24th ANNUAL LAKE ROTOITI CLASSIC AND WOODEN BOAT PARADE REPORT FOR 2021
This was a boating celebration weekend where everything came together beautifully, including absolutely perfect weather.
The weekend started perfectly with the Friday night Boat Parade Captains Briefing and dinner, where around 120 members and their guests met on the lakeside lawn at the VR Rotorua Lake Resort hotel in Okawa Bay.
Commodore David Wilson welcomed the captains and their crews, reminded them of the parade procedures, and invited those present to enjoy an excellent buffet dinner provided by Rolando and his hotel restaurant team.
The next morning nearly 80 beautiful classic and wooden boats of all ages showed off their beautiful lines, varnish and paint work and strutted their stuff as they paraded colourfully around the Okere Arm of the lake in front of admiring crowds on shore, accompanied by a commentary about each boat and it’s history as they filed past the lakeside reserve.
Bedecked in flags and bunting, often with crews in uniforms or fancy dress, there were big launches, fast speedboats, sailing yachts, rowing and motorised dinghies of every imaginable size and shape, including three wonderfully nostalgic steamboats for those of a certain generation.
The smaller and slower boats and dinghies then headed directly over to Wairau Bay, the venue for the rest of the day’s activities, while the fast speedboats toured at speed to the Hot Pools to then join the launches on the beach after their own stately circuit parade of Okawa Bay.
Most of the boats pull up at the beach in a long and colourful line, with the option for bigger launches of dropping passengers and bags alongside “Argy-bargy” our pontoon platform which we tow over the lake to the beach and convert into a temporary floating jetty.
After a picnic lunch, some of the faster boats show off their performance around the buoys we place offshore, this is always an entertaining spectacle for the crowds viewing from the beach.
During the afternoon there were many traditional games for young and not so young kids, including toy duck hunting off the jetty, tug-o-war, egg throwing, and bobbing for lollies.
To cap a perfect parade weekend, on the Sunday morning a vast collection of people on anything which floats drifted en mass down the beautiful Ohau river channel from Lake Rotorua to Lake Rotoiti, including a settee and a huge collection of inflatable animals and birds in what has become a firm parade weekend ritual.
Report written by Richard Amery, Vice Commodore
Photos by waitematawoodys https://waitematawoodys.com/
More photos can be found on our Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/158740532@N05/albums
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