Gavin Pascoe from the Wellington Classic Yacht Trust continues his story telling about the yachts and their sailors in Wellington. This time he focuses on the Arawa Sailing Club and the Half Raters.
The Arawa Sailing Club was founded at a meeting 09 February 1893. It was solely for the benefit of open and half- decked boats. Unfortunately club papers appear no longer to exist, and the story has to be pieced together from newspaper reports of the the day. Initially there was great diversity in the fleet, with performers built by professionals Like Bringans and Hogg, Silk and Penty, and Jack Chalmers; gifted amateurs like the Highet brothers; and anything keen youths could get hold of.
An interesting activity of the Arawa sailing Cub was competitive man overboard rescue drills. These took place several times per year during the open days, anniversary regattas, and other special occasions. A dummy was tossed overboard and the pick-up was timed. This was an innovative notion, designed to increase the safety aspect of dinghy sailing. In an era of no life jackets and a surprising lack of swimming skills among sailors.
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