Both men were active in the Arawa Sailing Club, competing in the 14 foot division, and crewed at various times on the 1/2 raters Miru, Ruru and Vixen.
They were no doubt inspired by the lightning visit of the well-named Logan-built Gloriana which had visited in January 1894, and the intense rivalry of the class then in Auckland. Measuring around an easily handled 35 feet, a fast, light 2 1/2 rater capable of crossing the Cook straight for holidays would have been the next logical step for young men in their early 20s (Petherick was then 21 and Moore about 24 years old).
|Kotiri outside the wareshouse she was built in Martin Square|
|Mawhiti on the street after removal from her shed.|
A vertical cut adjacent to the window reveals her escape route
The Kotiri was first to hit the water in January 1898, The bottle broken on her bow by Nellie Petherick. She just made the Anniversay regatta, but not being tuned up, got nowhere. The mast bent in an alarming manner, and a new (second hand) one was taken from the recently dismantled Isca (and old campaigner wracked beyond repair in a heroic victory against the crack Rona), which was also the source for the majority of sails and hardware for Kotiri. Slightly unusual for the time, Kotiri used lugs and track for the luff of the main, rather than hoops.
From the start, Kotiri fair jumped to weather, but was nigh-on impossible to control downwind, requiring up to three men on the tiller to keep her direction. By the beginning of 1899, she had the heel of the rudder removed, and a lead fin added to the stern post. This had the effect of lengthening the keel by four feet, improved windward performance even more, and made her a behave better off the wind.
|Kotiri showing off her full quarters, rigged as a yawl.|
Taken during a ladies's race.
Probably Nellie Petherick at the helm, with another woman in the cockpit.
|Mawhiti crew. Wm. Moore front left|
Mawhiti hit the water in somewhat better form than Kotiri had, and the first two races these boats competed in January 1899, Mawhiti crossed the line first. Mawhiti was lightly and carefully rigged, with a spruce mast and new sails. The only real bit of magpie behaviour was in purchasing the lead, which created a somewhat comedic chain. The Evening Post columnist "Neptune" reported on 26 November 1898:
"Several boats changed hands during the winter, and a few have been pulled about a bit to suit the various owners. For instance Messers. Penty and Co. bought Ariel from Messes. Shennan and Co. for the sake of the lead keel. They sold the hull to Mr. Freyberg, while the sails went to someone else. Mr Freyberg must get some lead for the keel, so he in turn purchased the Haeata, dismantled her, and shifted the lead to the Ariel. Haeata has since been sold, and no doubt the new owner is looking for lead for her keel in his turn."
As yet, no record is known of a settling of the bet in a one-on-one series, and it may never have occurred. However the two boats continued to be associated in the minds of the yachting and wider community. They oten went in company on cruises to the Marlborough Sounds. A log of a cruise the Mawhiti made in 1900 was printed and can be read here.
Berkeley Clarke purchased Mawhiti November1906 and brought her back to Wellington. A rematch of the original challenge of 1897 was revisited. A prize of five pounds was agreed between the owners, to be competed over a series of three races officiated by Paul Freyberg.
|Mawhiti on Wellington harbour 1907|
Berkeley Clarke had other things on his mind, and had perhaps been talked into the challenge by other parties. He was planning a move to Sydney, and obviously thought enough of his purchase to take Mawhiti with him in 1907. (But not to bring her back - upon his return to Wellington he purchased the mighty Marangi, which is still making impressive passages).
|Mawhiti in Sydney ca. 1910|
In fact both boats were performers well into the 1950s.
Information on Mawhiti subsequent to her move to Sydney, and more photos, can be On Malcolm Moore's website here (many of the photos here are from his website).
|Kotiri getting a full makeover at Balaena Bay 1937|
She continued to race in the first class after WWII. It is thought she was sold to an American owner and taken overseas some time in the mid 1950s.
|on board Kotiri 1937 or 38|