NZ SPEEDBOAT HISTORY

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In 1905 a group of wealthy and keen boaties that lived in Auckland decided to form a Powerboat Club which was to help and foster motor boats throughout NZ. The main object was to promote cruising boat gatherings with the odd race thrown into the mix. Cruising rallies were quite in the fore at the time as there were only a few true speedboats scattered around NZ at that time.

This NZPBA was the Auckland Club (And no relation to the current NZPBA) and was never registered but was affiliated with the Auckland Yacht and Motorboat Association.

The Rudder Cup was run in 1908 with twelve cruisers and they raced from the Queen Street WharfAuckland around Sail Rock and back, a total distance of 108 nautical miles (The first offshore race?).  All Boats finished, but the next Rudder Cup race was not conducted until 100yrs later and two of the original boats also raced in this Centenery Rudder Cup launch race.

In 1922 a boat was built for Mason & Porter to help promote the marine motors this Company was manufacturing and this boat was called Miss Masport.

Miss Masport won a few races in quite quick succession at the time (not much competition) and Mason & Porter decided to donate some of the prize money it won back to the NZPBA and the idea was to set up a nation wide competition to help promote and spread speedboat racing in NZ. This Trophy was to be challenged annually and was called the Masport Cup.

The NZPBA job was to set up a set of racing rules and a Deed of Gift was established which Mason & Porter were the guardian and the NZPBA became the administrators. The Challengers each year had to challenge for the cup through the NZPBA and the first race was conducted in 1925.

With the introduction of the Masport Cup the NZPBA racing division started to grow and this helped with their financials. Unfortunately the NZPBA only held the Cup twice, 1925 and 1932 and over the following few years the speedboat racing division started to diminish whereas the picnic cruising group started to dominated to a point that in 1939 it was voted unanimously to change the name from NZPBA to Auckland Motor Yacht Club (Inc). Later in the 1960ís the Auckland Motor Yacht Club finally amalgamated with the RNZYS.

During WW II most of the Speedboat Clubs had gone into recession or closed and in 1946 some of these Clubs had reformed and small Clubs had started to sprout up throughout both the North and South and Islands. With the surplus war materials and aircraft engines readily available, boats were popping up all over the place and racing was now nation wide and larger than ever, but with no suitable national control or established racing regatta calendar available.

A few of the bigger established Clubs wanted to get some sort of order into organising regattas so they set up a steering committee to form a Nation wide administrative body. This was achieved in 1946 with most but not all of the NZ Clubs becoming affiliated. With this they also took over the administration duties of the Masport Cup.

A tentative racing calendar was published with the first NZ Champs raced on the 18th January 1947. After three years of regurgitating and finally getting the race rules and classes sorted out the New Zealand Speedboat Association was incorporated in 1951

In 1970 the Speedboat Assoc was renamed to New Zealand Power Boat Association.

Later as the sports grew there were more and more Clubs becoming affiliated with the NZPBA, at one stage in the early 1960ís there were over 30 Clubs affiliated, but when hard times arrived and with the downward spiralling of the economy these Clubs began to struggle and some closed while others amalgamated with neighbouring Clubs, sometimes with a name change to finally ending up with the eleven Clubs that we have now that represents the whole of New Zealand.

 


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