Latest update on the Kiwi Raid and Regatta 2016


Planning for the Kiwi Raid and Regatta 2016 is well advanced now and its only a bit over two months away until the adventure begins. Woohoo!

Here’s an update on whats been happening and the latest in runsheets and maps etc.

The Kiwi Raid and Regatta 2016 is being organised by Raid New Zealand incorporated and we have a new website up and running for this purpose. A link to this new site is available here

The team here have been flat out building five more St Ayles skiffs and these are now being painted and fitted out, this will give us a total of seven St Ayles skiffs for the event.

Accommodation is all booked and the Chef is busy working on his menu’s yum yum!

For those of you arriving from overseas we have organised a bus from downtown Auckland to the start at Sanspit on the morning of the 29th January.

Hopefully all those who expressed an interest early on have received their information packs and entry forms.

If you have any questions or need help with your arrangements please don’t hesitate to contact Steve Cranch or Tanya Ankersmit, details on the contacts page above.

here’s the latest map NZ Coastal Rowing Map A

and the latest Runsheet NZ coastal rowing Runsheet A

please make sure you get your entries in asap as spaces are limited.

Entry forms and further details available here



Mid week rowing group gets going at St Heliers


Baden Pascoe kicked off a new mid week rowing group from St Heliers today. The sheltered waters off the St Heliers coast provides excellent and varied opportunity for a mid week mini adventure. Newcomers to the St Ayles todays group were pleasantly surprised how easy she is to row and what a joy it is to be out on our beautiful Waitamata in a hand crafted wooden boat enjoying some fresh air and good company.

If you would like to join them for a mid week row or our Saturday morning rows please get in touch we’d be glad to have you aboard.

2016 Raid and Regatta update

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There’s been a lot of rowing into the wind to get to this update. Our crew have been very busy getting our ducks in a row and mostly haggling with bureaucrats and red tape, however its actually coming together…yay!

Heres a dandy wee map of our intended voyage (Raid) and the daily Itinerary.

Interest is building and I now have a large contingent of names on my list, we are working on food now and costs so stand by and another update on these will appear soon.

Very pleased to announce that John Welsford has offered to bring along his fine launch as mothership and join in the fun.

We have a very large Tasmanian and mainland Aussie contingent planning to brave the trip and we will endeavour to find suitable boats for them all (trans Tasman shipping is a bit OTT )

True to our word we are well underway with another 7 St Ayles Skiffs which will bring the total to 10 at the regatta, racing will be off the beach with a great venue for lunches and post race celebrations, hot showers and accommodation for all.

NZ Coastal Rowing Map 1

Starting at Sandspit (about an hours drive north of Auckland) the Itinerary is as follows.

Draft run sheet for 2016 Raid and Regatta.


Day 1              Fri 29th          HW 12:02      Distance: 8.6nm          Lunch: Goldsworthy bay      Camp: Martins Bay Holiday Park

Arrive Sandspit, Registration safety gear checks etc. Trailers stored at Mikes section. Launch boats and journey to Martins Bay and set up camp.

Day 2              Sat 30th          HW 12:41      Distance: 4nm            Lunch: Sullivan’s                  Camp: Martins Bay Holiday Park

Mahurangi regatta, chance to join in the regatta or races from the beach. Entries on the beach at Sullivan’s. Leave boats at Scott’s Landing for night. Bus back to campground.

Day 3              Sun 31st         HW 13:21      Distance: 16nm return Lunch: Warkworth                Camp: Martins Bay Holiday Park

Bus back to Scott’s Landing, day trip up the Mahurangi River to Warkworth. Lunch at Warkworth Cafes, bus trip to Parry Kauri Park and return. Row/sail back to Martins Bay Campground. (expecting some towing required)


 Day 4              Mon 1st          HW 14:04      Distance: 5.7nm         Lunch: Moturekareka           Camp: Lidgard House

Pack up camp at Martins Bay Holiday Park and journey to Lidgard House (Bon Accord harbour) Possibly drop into Mansion House on the way.

Day 5              Tues 2nd        HW 14:50      Distance: 7nm return    Lunch: Tawharanui              Camp: Lidgard House

Day trip to Tawharanui and return to Lidgard House.

Day 6              Wed 3rd         HW 15:40      Distance: 6.5nm            Lunch: Coppermine              Camp: Motuora

Pack up camp at Lidgard’s, Journey to Motuora via Coppermine for lunch. Make camp at Motuora Island.

