Category Archives: Sanders Cup

2018 Sanders Cup Interprovincial Challenge and Kingham Trophy

Drama and no surprises at the Kingham Trophy

 

Representatives from seven provinces came together this weekend at the Gisborne Yacht Club to compete in the Sanders Memorial Cup Interprovincial Challenge, a trophy that has been sailed for under its original inception since 1921.


The traditional invitation race has another prestigious prize up for grabs, the Kingham Trophy, which features a massive silver ship with sails.

 

With waves breaking on the beach, launching was a challenge. Hot Gossip got off light, only getting dragged and swamped by a wave with the crew landing in the tide instead of the boat. Unfortunately, Black Bart were less lucky and a wave shook their rudder lose and dumped them back on the beach breaking the rudder stock. They missed the invitation race and the following first race of the Sanders Cup but managed to get the rudder welded again for racing on Saturday.

 

In Easterly winds around 15 knots and moderate swells, there were plenty of fast rides to be had. Unfortunately, the persistent rain made it less enjoyable for the Committee members on the start boat. Nevertheless, they delayed the start to make sure that the Auckland representatives could at least make the first race of the Sanders Cup as they had encountered a road closure.

 

Phil McNeil and Craig Gilberd sailing for Northland took the lead early on in the Invitation Race, showing superior speed upwind. The rain and mist made it very difficult to see the top mark, so the leaders were very relieved when they finally made out the safety boat. With the pressure being up and down a bit, the downwind angles kept changing, and it was difficult to judge which direction the bottom mark would be in. After the hoist, Riders on the Storm who are sailing for East Coast accelerated past the South Canterbury entry on Hot Gossip and hauled in Trailblazer from the Manawatu when they had a bad gybe, which took them out of the race. Northland were so unsure about the right way to go that they dropped their gennaker and turned around without gybing, only to then decide on the rough bearing to where the mark should be and hoist again straight into a good gust that still got them to the mark first. On the long beat their lead extended even though they only focussed on defending again Trailblazer. Northland has now won the Kingham Trophy the three consecutive times, which is the first time in its 67-year history!
The first race of the Sanders Cup had a shorter course, and everyone knew their way to the top mark by now. The fleet was slightly late for the start but close racing was had around the three-lap course. Northland won ahead of Manawatu, which South Canterbury stealing third place of Auckland when Thumper had problem dropping their gennaker before the finish. East Coast managed a fourth place even though the Head Brother had broken his crew’s (!) toe.

After racing, to start off a good social evening, the representitive from the Invitation Race sponsor Sunshine Brewery Joe Williams presentation of Kingham Trophy to happy winners Phil McNeil and Craig Gilberd.

 

Close Competition for the Sanders Cup

 

On Saturday there was a lot of sailing to be had for the Javelins in Gisborne, but only three races to count. The seven hours on the water started with westerly winds, and the fleet got off to a good first beat, only for the breeze to die and come back in from the opposite direction. At the time limit, the race was abandoned and restarted to the East. This single lap was won narrowly by Northland ahead of Manawatu and East Coast.

 

Another one-lap race followed, in which some boats could lay through to the top mark due to a wind shift to the right. This time, Manawatu finished ahead of Northland and South Canterbury.

 

Then the course was shifted to make an upwind leg to the South, even though the Race Officer was predicting the wind would come back to the East. The leading boats went towards Young Nick’s Head but South Canterbury wallowed in the doldrums out to sea until the Eaterly came back and allowed them a gennaker reach to the top mark. This race was abandoned and restarted in a strengthening Northeasterly that had everyone wiring and planing to forget the delays of the day. Northland came out victorious again, followed by Manawatu, South Canterbury and Auckland. Noteworthy in this race was a tight mark rounding at the bottom with four boats closely together.

 

In the evening, the club turned out a great barbeque again.

 

The final straw

Do you know what it’s like?

Can you imagine what it feels like to be buried 30 feet beneath the waves for over a hundred years?

