As some may be aware, my father, Jack, passed away, unexpectedly but peacefully on the night of New Year's Day after over 80 years of sailing on the Waitemata harbour and Hauraki Gulf. He started sailing when he was six, and had his last sail in mid-2009 aboard one of Sail NZ's America's Cuppers.
Delivering a bag of sails in 1939..Jack Gladwell (1921-2010)
We celebrated his life last Friday, where his three children and six of his eight grandchildren (most of whom own their own boats) recounted their sailing experiences with him.
As part of that celebration we did a job that had long been on the 'to do' list - scanning his sailing photos - mostly from before World War II or just afterwards.
Dad started sailing at the age of six at Pt Chevalier Sailing Club, in what was then west Auckland. The club sailed crewed boats of which my father and his two brothers sailed 14, 16, 18 and 22fters - the last two being of the mullet boat type. They raced at Pt Chevalier when the tide was right, or with the Combined Clubs at Westhaven.
Maybe this pictorial insight shows how different sailing was seventy years ago in Auckland:
Luiyana (V 30) 18ft mullet boat
Pt Chevalier Sailing Club 1939
S-53 "Leone" (16fter)
Jack Gladwell (right) Reg Gladwell (helm)
L 38 (Taotane)
S class (16fters) and V class (18fters) Mullet boats racing off Pt Chevalier
L 38 Taotane reaching in the Hauraki Gulf
S-53 "Leone" (16fter) in the First Combined Clubs Race 1956-46 Season
14ft Y class "Matariki" - first yacht