Day 7              Thu 4th           HW 16:36      Distance: 8.5nm           Lunch: Army Bay?                 Camp: YMCA Lodge

Pack up Motuora Island, and journey to Te Haruhi Bay via Army Bay. Accommodation at YMCA lodge Te Haruhi bay.

Day 8              Fri 5th                        HW 17:34      Distance: 0         Lunch: YMCA lodge               Camp: YMCA lodge

Lay Day, chance to stock up on snacks, repairs to boats, also setup day for the St Ayles regatta. (plenty to explore for those needing to stretch their legs)

Day 9              Sat 6th             HW 18:32      Distance: 0                   Lunch: YMCA                         Camp: YMCA

St Ayles skiff rowing regatta, racing in the bay in age groups

Day 10            Sun 7th                       HW 19:27      Distance: 0        Lunch: YMCA                         Camp: YMCA

St Ayles regatta, racing in the bay in age groups

Day 11            Mon 8th          HW 20:19      Distance: 6.85 nm (return)  Lunch: Tiritiri Island             Camp: YMCA

Day trip to Tiritiri Island (possible race there)

Day 12            Tue 9th           HW 08:49      Distance: 11nm             Lunch:  Woody bay                 Camp: Home bay

Pack up and journey to Home Bay Motutapu Island

Day 13            Wed 10th       HW 09:37      Distance: 9nm                 Lunch: Oneroa via Blackpool Camp: Rocky Bay

Pack up Motutapu and journey to Rocky bay via Blackpool (walk up hill for lunch at Oneroa)

Day 14            Thu 11th        HW10:25       Distance: 7nm                 Lunch:  Nikau Track                    Camp: Motuihe Island

Depart Rocky bay after packing up camp then walk up Nikau Track, followed by journey to Motuihe Island.

Day 15            Fri 12th          HW 11:14      Distance: 6nm return        Lunch: Rangitoto                   Camp: Motuihe Island

Day trip to Rangitoto, walk and return to Motuihe. 

Day 16            Sat 13th          HW 12:04      Distance: 8nm                 Lunch: Browns Island          Camp: Panmure Yacht &                                                                  Boating Club/AKL Grammar Rowing Green

Pack up Motuihe Island and the Tamaki River. Set up camp at Auckland Grammar Rowing grounds. Final night and function. Pack up in morning and collect trailers from Sandspit. (Bus to Sandspit)

more updates coming soon…

Pssssst…. It’s Game On


Photo courtesy of Nel Tyson

Yep, its the announcement you’ve been all waiting for.

The Kiwi Raid and St Ayles International Regatta are on for 2016.

Totally inspired by our friends across the Tasman and now totally hooked on the small boat adventure thing we have put together what we think is going to be a pretty darn good couple of weeks here in Kiwi Land.

Its early days yet and as you can imagine there is a million or so things to do and organise but we’ve made a start and drawn a line in the sand, have a plan.

Here’s some dates for you to put in your calendars:

Kawau Raid:  Friday 29th January – Friday 5th February.

St Ayles Regatta: 6th – 8th February.

Tamaki Raid: 9th – 13th February.

Yes, Two Raids and a three day St Ayles Regatta, heres a bit more detail on each….


Kawau Bay

Kawau Raid:

where: 40 mins drive North of Auckland.

The trip details: 8 days, 7 nights a total distance of 62.5nm, longest days run 16nm majority under 10nm

Accommodation: Mostly camping so bring your tent. facilities are good with running water and showers and things.

The Raid is to be set in the beautiful Kawau bay area and is to include the famous Mahurangi regatta (Classic wooden boat weekend) A river trip to Warkworth, A trip to Tiritiri Matangi (a most amazing native bird sanctuary). A visit to the famous Mansion House, home of Governor George Grey and the stunning Kawau island. plus fantastic sailing and rowing.

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Photo courtesy of Nel Tyson

St Ayles Regatta:

Where: we are still confirming a venue but it will be in central Auckland.

A 3 day regatta, similar to the great one in Franklin with mixed teams, corporate regatta and loads of fun.

Construction is underway on the 10 St Ayles Skiffs we promised you!


Tamaki Raid

Tamaki Raid,

Where: Between Waiheke Island and the Eastern bays of Auckland

Trip Details: 5 days, 4 nights, total distance 41nm, longest days run 10nm

Accommodation: 3 nights camping, one night in cabins.

Some of the great cruising grounds of Auckland, Visits to Moutuihe island, Waiheke Island, Rotorua island with some great lunch spots along the way, superb chance to see why the Hauraki gulf is rated as one of the best cruising grounds in the world.