Well here I am, and what do you know, all of a sudden my peaceful rest is disturbed!

 

Just to give you a bit of background, I was a young ship when I was blown onto rocks on the Gisborne foreshore in 1912 because my anchors did not hold.  Built at Belfast in October 1909 with an illustrious name like Star of Canada I was a twin screw general cargo steamer of 7,280 tons gross (12,000 tons fully laden), 470.3 ft in length, while my engines were 749 hp nominal.

 

So after this disaster, you would think that was it, I was lying there on the bottom of Poverty Bay, minding my own business, gathering sediment. You would think that after removing my wheelhouse and everything else when I was wrecked, they would now leave me alone. But no, along comes this keeler from Northland, which cannot decide which region it belongs to (heard rumours she wants to support South Canterbury this weekend, but then she was supposed to be the impartial committee boat manned by people from Poverty Bay and Manawatu), dumps this anchor into my hatch and wraps all this chain around my topsides – when is it ever enough? Maybe they wanted to offer me this anchor, showing me how modern technology would have served me better? But no, she kept tugging at it insistently from above. Well I thought to snare her well and proper. This is the third day she was motoring around topside, dropping anchors and marks left, right and centre, so getting entangled with me put a stop to that for a bit.

 

And here are these sailing people, not a proper engine between them, and they think they are doing something special, racing for a trophy that was not even invented yet when I sunk!

 

You see, all that went down above the seas is a boat from Northland winning the Sanders Cup again. What’s the flap? But these guys think it’s important, so they dump this anchor and chain on me for their committee boat without any consideration of my peaceful rest, and then they get all excited just because they could not leave again in a second. So it delayed the start for an hour. So they had to use a dinghy for starting their races. What is that in comparison to the fate of a ship like me?

 

Ah well, let them do their thing. I am still going to be here after they are gone. They did all these races today, judging by what I can see from below, their circles were getting smaller compared to the previous days. The blue boat was the fastest the first time around, followed by a grey one and a white one. The grey boat was doing well on the second lot, and then I found out she has yellow decks, white sails, and the number 378 on them in red. What a mix of colours! The white hull was nicer to look at. I got a good view of her too, very sensible white decks, even some wood on her – just the sails looked funny, you could actually see through them! Except for where the number 359 was put in black. The other white boat had “Riders on the Storm” written on its side, which I got a good look at in the first race, but her sails were grey – what sort of colour is grey for sails, I ask you? That one chased the blue boat to the finish in the second race. However the most jarring one must have been this other boat of an indescribable blue-ish colour that had “Hot Gossip” written on its side. Her decks were nice timber, but her masts – green! That must be unheard of. She put them in the water twice for me to make sure of it – yes, green! Between races, I also got a full view of the blue boat, which has big yellow letters with “Trailblazer” on its side, and her sails at least are white – except for the red 524 plastered on each side. Where is their sense of propriety? And here is another curiosity: two of those who swam seemed to be female. That is unthinkable though, is it not? There was one more race, and the blue and grey boats were very close together for most of it. I think it was the grey one that finished first.

 

After decades under the sea, this does not really affect me. This anchor tearing at my remains however, and a diver disturbing my rest, that is not nice! Who do they think they are? They were so insistently tugging though, that I gave up and let it all go again. A shame really, I thought I had that keeler well entangled. A beautiful lady too, has been around for about forty years, so not too green… but she got off! Ah well, patience. Maybe one day one will stick. Or maybe some nice lady will join me down here, that would be a change for the better for once!

 

2016 Kingham Trophy and Sanders Cup Report

Kingham Trophy decided in light air

Over the long Easter weekend, the Sanders Memorial Cup will be awarded to the winner of a series of seven races. The Sanders Cup is the oldest inter-provincial challenge still sailed for under its original inception.

