April 2017 Newsletter

Dear Mahurangi Cruising Club members, fans, friends, admirers, well-wishers, past-present-future & undecided sponsors, ladies and gentlemen.

We, deliberately did not send this April Newsletter on the 1st of April – our beloved All Fool’s Day, because we did not want to have a legitimate excuse for communicating incorrect information. Not if, but when we do broadcast incorrect information, occasionally, we like to take full responsibility for that.

We have been in April Fools’ mode for some time now and the Bulgarian Commodore has only exacerbated it. We are also on an Easter-mood, Easter-egg-fight-mood, Easter-rally mood…Ah! EASTER RALLY! Now we are talking.

The Easter Rally

This is not the first, neither it is going to be the last time, that the MCC will be having its Easter Rally. And who else, but Hugh Gladwell, can tell us in a hilarious way how it all started. Oh, by the way, April Fools’ Day had precursors and one of them was the Roman festival of Hilaria, which relates directly to the English word hilarious I just used. You see, it all links flawlessly and we anticipate hilarious festivities on the water at Kawau Island & Bay at this and many more Easter Rallies to come.

And here is Hugh Gladwell’s amusing story.

The Easter Rally has been hosted by the Pardeys for about 20 years. We have enjoyed their generous hospitality and regret that Larry can no longer be there.

I remember telling Larry once, that his problem was that he was just old fashioned and if there was a hard way of doing something he would find it. He flatly denied this and I said he must have been in a few tight spots at times with no engine in his boat. He told me this story:

“We were sailing up the east coast of Australia in Taleisin. The sea breeze had fallen light and we arrived late afternoon off Mooloolaba. We were becalmed off the harbour mouth and there was a big swell on the bar. We were about to try and head out to sea when a cruising catamaran approached with an outboard over the stern. He asked us if we wanted a tow. We dropped the sails and passed him a line, paying out a decent length as he headed for the bar.
A big swell reared up and we watched in horror as the breaking wave swung the catamaran side on and capsized it. The skipper was washed overboard and the outboard stopped. We were helpless and about to be washed the surf. As Taleisin waited for the next wave the towline rode over the windward hull off the capsized cat and as she sat back her ten tons’ weight pulled the line tight and righted the catamaran. The skipper climbed aboard, bewildered at what had happened, why his boat had capsized and why it was suddenly upright again. I shouted at him to try the outboard. He pulled the cord and it started first time. He slammed it into gear and 5 minutes later we were in sheltered water”

Larry confided that he had since bought an outboard and had it stowed under the cockpit but didn’t tell anyone about it.

The plan for this Easter Rally and for the Easter-Rally-Fiesta is:

  • Boats may gather at the KBC on Friday night, or at North Harbour
  • The Rally entries will be taken at Lin & Larry Pardey’s at North Harbour
  • A sausage sizzle will be supplied at the race briefing
  • This, hopefully, justifies the $10 entry fee
  • The rally will be a Mark Foy race, with the first boat away at 13.00 hr on Saturday
  • Signal flags & bunting will be flown from the wharf situated between Starboard Arm and Moana Creek.
  • Following the race, a BBQ and prize-giving at Lin & Larry Pardey’s from 5.30 – 6 pm

It will be great if syndicates such as the Mullets, Reactors and Stewarts are present in numbers, which allow for racing between themselves too.

Julian Godwin & John Webber passed away

As we all know, life is like a well prepared cocktail, where the mixture of contrasting ingredients culminates in a mind-blowing elixir. Just think of a bitter tonic, combined with sour lime and ridiculous-perfume-like-Gin plus hell of lot of ice! Can you?

Well, good, amusing, rousing days, thoroughly mixed with difficult, sad, heart breaking, icy-cold, wet and windy days is what a good normal life seems to be all about. In the last month, Ngaire and Victor in particular – the creators and guardians of the now famous MCC Admiralty House in Warkworth, had a steady chain of such harsh days. They lost several dear friends, all of whom have had their oars in the Mahurangi.

