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NZ Antique & Classic Boatshow Nelson Lakes National Park

NZ Antique & Classic Boatshow Nelson Lakes National Park, March 4 & 5, 2017

Entries are up for the NZ Antique & Classic Boatshow at Lake Rotoiti in the Nelson Lakes National Park next weekend (March 4 and 5); and organiser Pete Rainey says this year the vintage boats are being towed from further afield by their enthusiastic owners.

“We have a very interesting 1929 ‘fast launch’ that was last on the water in 1946 coming from the Bay of Islands - it’s been in sheds and paddocks for 60 years and its coming from further north than we’ve ever had an entry before,” Rainey said. “There is a record number of classic jet boats with several from Canterbury and one from Dunedin, and there are boats that have never been to the show before including a new boat built to 1950s’ plans from Queenstown and a 1935 Chris-craft runabout from Hawkes Bay.”

Rainey says entries cover all the usual categories from cedar kayaks to veteran sailing and rowing craft, immaculate replica steam-boats and a few boats that defy classification.

“We describe the Antique & Classic Boatshow as a weekend of ‘Glorious Hydromatic Relaxation’ and that is exactly what it is,” Rainey said. “In these days of building code compliance, the boat is the last refuge of the backyard builder… owners just love to bring out their replicas and restorations and show them off in the stunning setting of the foreshore and lake at Kerr Bay.”

The NZ Antique and Classic Boatshow is now in its 18th year, and as usual there are boat and memorabilia displays on land until 1pm, followed by the sail past and activities on the lake in the afternoon, on both days. This includes races for all types of craft from jet boats to rowing skiffs, with the crowd-pleasing Le Mans (beach race) start to the Seagull dinghy race.

Judging will take place on Saturday, ahead of an evening awards ceremony at the St Arnaud 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, as well as prizes for race winners.

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. As DOC has released Kiwi into the National Park very close to where the show takes place, no antique and classic dogs please!


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