This year, the Javelin Skiffs compete for this honour on Parua Bay of Whangarei Harbour. Defending the trophy for Northland are Phil McNeil and Craig Gilberd on Phlipnhel, who recently won the South Pacific title in Perth. The challengers from the Manawatu are David Brown and Mark Gatti on Trailblazer, and Auckland is represented by Sara Watters and Hamish Norton on Thumper. Antje Muller and Milly Joseph on Hot Gossip are joining the open regatta but decided to fly and “L” on their sail as they are the only complete ladies crew.

Hosted by Whangarei Crusing Club

On Friday, the invitation race for the Kingham Trophy was open to all comers, and preceded two Sanders Cup races.

In light airs, the first start was favoured at the boat and Trailblazer got away well but did not go as far left as Phlipnhel who first looked lost but then got a shift and pressure to come into the mark rolling over Trailblazer.

Thumper had good breeze on the right and came around the top first but had their retrieval rigged wrong, and downwind they were further slowed by the gennaker dragging in the water. On the second upwind, Hot Gossip got into third place and defended that to the finish, celebrating that the oldest boat could hand in there. Phlipnhel took the lead and sailed away from Trailblazer on the second lap with the places staying the same around the last complete lap.

Congratulations to Phlipnhel for winning the Kingham Trophy!

The Kingham Trophy, awarded to the winner of the Invitation Race at the Sanders Cup
The Kingham Trophy, awarded to the winner of the Invitation Race at the Sanders Cup

In the first Sanders Cup race, the start was closely contested. Manawatu were close to the start boat but Northland thought they could squeeze in. When they touched the inner distance mark, the Ladies called them to take their penalty. They did, and lost the boom off the gooseneck in the process, but still were in touch with the other boats after completing their turn. In terms of speed upwind, the 1981-built Hot Gossip still kept up with the speed of the latest carbon boats – She was a Sanders Cup winner when she was young but now is more than 20 years older than all of the other yachts.

At the first top mark, all competitors were very close together. Manawatu went around first and opted for a gybe-set, but Northland managed to gybe inside and roll them. The ladies were last and decided to try something different by hoisting and going to the Eastern side of the course. They had the luck of picking up good pressure there, which meant they were in touch again with the fleet at the bottom. The course was shortened to be only two laps. On the last downwind, Northland had secured their lead. The Ladies went East again and came back into the finish wiring which saw them take second place ahead of Auckland and Manawatu.

For the second race, Auckland changed their jib setting and had much better upwind pointing. Manawatu got a good start and arrived at the top mark together with Northland. This time, they tried the Eastern side of the course while Northland went towards the harbour. From the layline, Manawatu picked up enough pressure to be trapezing, affording them a comfortable lead at the bottom gate. The places remained the same around the last two laps. There was slightly more pressure and a lot more sunshine, which made for comfortable racing.

While Northland are fully on form, the racing was mixed enough to predict a close contest. There are 5 races to go with one discard coming in once 6 races are completed.

Sanders Cup Results
Northland 1 2
Manawatu 3 1
Auckland 2 3
Open Regatta Results
Kingham R1 R2
Phlipnhel 1 1 2
Trailblazer 2 4 1
Hot Gossip 3 2 3
Thumper 4 3 4

Original article by Antje Muller on 25 Mar 2016 on Sail-world.com

Sunny conclusion to Sanders Cup in Northland

Close race start - 2016 Sanders Cup Ruth WCC
Close race start – 2016 Sanders Cup Ruth WCC

On Easter Sunday, the Sanders Cup was decided on the waters of Parua Bay in Whangarei.

With light winds forecast, the Committee decided to head out on the water straight away on the second day to take advantage of the little breeze that still was around at lunchtime. There was a light wind from the Southwest.

With the pin strongly favoured at the start, Northland opted for a port hand start and got away with it, because the rest of the fleet could not lay the pin. They went over the right hand side of the course, picking up good pressure and a lift to get up to the mark. The Ladies tried the left hand side that looked like more pressure and enjoyed some good lifts but never got the wiring pressure. Second around the mark was Auckland with Manawatu in third.

