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The Pirates of the Hauraki Gulf!

by Jane Pares, International Marine Brokers on 29 Mar 2007
2007 Bavaria Regatta start line Jane Pares - IMB

Just when you thought it was safe to go sailing on the Gulf, thirty 'pirate ships' converged on Kawau Island at the weekend, swashbuckling their way to the annual Bavaria Yacht regatta.

The conditions were perfect with a steady 18 - 25 knots from the ENE, blue sky and fluffy white clouds.

Racing started on Friday afternoon when fifteen Bavarias crossed the start line off Orakei and most were up there in little over three hours. Jolly Rogers flew from backstays and there was even one well dressed pirate at the helm of his Bavaria 34. Silver Hawke, a two year old Bavaria 46, crewed by Keith and Debbie Simpson, had a dream run and was first over the line off Martello Rock and first on handicap.


Lidgard House, in Smelting House Bay, was the perfect HQ. Its recent refurbishment means that it’s super-comfortable with modernised kitchen (love the washing-up machine) and very comfy beds! The wekas appreciate all the improvements too – a dark shadow shot upstairs while we were eating supper and Duthie found a weka getting cosy in the big bedroom.

Saturday dawned bright and breezy. Nineteen Bavarias pulled up their anchors and joined in a figure of eight race round Motuora, Motutara and the Mayne Islands. The racing was divided into two divisions – ‘A’, boats under 40ft and ‘B’ boats over 40ft. Even though the emphasis was on fun, it was still very competitive with families racing alongside seasoned competitors.


The conditions couldn’t have been more perfect and boats flew round the course. Quintin Fowler’s new Vision 44, Blurred Vision, took the gun in A Div, but ceded first place on handicap to Kharamia, a B44. Winks, a B40, was first over the line in Div B, but the feisty little B34, Astralita, sailed by the Reilly family took first place. Everyone was back at anchor with plenty of time to relax before the festivities.

Pirate raiding parties once more rowed ashore onto Kawau, but their intentions were different – they were here to have a good time, to party and to pick up their booty at the prize giving! We are very grateful to Boating NZ and The Floating Dock for kindly donating spot prizes.


Safety at Sea generously gave us a lifejacket which was won by Tony Norman as the best dressed pirate. It was a tough call, there were some very impressive costumes, but Chantelle Reilly (6 yrs) was the judge and her selection was based on the fact that Tony had made his, as opposed to hiring it.

The Bavaria Cup for overall regatta winner was shared between the Campbell’s Kharamia and Rod Carr’s Seaquel, a B46.


The weekend was enjoyed by over 100 people in their Bavarias. The Spit Roast Catering Company cooked up a superb feast and the kids had great fun with a treasure hunt around the grounds.

Next year the regatta will be held over the weekend of 21 – 23 March and 'Vikings' will be raiding the Hauraki Gulf on their Bavarias!






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