Launch races, kayak contests, runabout races, and outboard powered bathtubs kept a huge crowd entertained at the annual Anniversary weekend Pahi Regatta, still going strong since 1886.
The accent was on the water during the day, with shoreline entertainment in the big marquee at night. Hamburgers, mussel fritters and bacon and eggs among other foods kept hunger at bay.
Kaipara Mayor Jason Smith was among the spectators and was soon singled out by the organisers at the Pahi Boating and Fishing Club.
“A beaut day in a beaut place, even better on the water,” he said. “I got to call the start of the King of the Kaipara launch race, from the safety boat out in the channel, so that was a bit of fun.”
Across the years the regatta format has settled onto water-based events, and an onshore component with sideshows, carnival rides, beauty contests — anything from Miss and Mrs Pahi, to the ‘best beer belly’ contest, along with the presentation of prizes for event winners on the water.
“This year was well attended, and well run by our large team of volunteers,” said club commodore Mike Donald. “As always, the emphasis was on family fun in a safe environment and the day played out just that way.”
The regatta attracted visitors from Auckland northwards, plus overseas tourists pleased to stumble onto some genuine kiwi action.
“A crowd favourite as always were the iconic bathtub races, the biggest in New Zealand,” said commentator Tim McGill.
Ready to go in the bathtub races
Leading the way in the large craft section