By the bottom mark, Northland had substantially extended their lead and the fleet was quite drawn out. The wind died however and swung around, which mixed things up again. When the Ladies got to the bottom mark, there was enough breeze from the new direction for them to hoist a gennaker, which saw them catch up to Manawatu by the top mark where the course was shortened to two laps. Northland got two thirds up the last leg when the wind disappeared, which gave Auckland a chance to catch up and for a short time overtake them.

Thumper and Trailblazer at the bottom mark - 2016 Sanders Cup © Ruth WCC
Thumper and Trailblazer at the bottom mark – 2016 Sanders Cup © Ruth WCC

Phil and Craig showed their joint experience and managed to gingerly put Northland across the line first, admitting it was a stressful day on the water though. On the downwind leg, that was now something between a beat and a reach, the Ladies were lucky again and found enough patches of wind to finish in third.

After the finish, the boats drifted around aimlessly for a while until the Committee shifted to set up for another start for a light Southeast breeze, but it did not stay in. Finally, racing was postponed to the next day.

Apart from Northland, the fleet is very close together and looking forward to another sunny day with hopefully a bit more breeze.

Whangarei served up brilliant sunshine again for the third day of racing. The breeze was light to start with but came up as the competition progressed.

In the fourth race, the wind was light but slightly stronger than the previous day. The pin was strongly favoured, and this time the Ladies took the chance and started on port. Luckily for them, they crossed ahead of the fleet and took the right hand side they thought promised pressure. At the top mark, Northland was ahead again though, followed by Manawatu and Auckland. On the second beat to windward, Auckland were successful on the right-hand side and overtook Manawatu who had gone toward the harbour. It was a long race but the places remained the same through the last round. The leaders only just made the time limit by about a minute.

Sanders Cup Champions Phil McNeil and Craig Gilberd for Northland on Phlipnhel - 2016 Sanders Cup © Ruth WCC
Sanders Cup Champions Phil McNeil and Craig Gilberd for Northland on Phlipnhel – 2016 Sanders Cup © Ruth WCC

On the fifth start, Manawatu shut out Auckland who narrowly ducked inside just after the gun but in turn closed out the Ladies who had to gybe around before crossing the line. It was close between Northland and Auckland at the top mark and Manawatu was just behind them. The latter managed to creep into second place through the second lap but Auckland rounded the top mark inside them in the third round. Gybing around the mark and hoisting on port that advantage increased as they caught a gust and shift to accelerate away. This saw Auckland getting close to Northland and fighting hard to try and overtake the leaders. In the end however, a few slow gybes saw them finish only just ahead of Manawatu with the Ladies trailing.

Hoping that a port start might work out better than what they experienced at the boat, the Ladies tried for a port start again in race six but this time could not clear Northland and had to tack with the fleet. All four boats were very close together up the first beat and Manawatu rounded the first mark ahead of Auckland and Northland. However picking some good shifts up the second beat together with superior boat speed saw the boat from the top of the North Island in first place again at the second windward mark. On the downwind legs, the wind was comparatively steady but Manawatu went into shore and caught up to Northland again. They lost it again when they hunted the pressure out towards the harbour even though they were trapezing more than the other competitors. Manawatu held on to second place for this race but were still third over all. Allegedly the lack of photographic evidence was due to an empty battery.

Pleasant sight at the start: committee boat 'Una' and the wonderful volunteers - 2016 Sanders Cup © Ruth WCC
Pleasant sight at the start: committee boat ‘Una’ and the wonderful volunteers – 2016 Sanders Cup © Ruth WCC

For the last race of the series, the wind picked up to a wiring breeze and the crews took the helm on Phlipnhel and Hot Gossip. This did not slow Northland down at all. Even though they were one minute early for their start (claiming later it was for practice), they managed to line up again well enough for the actual gun. It seems like Phil was to blame anyway as he admitted to never ceasing to give instructions.

