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Antique & Classic Boat Show at Lake Rotoiti this weekend

Antique & Classic Boat Show at Lake Rotoiti this weekend

Classic boat-lovers have the opportunity to indulge in a long weekend of glorious hydromatic relaxation at St Arnaud in the Nelson Lakes National Park, with this year’s NZ Antique and Classic Boat Show linking with Waitangi Day.

With the show a month earlier than usual, coordinator Pete Rainey says if people can wangle Friday off they’ve got a four-day mini-holiday.

“It’s the same weekend as Marlborough Wine & Food Festival and the Crusaders playing the Highlanders in Motueka so it’s an excellent time for North Islanders or Cantabrians to see what a varied range of action the Top of the South can offer,” he said. “Being a month earlier than usual means the weather is more stable for visitors who want to pack in a bit of mountain-biking, some exploration of the Nelson Lakes National Park or a few visits to our famous vineyards and art galleries.”

But for the true enthusiast, there’s no reason to wander further afield than the shore of Lake Rotoiti where the Antique & Classic Boat Show takes place.

“There will be the usual range of boats…cedar kayaks, jet boats from the 60s, clunky clinkers and veteran wooden yachts,” Rainey said. “From early morning on both days of the weekend you can wander around the boats on land, chat with the owners, view displays with stories of restoration and rebuild and then watch the races on the lake in the afternoon. We have a lot of fun, from the slightly chaotic sail-past to the Seagull dinghy race with its Le Mans start, which always has some poor bugger who can’t get his motor going.”

Another attraction this year is the new Nelson Lakes Classic Boat Museum, alongside the Clinker Café and gift shop complex at the St Arnaud village. It will be open with boating displays all weekend.

The NZ Antique and Classic Boatshow is now in its 16th year, and continues to grow in the number and quality of craft presented, as well as the number of people coming to view the boats and the action. Judging will take place on Saturday, ahead of an evening awards ceremony at the Alpine Lodge. At stake is the Jens Hansen Trophy where the judges are after good looks as well as history, construction and a boat with a story to tell.

Other awards include prizes for best new restoration, best steamboat, best jet-propelled craft and best themed display. Races will be held for yachts, row boats, seagull motored dinghies, poppers, canoes, child rowers and swimmers.
All boats will be checked for noxious aquatic weeds, and oil leaks before entering the water; and boaties are reminded to be aware of minimising the spread of didymo. And remember DOC has released Kiwi into the National Park very close to where the show takes place, so no antique and classic dogs please!


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