Anthony D Blake
The 1934 Trans-Tasman Race from Auckland to Melbourne
Oil on canvas
40 x 60 cm
Relative Size: The 1934 Trans-Tasman Race from Auckland to Melbourne
Relative size

The painting shows Ngataki in the foreground and Te Rapunga to windward slogging past North Head at the entrance to the Waitemata Harbour. Ngataki's crew are busy at the bow, trying to hoist the flying jib. A crewman is hoisted up the mast to clear the jib halyard allowing the flying jib to be hoisted. The launch Luana is the only remaining spectator vessel in these rough conditions. This was the second Trans-Tasman race, the first being in 1931, with a course from Auckland to Sydney. These two vessels were the only yachts in this challenging race which started off Mechanics Bay. Te Rapunga was beached in the Bay of Islands then re-caulked, floated and continued the race which she won on line and handicap. Ngataki arrived nearly two days later due to a storm as she passed through Bass Strait. Johnny Wray built Ngataki in Auckland to his own design. Her sails, spars and rigging were all salvaged from the barque Rewa, which had run aground 20 miles north of Auckland. Johnny Wray wrote a fascinating book on the building and sailing of Ngataki called South Sea Vagabonds. Ngataki was restored and races with the Classic Yacht Association fleet in Auckland. George Dibbern built Te Rapunga in Germany and sailed her to New Zealand. His book is called Dark of the Sun. Following Te Rapunga's restoration it is hoped that both yachts will take part in Hobart's Wooden Boat Festival - A D Blake