The fleet stayed close together around the two laps. Northland was leading with Manawatu in second place. Thumper tried the left hand side but it did not work out, which saw them finishing in third place. This gave second place over all to Manawatu on countback. Hot Gossip did well staying in touch; this contest was the first time for Milly on a Javelin, and this was the first race she skippered. For the first time in this series, Phil crossed the finishing line first, crowing his eighth Sanders Cup win.

Milly Joseph enjoying her first sails on a Javelin - 2016 Sanders Cup © Ruth WCC
Milly Joseph enjoying her first sails on a Javelin – 2016 Sanders Cup © Ruth WCC

This beautiful contest was wound up by a friendly prize giving. The fleet was deeply grateful for the volunteers giving up their time and accommodating the preference of the sailors. In the Sanders Cup, Sara Watters was presented the DFL trophy (for the last place boat that finished all races) by previous holder Antje Muller. Vice Commodore Joan Livingstone presented the Sanders Cup to Northland sailors Phil McNeil and Craig Gilberd.

The Sanders Cup is one of NZ’s most prestigious trophies and has been contested since 1921. A summary about the varied history of this interprovincial challenge can be read by clicking here

The next regatta of the Javelin fleet is the North Island Championship held at Evans Bay on 9/10 April.

Kingham Trophy Results - 2016 Sanders Cup
Kingham Trophy Results – 2016 Sanders Cup
Open Regatta Results - 2016 Sanders Cup
Open Regatta Results – 2016 Sanders Cup
Sanders Cup Results - 2016 Sanders Cup
Sanders Cup Results – 2016 Sanders Cup
Comfortable rigging at the Whangarei Crusing Club Centreboard Base - 2016 Sanders Cup © Ruth WCC
Comfortable rigging at the Whangarei Crusing Club Centreboard Base – 2016 Sanders Cup © Ruth WCC
Photographer (and Shore Crew) Erica Newlands watching the Javelins launch - 2016 Sanders Cup © Ruth WCC
Photographer (and Shore Crew) Erica Newlands watching the Javelins launch – 2016 Sanders Cup © Ruth WCC
Auckland's Thumper at the Committee Boat 'Una' - 2016 Sanders Cup © Ruth WCC
Auckland’s Thumper at the Committee Boat ‘Una’ – 2016 Sanders Cup © Ruth WCC
Cruisy briefing with a view - 2016 Sanders Cup © Ruth WCC
Cruisy briefing with a view – 2016 Sanders Cup © Ruth WCC

Original article by Antje Muller on 27 Mar 2016 on Sail-world.com

2015-16 Season Event Program (NZL)

The dates below are confirmed, except where stated they are not.  There are a few holes at the moment.  If you have any suggestions or requests please let us know by commenting below.

Traveler Series: North Island Sprints
dates: Sat & Sun, 17th & 18th October 2015
host: Rotorua Yacht Club

South Pacifics training: Auckland (venue to be decided)
dates: tbc (early November, maybe even Labour weekend)
host: (to be decided, but somewhere in Auckland for sure)

Just because you can: Napier Summer Regatta
dates: Sat & Sun, 28th & 29th November 2015
host: Napier Sailing Club

Just because you can: Sir Peter Blake Regatta
dates: Sat & Sun, 5th & 6th December 2015
host: Torbay Sailing Club

South Pacifics: 45th Australian Javelin Championships & South Pacific Championships
dates: 28th Dec 2015 to 4th Jan 2016
host: Perth Dinghy Sailing Club

Just because you can: Napier New Year Regatta
dates: 1st to 3rd Jan 2016
host: Napier Sailing Club

Nationals: Might River Power Regatta
dates: Fri, Sat & Sun, 10th, 11th & 12th March 2015
host: Lake Taupo Yacht Club

Sanders Cup: Whangarei
dates: Easter
host: Whangarei Cruising Club
note: All boats welcome, regional representatives only qualify

North Island Champs: Evan’s Bay Regatta
dates: Sat & Sun, 9th & 10th April
host:  Evan’s Bay Yacht & Motor Boat Club

W.E Sanders, V.C, D.S.O, R.N.R

Battle for the “Prize”

In April 1916, Sub Lieutenant W.E. Sanders (a New Zealander serving with the RNR) joined HMS “Sapina” as Second in Command. When a year later Q ships were adopted as a means of combating the submarine menace Sanders volunteered for service and was given command of the Topsail Schooner “Prize” and promoted to Lieutenant-Commander.