Final leg up the Franklin river.

Break out that boat….

What to do next:

Spaces are going to be limited so you will need to get in quick!

If you are interested in joining us for all or some of this great adventure and the St Ayles regatta, email us now to register your interest.

St Ayles Skiff Regatta Tasmania 2015


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Photo courtesy of Nel Tyson

The Tasskiffie2015 as it became known was the first ever Southern Hemisphere regatta for the St Ayles skiffs, Hosted by the Living Boat trust in Franklin Tasmania.

The incredible growth of the St Ayles class worldwide has surprised everyone but if you were at this regatta in Franklin you would understand the reason for all the excitement. With around 160 competitors taking part over the three days, 28 events including a long row 10km, 1km and 2 km races and a well attended community / corporate challenge its hard to imagine that you could pack anymore fun into a weekend.


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Photo courtesy of Nel Tyson

Racing was in lanes with the 1 km races going down river for 500m before rounding a mark and returning 500m to the finish. The 2km races involved rowing down river 500m rounding a mark then 1000m upriver before rounding a mark for a 500m sprint to the finish! As you can imagine there is lots of tactics involved and the 180 degree turns become quite critical as boat lengths can be won or lost here, the racing was close and the pace fast especially in the semi’s and finals.


Photo courtesy of Nel Tyson

Crews were made up of mixed teams, women’s teams and men’s teams in a variety of age groups. Boats were shared freely and sometimes this meant that you didn’t always get your favourite boat for each event, however it meant a large number of people got to race the seven available boats.



Photo courtesy of Nel Tyson


The community of Franklin really got behind this event and this made it a absolute joy to be involved in, The community / corporate event was a hoot with Volunteer fireman racing mounted horseman from WW1 and pretty girls in frocks and hats.


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2km Mens Open Final Photo courtesy of Nel Tyson

The Racing,

The Kiwi team are pleased to be able to report that unlike our cricket team we were able to follow through on our semi final wins and take out a number of finals including the mens open 1km, the mixed over 50’s 2km and the grand final the mens open 2km. That final race the mens open 2km was a real test of endurance and we all had nothing left to spare at the finish.

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Photo courtesy of Nel Tyson

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Photo courtesy of Nel Tyson

One of the highlights for me of this regatta was meeting so many warm and friendly people, a number of whom have now become good friends, The local community of Franklin can be well proud of the way this regatta was put together and so well supported. From the concerts that popped up along the way, the friendly house visits to look at boat projects, a shared meal with the Iranian refugees, chilling out at the LBT, the school that benefited from the rowing club cafe, Talks by Alec Jorden, exploration trips on the riverboat Nancy.

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Photo courtesy of Nel Tyson

This chap ( Robert Ayliffe ) needs a jolly good pat on the back, not only did he bring a couple of boats across from Australia (different country from Tasmania! ) but also has somehow found himself championing a group of Iranian refugees and a Welsh church from Melbourne, and all with aplomb and a smile. He also just happens to be the same guy who CNC cut all the Kiwi St Ayles kits at his great workshop Stray Dog Boatworks in South Australia

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Photo courtesy of Nel Tyson

And before you know it, its time to pack up, load the boats and head home…


Departing the Living Boat Trust



Theres been so many neat people who helped us along the way that I couldn’t list them all for fear of missing someone, but you know who you are and on behalf of NZ coastal Rowing a huge Thank You.

Also without a doubt It wouldn’t have happened without the unfailing enthusiasm and can do attitude of this guy, Mike Mahoney we thank you and Tawera Group for making this trip possible and for having the gumption to back what started out as a silly idea and has grown into a huge adventure.

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Great photo courtesy of Nel Tyson



Homecoming RAID

The Homecoming RAID followed on from the Hobart wooden boat festival and was mostly a way to get all the various boats back to Franklin, We decided to join in for the fun.


Starting off point was a Small beach town called Snug, this required a bit of on land logistics and resulted in us dumping Wee Tawera on the beach late one night and returning in the morning hoping that all would be well and nothing stolen, All good this is Tasmania and we shouldn’t have worried. Megan had to return home and Baden Pascoe was to join Mike and I for the Homecoming RAID and then the regatta at Franklin. However Baden missed the bus from Hobart, never mind Mike and I set off from Snug, just the two of us rowing one oar each and were pleasantly surprised just how easily we could maintain a good speed in the flat water. We had arranged to meet Baden at the Peppermint bay cafe, He via ferry and Mike and I via a long row in Wee Tawera. After a long row 7.5nm in fact our timing was perfect, Mike and I tucking into a well deserved lunch as Baden arrived on the ferry.

