One day of training and 3 days of racing at this world-famous regatta.
A bit about Kahurangi
Kahurangi was built to the design of Arthur C. Robb for Lawrence D. Nathan.
Lawrence was the great-grandson of David Nathan (1816-1885), the pioneer founder of the family business L. D. Nathan and Co. Ltd (one of the oldest companies established in New Zealand).
Robb used the 12 metre rule back then as the basis for Kahurangi´s design. His first drawing of the boat was 55´ long, but Doug Bremner who was to be her first sailing master, saw the plan in London and told Robb he thought the design looked sawn-off. Robb told him: “that´s easily fixed”, and with a rubber and pencil put four feet on the bow and three on the stern. Certainly, the final design and also the finished yacht are very handsome.
Kahurangi was built by Percy Vos, a very highly regarded Auckland boatbuilder. She was constructed of New Zealand kauri pine. This tree grows to tremendous heights and has extremely long grain without any knots in the wood. She was build on the traditional platform, stringers and three skin planking system, a very strong way of construction which was going to prove vital later in her life. The yacht was two years abuilding, and was launched on November 20 of 1952.
The name “KAHURANGI” means “Precious Possession” in the native Maori language. It truly was a precious possession to Mr Nathan and all that sailed on her. At a time, she was the flag ship for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. (R.N.Z.Y.S.) and won nearly every trophy with the Squadron in the first division. The R.N.Z.Y.S has many trophies there with her name on it, there is a half model of her on the wall and a bronze sculpture at the entrance of the Club.
Many New Zealanders crewed Kahurangi during those years, a young Peter Blake was one of them until he grew to much higher sailing levels. Kahurangi was a much photographed boat with pictures of her showing up in yearly calendars, on tops of cookie tins and so on.
Her nickname in the city of Auckland and further a field was “The Big K”. Back in those days she was one of the biggest yachts ever built in New Zealand.
In 1967 Kahurangi did her first ocean race to New Caledonia (1300 hundred miles). In 1969 she did the 630 mile ocean race Sydney to Hobart. One of the crew was Frenchman Alain Colas who was doing his first ocean race. When Kahurangi arrived to Hobart in third position was moored beside Tabarly´s Penn Duik IV. It was there and then when Colas met Tabarly and their historic relation begun.
In 1977 Kahurangi departed from Auckland in a world cruise for never comeback… so far, but after so many years out of the country she is still well remembered and a street is named in her honour at Manurewa District in Auckland (Kahurangi Place).