Rainy start to inaugural Wellington Boat Show

Stuff, April 6 2017

Petone Lions club president Noel Scherp (left), Hutt City mayor Ray Wallace, National Party List MP Chris Bishop and Hutt City deputy mayor David Bassett at the opening of the inaugural Wellington Boat Show.

You can’t have a boat show without water.

That was the saying of the day at the inaugural Wellington Boat Show this week.

The show was officially opened in the pouring rain to a crowd of damp but enthusiastic supporters on April 6 by Hutt City mayor Ray Wallace.

“I would say welcome to sunny Lower Hutt but I’ll have to change that a little bit,” he said.

For the rest of the week, Seaview Marina will be open for people to peek at luxury yachts such as the Aquila 44, have a go at sailing themselves on different boats and try their hand in a special fishing pond.

Water safety seminars, food stalls and tents for boating-related exhibitors will also be dotted around the Lower Hutt marina.

The rain had delayed several boats coming into the harbour from up north, Wallace said, but they were on their way.

Saturday will see the launch of New Zealand’s first endurance yacht race. Eighteen crews will be sailing their keelers and trailer sailers around Wellington Harbour for 24 hours straight.

Organiser Theo Muller said the race would start with a bang – literally.

“We will fire a cannon – it’s a real cannon – and it will make a blast from here to Eketahuna.”

The endurance race starts at noon, April 8.

“It’s going to be a fantastic event,” Muller said.

Organisers will be keeping a weather eye on the horizon but with the rain meant to clear in the next couple of days, the outlook was hopeful.

The boat show has been the work of the Petone Lions Club, Hutt City Council, Seaview Marina and the Lowry Bay Yacht Club.

* The show is open from 10am each day until April 9 at the Seaview Marina, 100 Port Rd, Lower Hutt. Tickets are $15 and kids under 12 get in free.