Regatta history

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    1840

    1840 (painted in 1862)

    The first Auckland Regatta was held on the day the city was founded, 18 September 1840, the day that Captain Hobson's officials raised the flag and 11 years before the first America's Cup contest was sailed in 1851.

    That first regatta on the Waitemata Harbour was an impromptu three-race event that took place after representatives of Lieutenant Governor William Hobson rowed ashore from the barque Anna Watson and took formal possession of the site in the name of Queen Victoria.

    A report in The New Zealand Advertiser and Bay of Islands Gazette of 24 September 1840 said the official party rowed back to the Anna Watson and then: “After partaking of luncheon, a regatta took place between a five-oared gig belonging to the Surveyor-General and a six-oared gig belonging to the Anna Watson, both pulled excellent style by amateurs. This was followed by a match for a purse of five pounds between two whale-boats pulled by sailors, and by another between two large canoes paddled by natives.”

  • 03 September 2020

    1842

    There were two official Regattas, one to commemorate Irish born Hobson's arrival in September and the second to honour St Patrick on March 17th. The date was shifted from September to 29 January. Holding a Regatta was not easy - boats were in such short supply that any vessel arriving in harbour with a long boat was pestered to sell it. 

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    1850

    The Auckland Anniversary Regatta became recognised as the official celebration of the arrival of Captain Hobson in New Zealand. In the early years boats such as the gigs, dinghies, whaleboats and Maori canoes provided the interest. Some of the most exciting Regattas were the events for fishing boats such as the centreboard mullet boats that were converted to cruisers. Compared to the keelers, they were cheaper, easier to moor and quite suitable for holidays.

  • 08 October 2020

    1864

    1864 - Auckland

    Looking east from Smales Point showing shipyard (foreground); Queen Street Wharf and ships beyond at the Auckland Annual Regatta January 1864.

    1864 Queen Street Wharf Auckland

    Queen Street Wharf, Auckland, viewed from the foot of Hobson Street, showing crowds watching the Auckland Annual Regatta. In the foreground, two vessels are under construction at Henderson and Spraggon's shipyard.

  • 03 September 2020

    1887

    1887 Auckland Anniversary Regatta

    People out rowing and boating on the harbour with Campbells point, (left), and St Georges Bay (background), in the Anniversary Day Regatta.

  • 03 September 2020

    1890s

    1890s Auckland Anniversary Regatta

    Looking north across Auckland Harbour from the vicinity of Admiralty House towards Northcote, showing crowds, probably gathered on the occasion of the Auckland Anniversary Regatta.

  • 03 September 2020

    1899

    1899 Anniversary Regatta

    Yachts and a steamship on the Waitemata Harbour at the start of the Auckland Anniversary Regatta, with Rangitoto and North Head behind.

    Snapshots from the 1899 regatta

  • 03 September 2020

    Late 1890’s - early 1900’s

    Many of today's venerable yachts competed in their maiden races on Anniversary Day - a builders showcase was an apt description of the Regattas. Many of the classic yachts are still sailing in the Regatta today.

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    1900

    The Regatta was cancelled due to the war in South Africa - the first and only time in the event’s history that it did not take place.

  • 03 September 2020

    1901

    1901 The U.S.S. Co.'s Ovalau
    The U.S.S. Co.'s Ovalau acted as flagship of the Auckland Anniversary Regatta.

  • 03 September 2020

    1902

    1902 Auckland Anniversary Day regatta

    Some features of the Auckland Anniversary Day regatta, 29 January 1902, as sketched by Auckland Weekly News artist.

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    1903

    Power craft made their debut in the regatta.

  • 03 September 2020

    1905

    Auckland Anniversary Day regatta 1905

    Scows sailing in the Auckland Anniversary Day regatta, 1905.

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    1906

    The Togo, Winner of the Speed Launch Race in the 1906

    The Togo, Winner of the Speed Launch Race in the 1906 regatta, going at a speed of 16 knots.

  • 03 September 2020

    1907

    Auckland Anniversary Regatta Rowing Events - some of the boats that took part in the racing, February 2, 1907.

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    1908


    A great aquatic carnival: Scenes at the Auckland Anniversary Regatta, on January 29, 1908.

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    1909

    Anniversary Regatta 1909

    Photo of the start of the first-class yachts' open handicap during Auckland Anniversary Regatta, January 29, 1909.

    On the flagship at the 1909 regatta.

    On the flagship at the 1909 regatta.

