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Boatshow, Nelson Lakes National Park, March 2-3

NZ Antique & Classic Boatshow, Nelson Lakes National Park, March 2-3 2013

From sheds, garages and moorings right around New Zealand, vintage boats are heading for their annual weekend of glory at Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes National Park on March 2-3, for the 14th NZ Antique and Classic Boatshow.

Founder and organiser Pete Rainey says the show has carved a niche in the national boating calendar and in the hearts of boat owners.

“Owning a classic boat, whether it’s an early Hamilton jet, a cedar kayak or a new steam boat built to traditional design is inevitably a labour of love,” he says. “Owners really relish the opportunity not only to show off their own boat but to relive the complex restorations with others who have taken the same time-intensive trip.”

Rainey says the boat show 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.

“It’s an opportunity to see the restoration projects, chat to the owners and to have a laugh as boaties try to start their motors for the Seagull dinghy race with its Le Mans start,” he says. “I really want to encourage people to come up and have a look and to just wander up and ask boat owners for a spin on the lake – after the organised activities are over most are really happy to show off what their craft can do.”

The programme is for displays on land in the morning, with activities and races on the lake from 1pm both days. 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. Fashion tip – steer away from blue, the bumble bees will be out and it’s their favourite colour.


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