by Kevin Hislop, Murchison
Ron Culley Trophy for the Best Steam Boat: Estral, built in the 1940s and owned by Bill Voisey of Blenheim
Johnson Family Trophy for the Best Sail Powered Craft: Tiptoe, replica Cape Cutter, built in 2013 and owned by Stephen Jarvis of Christchurch
Best outboard motor craft: 1960 Safacraft owned by Pete McCaw of Christchurch
CWF Hamilton Trophy for the Best Jet Propelled Craft: Rakaia, a 1979 jet boat owned by Chris Richards of Blenheim
Innovation award: 1895 fantail clinker Blue Duck, now powered by an electric motor and owned by Pete Murton of Nelson
Best Amercan craft: 1953 Cris Craft Catherine, imported to New Zealand in 2016 by the owner Rick Wilkie
Best clinker: Wee Poppa, built in 1950 and owned by Steve Gorrie, Nelson
Peoples Choice, voted for on the day: 1969 Foiling Sunburst owned by Gary Tomlinson of Christchurch.