One of them, Julian Godwin, whose beautiful articles can be found in various MCC Yearbook sailed away recently.

Victor & Ngaire Hopwood memories of Julian Godwin

The Julian Story

“My first reflection of Julian was one Sunday morning 30 odd years ago on Little Bucklands Beach. He, a somewhat old testament figure in a faded tartan wool shirt, tucked into shorts that must have seen service in the desert campaign. His yacht bright red, hull propped up on two tea tree legs, looked very modern with its fin and skeg configuration.


We compared notes on the pressure to anti foul between tides and I was struck by his steady appraising eyes set deep behind bushy Mephistopheles eyebrows and a matching beard. His yacht was a complete contrast, superficially to the man. Ultra-modern to my eyes, with no overhangs whatsoever. The Odtaa (One dam thing after another which alluded to the 4 daughters, his wife bore whilst the boat was being built.) had the same purposeful look as her owner. A no-nonsense man if ever I saw one.


From then on in we became firm friends to the extent that he and Sue followed my erratic course down the Waitkato River in the Seagull Regatta. The trip was memorable for a glorious night at the Rangariri Pub where we had a dinner of giant servings followed by a sing-a-long accompanied by a 3-piece band whose average age must have been older than Julian and the rest of us.


The following year Julian designed and built me a dingy capable of exploiting the awesome power of our much modified seagull. Julian had reduced the shaft to ensure the prop was working in the ingeniously designed tunnel. He had thought of every eventuality except one, the human factor. If he had doubts on this score he kept quiet, but when the carburettor fell off some 1/2 mile from the finish he stormed back to the camper van and Sue muttering about Victo’rs inability to master simple mechanical procedures!!


Through his background as a draftsman designer at James Harding & Robertstone, he was able to put his mind to seemingly insolvable problems. Including designing new parts for my ailing printing presses, saving our company a fortune in the process.


His fleet of unique dinghies lives on and it is to be hoped along with the Oddtaa they will receive the care and respect they deserve as the testimony to one of the most original thinkers of his or any generation, and giving light for many of us. A true renaissance man.


Fond Farewell Julian
Bon Voyage


John Webber followed in the rake of Julian Goodwin not long after. John’s closest friend Victor Hopwood wrote the following in memoriam.

I first met John through his answer phone which reads as follows.

“You have reached the office of the Glass recycling company and the home of John Webber”

The two were inextricably mixed to the end of his life. But my first physical introduction was with his forays into the company I worked for coordinating the recycling of tin plate and cans which I invariably had printed with the wrong graphics!

“You have reached the office of the Glass recycling company and the home of John Webber”

The two were inextricably mixed to the end of his life. But my first physical introduction was with his forays into the company I worked for coordinating the recycling of tin plate and cans which I invariably had printed with the wrong graphics!

A little later on at one of the many forums John conducted around the country I saw his sense of the dramatic when he was dressed in a Roman toga with Deb similarly attired (for ever the Child Bride). They looked like Socrates and Cleopatra and provided light relief for one of the conservation Ministers pontifications.

Another equally colourful cameo occurred prior to a Mahurangi Regatta. On the day we received a call from John to urgently drop off half a pound of butter to Reada for his toast and marmalade.

Ngaire and I came along side and hailed John, the response was electric as a large figure erupted from the cabin resplendent in stripped pyjamas, as he lent over the rail to pluck the butter from my wife’s hand a large member popped out of his pyjamas, Ngaire responded with the quip that all sailors appear to be early risers.

He was also instrumental in my procuring Castanet from Peter Cleal and my subsequent decent into poverty which I might add is a small price to pay for the riches his friendship has bestowed on us.

I would like to take the opportunity to read some lines found in the pocket of a soldier who died on the Somme.  He did not write the poem which has been ascribed to the Navaho Indians amongst others, but to me it is how I would like to remember him.