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    1911

    Snapshots of competing vessels from the Auckland Weekly News.

    Snapshots of competing vessels from the Auckland Weekly News.

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    1914

    The first Anniversary Regatta speed championship was held.

  • 03 September 2020

    1915

    The 1915 regatta was marred by bad weather. Snapshots between the showers from the Auckland Weekly News.
    The 1915 regatta was marred by bad weather. Snapshots between the showers from the Auckland Weekly News.

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    1917

    Handicaps, often a bone of contention, led to the appearance in the 1917 Regatta of the x class, the first single design boat.

    A collection of vessels that took part in Auckland's Anniversary Day Regatta on 29 January 1917.

    A collection of vessels that took part in Auckland's Anniversary Day Regatta on 29 January 1917.

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    1919

    Proving the adaptability of the Regatta was the inclusion in 1919 of a flying race, the first in the Southern Hemisphere involving a seaplane and two flying boats which took off from Kohimarama.

    Proving the adaptability of the Regatta was the inclusion in 1919 of a flying race, the first in the Southern Hemisphere involving a seaplane and two flying boats which took off from Kohimarama.

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    1922

    Scenes on the Waitemata Harbour at the Auckland Anniversary Regatta.
    Scenes on the Waitemata Harbour at the Auckland Anniversary Regatta.

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    1935

    1935 Auckland Anniversary Regatta
    Record entries and glorious weather make the Anniversary Day Regatta a notable success.

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    1939

    1939 Auckland Anniversary Regatta
    Yachts racing in a stiff north-easterly as more than 300 boats competed in Auckland's Anniversary Regatta programme.

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    1940

    Entries gradually increased until the Auckland Anniversary Regatta grew to be the biggest one-day Regatta in the world.

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    1941

    AAuckland's annual carnival of sail - Waitemata Harbour en fete for the 1941 Anniversary Regatta.
    Auckland's annual carnival of sail - Waitemata Harbour en fete for the 1941 Anniversary Regatta.

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    1945

    Post-war to the present day was an exciting time in the yachting world with new materials, more yachts, more classes. With New Zealand's expert yachtsmen starting to challenge the world, the Regatta committee decided to introduce races for Olympic and International classes.

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    1947

    Northcote Point 1947

    An aerial view over Northcote Point, looking out to the Waitemata Harbour and Westhaven Marina, taken on Regatta Day (Auckland Anniversary), 29th January 1947.

  • 03 September 2020

    1950

    The 100th Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta was held, 100 years on from the day the Auckland Anniversary Regatta became recognised as the official celebration of the arrival of Captain Hobson in New Zealand, but 110 years after the very first ‘impromtu’ regatta was held in 1840.
    HMNZS Bellona lit up for the 100th Auckland Anniversary Regatta in 1950.
    HMNZS Bellona lit up for the 100th Auckland Anniversary Regatta in 1950.

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    1954

    People watch the regatta from the shore at Mission Bay.

    People watch the regatta from the shore at Mission Bay.

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    1960

    Yachts being prepared to race in the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta.
    Yachts being prepared to race in the Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta.

  • 03 September 2020

    1970

    The first sailboard made its appearance early in the 1970's when an American became tired of surfing and raised a sail.

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    1984

    Aerial photo of the 1984 regatta
    Aerial photo of the 1984 regatta

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    2000s

    2004 Auckland Anniversary Regatta
    A multiplicity of classes is catered for from slick racing machines which can challenge the world without shame, to tiny radio controlled yachts.

    Among the slick racers to honour the Regatta in this decade has been the late Sir Peter Blake's trimaran "Steinlager".

  • 03 September 2020

    2007

    2007 Tugboat Racing
    The arrival of the tugboats on the scene, an event which commandeered the attention of the media. The sight of 21 tugboats churning up the Rangitoto Channel to Narrowneck Buoy and racing back to North Head was a sight to behold. The tugboat race was to become a major feature of the Regatta from this year on.

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    2010

    The keelboat startline moved into the downtown city area off Princes Wharf, a move which proved to be a popular one for both spectators and participants.

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    2017

    2017 Auckland Anniversary Regatta

    Modern foiling classes such as the Moths now join in the regatta, side by side with classic vessels that have sailed for 100 years or more.

  • 03 September 2020

    2020

    With increasing vessel activity in the port area, the start line was moved to Westhaven. This area was the venue for the Regatta during the 1940’s and 50’s, and proved popular with the spectators, particularly being able to view the Tugboat Race and the A Class gaff-rigged yachts.

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