The battle of Mawhiti and Kotiri


The rivalry in boat building in Wellington goes back a long way. Gavin Pascoe from the Wellington Classic Yacht Trust continues his story telling about the yachts and their sailors in Wellington with the story of Mawhiti and Kotiri and the people who built and sailed them.

The creation of one of Wellington’s great rivalries of the 1890s and early 1900s began with a bet between two young members of the Arawa Sailing Club in February 1897, Fred Petherick and William (Billy) Moore: they would each build a 2 1/2 rater and see who built the better one. Local boatbuilder and designer Bruce Askew says the bet took place over a beer at the Clyde Quay hotel. Terms were that neither would see the the other’s progress, and that the better boat would be proved over a series of three races, with a stake of five pounds.

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