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Is that where the old railway carriages went to?

Orion took the trophy. We were second after a good battle with them. Next boat 11min back. Great days sailing but man those things are hard work.....

10 Mullet boats in the line up for the start, 10-20knt easterly straight down the guts of of the Waitemata with an incoming tide the whole day. This was going to be a challenging 98th race for the Lip

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10 Mullet boats in the line up for the start, 10-20knt easterly straight down the guts of of the Waitemata with an incoming tide the whole day. This was going to be a challenging 98th race for the Lipton Cup.

The fleet was tight on the start but spread out a little the initial windward leewards. Every part of the fleet had tacking duals all the way to Resolution buoy resulting in Tamatea and Orion gaining the lead. The 20 mile course then took the boats over to Rangitoto back to North Head, Northern Leading, Torpedo, Resolution Bean Rock then finished on a long kite run home.

The sea state around North head saw the bigger boats gain the advantage and it was between Resolution and Rangi Yellow that saw Orion take the lead from Tamatea. This may have coincided with one of the winches being ripped out of the deck on Tamatea! As much as Tamatea pushed she couldn't quite catch an Orion that was eeking out a couple of seconds more at each mark.

Not far back a tidy looking Limited Edition was going well but never made up the ground she needed to to catch Martin (Orion) or Trubi (Tamatea). LE did a great job of defending her place from a near rabid horde close on her heals. The mob contained Tao Too, Valeria, Matanza and Scullet (once was Alias JD). As those 3 couldn't catch LE they spent the 22 miles fighting each other. Close behind them the next bunch also was in tight battle.

Orion driven by Martin Robertson and his crew took the gun by less than 2 minutes over Tamatea. It was a truly challenging race for everyone with some long beats and well fought across the fleet. From the spectators angle the fleet put on a magnificent show.

The boats entered were - Orion, Valeria, Tamatea, Rangi Manu, Limited Edition, Tere Kane, Komuri, Matanza, Tao Too, Scullet. 


There were three magnificent stand outs in a day of many stand outs.

1 - Tao Too a month ago was near written off by many. She was a oyster farm. Massive credit to Brendon Crawford, Suzie and there helpers to not only get to the start line but sail a bloody good race as well. Awesome effort there.

2 - Tere Kane. Again a week or 2 ago not looking good at all but a all nighter or 2 by the Father and son Murie's.


But the biggest, or maybe the smallest, is a dude called Maxum who was aboard Scullet. To be a mainsheet hand on these old heavy arsed boats is the position for a gorilla and a strong gorilla. As one massively experienced and very good yachtie but a Mullet boat virgin said to me 'Haven't sailed a boat that doesn't light up but just barge there way though everything like the Mullets'.  At the prizegiving all mainsheet hands were called up and in a line up of big gruntier people was this 13 year old young fella near 1/2 the size of them all (a 1/3 of one or 2 ;) ). He was not only the youngest sailor in the fleet but also wrangled Scullets mainsheet around the entire track. The dude is a legend in the making if not one already after that. A lot of people thought it was a jack up but nope, he is a genuine hardarse in the making. After playing with L Class for near on 35 years now I'm still totally gob smacked about that fella, never seen anything even close to that before. 


Some cool stats -

  • Oldest boat racing and first boat to ever win the Lipton was Valeria at 107 years old.
  • The young buck of the fleet is LE, she's only 30 odd years old.
  • The trophy was donated by Sir Thomas Lipton who raced and never won the America's Cup 5 times.
  • Trophy was made by the same silversmith as the America's Cup.
  • The youngest crew was Maxum at 13 but had 2 x 14yo's aboard Scullet with him.
  • The oldest was a gentleman of 7...cough cough years old. He was skipper so not far different than Maxum in the hardarse stakes, the Mullets are not known to be light on the helm.
  • 3 Skippers were hers, 7 were hims.
  • The PRO for the day is in her 8th decade.
  • The defending Champion was Orion II


The results – Line and Club sailed for

1 - Orion II - Martin Roberston - Ponsonby Cruising Club

2 - Tamatea - Brian Trubovich - Opua Yacht Club

3 - Limited Edition - Paige and Bianca Cook - RNZYS

4 - Scullet - Mike Thompson - Northcote Birkenhead YC

5 - Valeria - Ben Freedman - Victoria Cruising Club

6 - Tao Too - Suzie Bosher - Navel Point YC

7 - Matanza - Tania Nigh - Wakatere BC

8 - Tere Kane - Gary Murie - Taikata YC

9 - Rangi Manu - Kelsey Muir - Devonport YC

10 - Komuri - John Grinter - Richmond YC


Handicap - place and corrected

1 - Tao Too - 3:49:06

2 - Orion II - 3:49:19

3 - Tamatea - 3:49:53

4 - Limited Edition - 4:00:13

5 - Scullet - 4:02:07

6 - Valeria - 4:02:21

7 - Matanza - 4:03:4

8 - Tere Kane - 4:09:50

9 - Komuri - 4:20:51

10 - Rangi Manu - 4:23:47


The 100th Lipton Cup has been locked in for the 20th March 2021 and we are expecting to see more Mullet boats of all sizes coming out of the wood work. If this year is anything to go by it really could be anyone's race in 2 year's time.

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Talking of mullet boats how is the restoration of Tamariki progressing.


What happened to Snatcher.

Tamariki's restoration is now all on under the watchful eyes of Martin Robertson and Rob Waring. It is going into a Charitable Trust. Any donations and help to get this large bit of the Waitamatas history back on it would be appreciated.


Snatcher is on the front yard of a place in Epsom. She is being given a big going over by Suzie ready to come out next season to get some miles in prior to the 100th.

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