What do you know its a head wind, back to the oars and another 4nm down the coast until we can turn the corner and able to set sail, Its a great pleasure to put the oars away and glide peacefully along the coast without any effort sort of akin to turning off the engine on a yacht.

slipping along, easy miles

simple rig, no expensive fittings here!

The rest of the afternoon was a blast with a building breeze, we romped along in fine style covering the remaining miles to Randalls Bay in no time, only casualty was Baden’s fine hat.

Hardened seafarers

Day two took us to Cygnet and included another long row, all good practise for the upcoming regatta, Cygnet is a fascinating small town with a long history of wooden boatbuilding and a very smart historic town. We finished the day with a brisk romp across to Brooks bay, our camp for the night.

Brooks Bay, Old apple packing shed, home for the night.

Brooks Bay, Old apple packing shed, home for the night.

mooring up for the night.

mooring up for the night.

The final day included a short sail, followed by more rowing and a fantastic welcome from the Huon yacht club, We were most surprised to find the New Zealand ensign flying from the flag pole as we arrived. All was explained when we met their commodore Roger Carter, a fellow kiwi.

Port Huon Yacht Club

Huon Yacht Club

Franklin river, great place for a row.

Franklin river, great place for a row.

We decided to sail the last 5nm up the Franklin river, we had already rowed a fair distance so far that day and serious racing began the next day which we were saving ourselves for and besides their was a fair wind blowing!

Final leg up the Franklin river.

Final leg up the Franklin river.

Franklin turned on a great welcome and a parade of all 7 St Ayles skiffs to mark the official opening of the Tasmanian International St Ayles skiff regatta.

Opening of the Franklin St Ayles regatta.

Opening of the Franklin St Ayles regatta.

Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2015

Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2015

Australian Wooden Boat Festival 2015

Mind Blowing is probably the best way to sum up the 2015 AWBF, The sheer quantity and quality of wooden boats just takes your breath away, and despite being there for the full 4 days I’m sure there are many things I didn’t see and many beautiful boats that deserved much more than a quick glance.

This is a good case of a “picture speaks a thousand words”, so heres a few thousand to get going with!

with 540 wooden boats on display, space is at a premium.

with 540 wooden boats on display, space is at a premium.

A sea of Varnish

A sea of Varnish

Standards must be kept

Standards must be kept Boxer 1908

Same boat, Boxer arriving into Hobart.

Same boat, Boxer arriving into Hobart.

Varg in all her glory

Varg in all her glory

New Zealand Traditional Boat Building School and the St Ayles on display.

New Zealand Traditional Boat Building School and the St Ayles on display.

Some of the Tawe Nunnugah fleet rafted up.

Some of the Tawe Nunnugah fleet rafted up.

School Kids building simple skin on frame boats during the festival.

School Kids building simple skin on frame boats during the festival.

Plenty of day boats to choose from.

Plenty of day boats to choose from. This one electric drive.

Size wasn't a problem.

Size wasn’t a barrier to having fun.

There were a few Kiwi boats on display too.

There were a few Kiwi boats on display too. Tuarangi from Invercargil.

Great line up of the Derwent Skiffs, Julian rowed one of these the entire Raid.

Great line up of the Derwent Skiffs, Julian rowed one of these the entire Tawe Nunnugah.

During the AWBF there was a have a go day and demonstration 250m sprite racing for the St Ayles skiffs, This was hugely popular and I believe about 120 people got the chance to row / race one of 4 St Ayles skiffs including the two Kiwi boats Wee Tawera and Frank Worsley.

St Ayles Skiff, have a row event.

St Ayles Skiff, have a row event.

Imagine, The woman on Water St Ayles from Franklin

Imagine, The woman on Water St Ayles from Franklin

As part of the Hobart Regatta we took part in the St Ayles 250m sprint races and were lucky enough to come home with these beautifully hand crafted wooden medals for first place.

!st place medals for the Hobart regatta.

!st place medals for the Hobart regatta.

Our fearless skipper negotiating all the expensive varnish.

Our fearless skipper negotiating her way through all the expensive varnish.

If your a wooden boat fanatic like me then Hobart is a must do trip, I hate to say it but its hard to imagine that New Zealand could put together such a collection of well presented classics to match what I saw in Hobart. That said wouldn’t it be fun to try…