1 Feb 2016

Auckland Anniversary Regatta under sail

2:12 pm on 1 February 2016

The country's largest fleet of vintage yachts is racing on Waitemata Harbour.

Eighteen tugboats raced on Waitemata Harbour as part of the Auckland Anniversary Regatta celebrations.

Eighteen tugboats raced on Waitemata Harbour as part of the Auckland Anniversary Regatta celebrations. Photo: RNZ / Anusha Bradley

The race is part of the 176th Auckland Anniversary Regatta.

The fleet of classic yachts left from Princes Wharf just before midday.

Chair of the regatta's organising committee Eric Mahoney said the event was history on parade.

"The oldest boat racing on the harbour today, Jessie Logan, was launched at Devonport in 1879, so it's some sort of connection with the founding of Auckland as a province way back in 1840."

Only a handful of spectators braved the rain showers and strong winds to watch the earlier tug boat race off Princes Wharf this morning.

But large crowds are expected to turn out to watch the classic yachts and Waka Ama (outrigger canoes) as the weather improves this afternoon.

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