Lieutenant-Commander Sanders
Lieutenant-Commander Sanders

On the evening of April 30th, 1917 the “Prize” was 120 miles south of Ireland when they spotted a U93 running awash. The submarine opened fire from 4000 yards sending her first shells well over the schooner. As a courtesy gesture, at this the schooner lowered her topsails and a well drilled “Panic Party” manned their boat and pushed off. Sanders and his gun crews laid hidden waiting for the submarine to come close, however the German commander was suspicious and kept firing as he closed in, reducing the “Prize” to a mass of wreckage.

Sanders and his men stuck to their posts as shell after shell battered the hull. During this time Sanders was perfectly cool and occasionally crept forward on his hands and knees to visit the forward gun crews and ascertain how they were withstanding the shell fire.

Finally convinced the schooner was in sinking condition the Germans ceased fire and steamed close to get the ships particulars. Sanders decided the moment he had waited forty minutes for had come and with a blast from his whistle the gunscreens clanged down, the white ensign fluttered up the mast and the “Prize” opened fire. The first salvo disabled the submarines forward gun. She turned and ran preparing to dive while three men manned the after gun only to be sent swimming by the “Prizes” shells. The submarine was last seen settling in the water stern first, her bow straight up in the air.

Severely damaged the “Prize” limped to port carrying with her the German U boat commander and others rescued from the water.

Sanders was awarded the V.C. on June 27. 1917 but never lived to receive it as the “Prize” was sunk with all hands on August 14, 1917 by a torpedo from a German U Boat.

For his services in this action, Sanders was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

Part 5 – George Andrews and Betty … Conclusion

In the months that followed the 1927 Sanders Cup, the Betty measurement saga rumbled on in ever more tedious fashion, kept alive by accusers and defenders alike. Infuriatingly, no one actually did anything, other than insinuate and make vague generalisations based on both their own, and received, “expert knowledge”. In the history of New Zealand yachting, we doubt whether there has ever been anything more tiresome than the Sanders Cup measurement wrangles, and none more so than those that surrounded Betty. (Oh, except for the Moffat Cup measurement disputes of the 1950’s – remember the `Outcry batten’?).

The Otago Association even made veiled threats that they would not enter the next contest. This stance eased somewhat during the winter of 1927, when they requested a complete set of plans, stamped as being correct, to the latest set of restrictions. Given the problems they had experienced back in 1922 when they were provided with obsolete plans, this was perhaps understandable. Their request was complied with and the plans that had produced Avalon and Murihiku II were sent south.

Aucklanders luckily, were spared the excesses of the Betty saga. Their main problem was that apart from Wilkie Wilkinson and a few others, no one in Auckland cared a fig for the Sanders Cup. The Auckland selection trials were notable for the desperate panic to commission any boat fit enough to start with Avalon, let alone race against her. Wellington challenged with a new boat Wellesley II, like her predecessor, built for the members of the Wellesley Club, while Otago’s new boat, was named Eileen, although the local wags reported that it was named OLC (Otago’s Last Chance). Southland challenged with the locally owned Murihiku II.

Apart from a fine win by Avalon in the third race, Betty swept all before her. Only in the last race was she really pushed, as Joe Patrick in Avalon forced the pace in a do or die effort to remain in the contest. Both left the rest of the fleet in their wake. Betty took the gun by 16 seconds from Avalon, with 5m 29s back to the next boat, Eileen. George Andrews and Betty had won their third consecutive Sanders Cup.

Almost immediately, Andrews announced that he would retire from future Sanders Cup competitions. Having won three in succession, he felt that interest in the contest would fade if Betty won a fourth. There were genuine expressions of regret from all provinces, although there must also have been a degree of relief.

