Monday, April 4, 2011

Sailing Kiwi-style

While these aren't kayaks on car top or trailer, here's what gets NZ kids into sailing, Kiwi-style.

This is a a photo of my cousin Sue's family set-up. On the car top is a Starling--she and her husband have one each--but need to compromise who's out with their two young daughters today. The two boats on the trailer are the famous NZ P Class. This, with the Optimist, are the two most-sailed boats for Kiwi youngsters. The P, as it's most affectionately known as, helped produce some of NZ's most famous skippers, including Sir Peter Blake and Russell Coutts, to name only a few. It's often said that if you can sail a P, you can sail anything!

The 2.13 m (7ft) P was designed in 1923 by Harry Highet, and was first known as the Tauranga class, as Harry lived in Tauranga, which also happens to be my birth place. And they've been strenuously raced ever since.

If you happen to be able to find a copy, there's a terrific novel called Tauranga Adventure (Harrap, 1963) based on kids sailing P Classes. It was written by Tauranga resident (and one of my best friend's late uncle) Patrick Wilson.

The Starling is the next boat up, once you've outgrown your P. It's a 2.9m (9.6ft), one-design, and also has a great racing pedigree.

Great to see that some classic designs just never die!


Jim said...

Kristen, Enjoyed watching your progress in the EC. If you haven't yet, check blog. Just about to start Paddle-to-the-Sea, 13,000 expedition. Perhaps I'll get a chance to meet you and Sandybottom when I get to the Carolinas. Jim

Jim said...

Excuse me: blog address is---

Captn O Dark 30 and Super Boo said...

Kristen, we gotta get a couple of those up in the US and bomb around in them NCC or EC style, how fun would that be!!

Puts a PDR or Opti to shame for style!! You Kiwi's born to the land and live for the water, amazing...

phillH48 said...

What a great thing to get the kids into
Yours Pill at wheeled backpack