Sir Peter’s boat un­cov­ered

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - TOM CARNEGIE

A small boat that played a big role in New Zealand’s mar­itime his­tory has been lov­ingly re­stored to its for­mer glory.

In 1966, at the age of 17, New Zealand yacht­ing leg­end Sir Peter Blake started to build his first keel yacht in the back­yard of his fam­ily home in Bayswa­ter on Auck­land’s North Shore.

With help from his brother Tony and good friend Craw­ford Dun­can, the yacht, named Ban­dit, was built and mod­i­fied over the next three years.

The Blake broth­ers and Craw­ford raced Ban­dit in the Hau­raki Gulf, claim­ing the New Zealand Ju­nior Off­shore Group Cham­pi­onship in the 1968-69 sea­son.

Fol­low­ing its rac­ing years Ban­dit was re­tired from the water and sold.

In 2013, Bruce Tantrum from the Clas­sic Yacht Char­i­ta­ble Trust, dis­cov­ered Ban­dit was be­ing kept in a shed near Wark- worth.

‘‘I was an­chored in my own boat in the Coro­man­del and a friend on a launch nearby said come over for a gin.

‘‘So I went over and dur­ing the course of con­ver­sa­tion he said he knew the where­abouts of Ban­dit and asked if I was in­ter­ested in tak­ing her over and restor­ing her,’’ Tantrum said.

Tantrum met with Viv Wy­att, who had ac­quired Ban­dit in the late 90s from his ac­coun­tant.

Tantrum said Wy­att had kept Ban­dit in a shed for 13 years, and was look­ing to pass it onto some­one that could re­store it.

‘‘Wy­att had kept her in good con­di­tion, but with all things, time had aged Ban­dit and she needed a fair amount of work,’’ Tantrum said.

Tantrum had Tony Blake con­firm the boat was Ban­dit and in 2013 he paid a to­ken sum of 20 cents to ac­quire the yacht.

Over the past three years Yacht­ing De­vel­op­ments in Hob­sonville has car­ried out a com­plete re­build of Ban­dit.

The $42,000 cost of the re­build was cov­ered by Tantrum and Yacht­ing De­vel­op­ments and was sup­ple­mented by a num­ber of do­na­tions.

With the re­build fin­ished Tantrum says Ban­dit will be put on dis­play in the New Zealand Mar­itime Mu­seum.

He said he would ide­ally like to see Ban­dit on dis­play be­side NZL 32, also known at Black Magic, which won the 1995 Amer­ica’s Cup.

CHRIS SKEL­TON/FAIRFAX NZ.

Bruce Tantrum paid a to­ken sum of 20 cents for Sir Peter Blake’s first hand­built yacht.

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