After a seasons lay-off, in which Auckland’s Avalon under A.L.’Trotter’ Willetts won the 1929 Sanders Cup at Akaroa, George Andrews’ crewman, Ian Treleaven brought Betty out of retirement. She won the Canterbury selection trials for the 1930 competition in Auckland, but when the Canterbury Yachting Association wanted the final say in crew selection, Treleaven refused to break up his crew and accept the Association’s nominees. The Association bypassed Betty and sent the second placed boat Colleen instead.

To prove a point, Treleaven took Betty to Auckland anyway. The 1930 Auckland Anniversary Regatta, had scheduled two open X class races for the Lipton Cup and the Ross Cup. As well as the local boats, all the Sanders Cup representatives entered. Avalon won the first race, but later withdrew after her skipper reported fouling a mark, allowing Betty the honours. Betty won took the gun in the second race and annexed both cups.

Later that week, Ian Treleaven and his crew watched Otago’s Eileen win the Sanders Cup with ease; Canterbury’s Colleen was never in the hunt at any stage.

Following the Auckland Regatta, a syndicate headed by Mr.J. Moffat of Wellington purchased Betty and took her to Port Nicholson.

In Auckland that winter, the whole concept of the Sanders Cup came in for intense scrutiny. Such was the apathy toward the competition, that if any challenge was to be mounted for Dunedin in 1931, the only boat up to to any standard, was Avalon.

At a meeting of the AYMBA in December 1930 the discussion centred on how far the class had drifted from its original 1916 concept of a youth trainer and young man’s boat. Several clubs declined to contribute to the expenses unless young men were put into Avalon and the committee concurred. For the first time in the history of the Sanders Cup, a boat was to be sailed by boys under 21. Doug Rogers, Bill Tupp jnr, A.H. Larritt and R. Andrews were selected and went south.

They were very unlucky. Two races were abandoned at the three-hour time limit, with Avalon leading, just short of the finish line. A disqualification and a withdrawal in other races ruined any fairy-tale outcome.

Betty, representing Wellington and skippered by Alan `Cooee’ Johnston, gave the Capital their first ever Sanders Cup win, defeating her old adversary Rona, which this time represented Southland, Colleen of Canterbury and last years champion Eileen. Following the competition Avalon was sold to Percy Hunter of Port Chalmers.

Under the headline `Wellington “buys” the Sanders Cup’, Auckland’s aquatic newspaper `The Pennant’, after lauding the performance of Avalon’s young crew, took a sarcastic dig at Wellington’s Sanders Cup fanatics.

`Now there is no whipping the cat to point the obvious truth that Auckland yachtsmen in the main care little whether the Cup stays South for all time. A good deal has been said about Betty but as Auckland did not recapture the trophy there is every wish to avoid uncharitableness.

But this fact emerges clearly. Wellington has crowned a ten years’ ambition by acquiring Betty from Canterbury by the syndicated expenditure of a few pounds cash. A cynical observation invades the mind. It is this: Auckland has lost Avalon…some of us want the Cup back….we offer Wellington a couple of hundred Betty…we sail Betty, and lo! Back comes the Cup.’

Auckland didn’t buy Betty and they didn’t regain the Cup. In 1932 they challenged with a veteran crew, in a veteran boat Rangi, built in 1921. It was a miserable combination.

Betty however, almost did it again for Wellington. With the series tied at two races each between Betty and Avenger from Canterbury (sailed by the redoubtable George Brasell), Betty capsized while leading in the decisive fifth race. Avenger took the Cup to Canterbury.

That was Betty’s last Sanders Cup race. Little is known of her later movements until 1953 when she is recorded as being down in Bluff, owned by D. Perkins. Betty was last seen, in derelict condition, on a beach in Stewart Island in 1967.

Of her great rivals, Rona and Avalon, Rona was sold to Tom Bragg of Stewart Island in 1930 and was Southland rep in the 1931 Sanders Cup. She was still down that way as late as 1953 owned by W. Dawson of Invercargill and registered there as X-6.