Do not stand at my grave and weep


John Webber

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the mornings hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds and circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Gypsy – Charity – Generosity – Gypsy syndicate

GypsyIn 2012, Gypsy, the last Logan’s creation, launched 73 years earlier, in 1939, sank after a fatal collision. She was recovered and completely rebuilt. Courage, charity and the generosity of the local community and her crew John Pryor and Jill Hetherington made it possible.

Gypsy’s rich CV was further amended couple of weeks ago. The photograph has captured the moment, when John calmly introduces Gypsy’s intimate secrets to one of her new servants – my son Dimiar.

John decided to donate Gypsy to a recently formed syndicate, named “Gypsy syndicate”. It comprises three Bulgarian siblings: Dimitar, Lora and Vessie. Allegedly they are all my children.

I want this extraordinary example of Kiwi generosity to be made well known amongst boaties and the general public. I believe, that it is a great example of integration of first generation emigrants into the New Zealand society. I also hope, that it will be remembered for many years and it will remain a true source of genuine inspiration for my many, my children and grandchildren inclusive.

Gypsy’s crew will have their debut at the Easter Rally at Kawau. This will be the first time, when they will hoist her sails and feel the tremor of her tiller. Please, be gentle and tolerant with the good old girl and her young crew during this first encounter at Kawau.

Article in Boating NZ

The half tonner Tonnant, a wooden Davidson-31, owned by MCC members, has been undergoing a serious rebuild for some time. The boat became known to Lawrence Shaffler, the editor of Boating NZ and he took a tour around Tonnant in March. Lawrence’s findings can be found in an article published by him in the April edition of the magazine.

Please help finding a photograph of Bruce Clark

A new trophy sponsored by TEAK Constructions was awarded at the Mahurangi regatta this year.

The trophy has to exhibit 14 medallions with the faces of 14 yacht designers, who have been most influential for the creation of the “Modern Classic Division”. We found 13 photographs and engraved them. One is still missing – Bruce Clark. Can you help us complete the design of the trophy by discovering his picture? We are at: sbpenchevs@yahoo.co.nz

Additional information

1) Contacts details for MCC Committee Members

  • Borislav Penchev (Boris) – 021 031 8120, sbpenchevs@yahoo.co.nz
  • Svetlana Pencheva – 021 150 5855, sbpenchevs@yahoo.co.nz
  • Stephen Horsley (Steve) – 027 280 7497, srhorsley@gmail.com
  • Hugh Gladwell – 021 606 409, dorothyandhugh@gmail.com
  • Kelly Grove-Hills – 021 981 261, kellygrovehills@gmail.com
  • Victor & Ngaire Hopwood – 021 373 575, ngairehopwood@yahoo.co.nz
  • Lyn Bergquist – 021 930 747, artdept@orcon.net.nz
  • Helen Johnson – 09 422 3332,
  • James Buttle – 027 275 6778, james@whakaari,com
  • Martin Farrand – 021 933 804, martin@forbespack.co.nz
  • Jacques de Kervor – 022 634 8878, boatsmith@gmail.com
  • Lin Pardey – 021 063 6772, lpardey@xtra.co.nz

2) Photographs from the Mahurangi Regatta available on our Facebook page.

3) Subscriptions for 2017 – only $15. Yearbook $10 with club subscription. Please send cheques to: The Treasurer, Mahurangi Cruising Club, PO Box 555, Warkworth. Or electronic banking ASB 12-3095-0126805-00.

4) Yearbooks are available at discerning outlets. Or order by post, email and electronic banking to account as above.

5) T-shirts -two different designs T-shirts are available:
$25 for MCC logo on front;
$30 for MCC logo and illustration with headline on the back.

If you have red this letter to the end, please accept my thanks and best wishes.
See you at the Easter Rally

Commodore Mahurangi Cruising Club

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