Social element draws yachties to 'Classic'
'That is what brings it all together still'TIMARU HERALD STAFF REPORTER
Yachtie Maurice Bootherstone has turned author to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Aviemore Classic race.
In The Aviemore Classic Towards 25 Years he captures some of the history of the event.
The "Classic" is the biggest freshwater trailer yacht regatta in New Zealand and over time has attracted yachts from as far away as Auckland and Napier.
The idea of a race came from Bill Burgess when the Waitaki Lakes committee was looking for ideas to celebrate its own 25th anniversary.
Mr Burgess used to spend six weeks a year sailing on the lake and felt it would be a perfect location for a race due to its own wind pattern and position in the Waitaki region.
Since then the Classic has averaged 76 entries a year with the best turn- out in 1997 when 94 yachts battled it out. The race has been cancelled only once, in 1998, because of the prospect of 120kmh winds.
The most successful sailor has been Christchurch's Vince Williams in his Noelex 22 Piracy.
Mr Williams has won the Meridian Energy Trophy (overall winner on Trailer Yacht Association rating) five times, in 1999, 2000, 2006, 2008 and 2009.
Inaugural winner Charlie Orton of Timaru, has not missed a race while Mr Bootherstone has sailed in 20.
"It started out as a social race and that is what brings it all together still, people love the social element and the atmosphere the most."'
The performance yachts can complete the course in about three hours, while the smaller boats can take twice that but the overall race winner is decided on handicap.
The 2013 race will be held at Labour Weekend, on October 26 and 27.
Anyone wanting a copy of the book can contact the Timaru Yacht and Power Boat Club, which administers the Classic.
- © Fairfax NZ News