Avalon had represented Auckland in six consecutive Sanders Cup competitions from 1926 to 1931, with a single victory in 1929 at Akaroa, the year after Betty’s retirement. She was sold to Port Chalmers in 1931, and represented Otago in the 1933 competition. That same year, Mr. A. McKenzie of Wellington purchased her, renamed her Monica, and represented Wellington in the 1935 contest. By 1945 she had been renamed Cedric and was based in Wanganui and owned by B. Armit. She became the Wanganui representative in the 1947 Sanders Cup held in Auckland. That competition was won by A.L. `Trotter’ Willetts in Dianne, who 18 years earlier, in 1929, had skippered Avalon to her only Sanders Cup success.

After his retirement from the Sanders Cup, George Andrews returned to the less public life of Estuary sailing and building boats. During his lifetime, he built over sixty boats, some of them quite significant, such as Mandalay, a 40-foot ketch built in 1931 to his own design, in which he cruised the Marlborough Sounds. `Wilkie’ Wilkinson bought her around 1943 and in 1948 sold her to the Methodist Mission in the Solomon Islands.

During the mid 30’s Andrews went to Stewart Island, to complete the building of Ranui, a 66-foot auxiliary ketch on which construction had halted after her builder left New Zealand. Ranui was launched in 1936 and until the outbreak of war, carried fish and other cargoes between Port Pegasus and Bluff. After the war, she serviced the meteorological stations on the Auckland and Campbell Islands. Following many years as a crayfisher and an oyster dredger, Ranui has recently been restored and is returned to her original ketch rig.

In 1939, Andrews built the 31-foot Varuna, a light displacement W. Starling Burgess design, known in the United States as the Yankee One-Design class. By 1962, Varuna had arrived in Auckland and registered as C-27, later NZYF number 1227.

As well as designing and building the M-Class Malay in 1934 (recently rebuilt and back sailing again), he also helped popularise another major centreboard class. His D-Class dinghy Rita also built in 1934 became the first of a new class, the Canterbury T-Class formed in 1937. The T-Class was a 12-foot 9-inch round bilge dinghy with an unrestricted hull design, but with a restricted sail area of 110 square feet. Probably to avoid confusion with North Island 14-foot T-Classes, they became known as the R-Class in 1948, Rita becoming R-1.

Without a doubt, George Andrews influenced several generations of Canterbury yachtsmen, in particular those youngsters who began their sailing during the 1940’s. By then, he was an old man but still more than capable of showing the youngsters a thing or two out on the racetrack. He advised them, he tutored them and he helped them build their boats, P-class, Silver Ferns, Frostbites, Takapuna’s and even the odd X-Class, and paved the way for those relentless assaults by Cantabrians on our national yachting trophies during the 1950’s.

George Andrews died on January 19, 1952 aged 70.

Footnote No.1 :
In 1932, the Sanders Cup conference authorised construction of a full sized external steel mould, to be placed over each boat before the contest. Writing to the Christchurch Press in 1932, Arthur Johnston advised that `the official measurers … in the presence of a referee, Captain Keen of the Marine department, measured the Sanders Cup champion Betty with external steel moulds and the boat passed the test creditably. .. and that the honour of the builder and Canterbury skipper, Mr. George Andrews is vindicated.’

He went on to refer to the `despicable insinuations made by certain Canterbury delegates’ and hoped that they would `would express regret for their unfounded statements that have been made in an endeavour to put Mr Andrews offside in the eyes of the New Zealand public.”

Footnote No.2 :
Rona, the champion X-class whose lines were adopted in 1923 as the one-design for all future Sanders Cup competitions, and gave rise to the name, Rona-Jellicoe Class, was found to be `sadly astray in her measurements’. She could not fit the external steel moulds that had been built from her own lines.

Sanders Cup articles curtesy of Robin Elliot and Harold Kidd