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Pahi Regatta
Pahi Regatta, circa 1905/1910.
Watercolour (750x 530)mm

Since the 1860's this was an annual event on the Kaipara Harbour at Pahi, a settlement on one of the sprawling arms of the Kaipara Harbour on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand.  These inlets and creeks reached into remote areas and were the main routes for transport and communication.  Each year, in January, people came to Pahi from miles away by sail, oar and steam to take part in and watch the sports and boat races.  Some journeys might take up to three days.

Land events such as running races and tug-o-war were included in the day, as well as horse-swimming races and, as can be seen in the painting,the "greasy boom" where the aim was to get to the end of of a well greased boom set out over the water.  In the evening a dance was held and the party might well go on through until dawn.

One of the Kaipara steamers always took the part of flagship for the event.  This year it was the Baroona which started working on the Kaipara in 1905.  Originally an Australian schooner, she was still working around Auckland until near the end of the century.

Prints are available.