A little history r.e "The shaw savill cup" :The LBYC Sail Wellington Regatta came about in 1997 after the last agent for the Shaw Saville Line in Wellington cleaned out the offices as they were no longer required. In the bottom of the safe in a box was an amazing silver cup. As it had yachts on it, the agent took it to LBYC's then commodore Ian Grieg. Ian gratefully accepted the trophy on behalf of Wellington keel-boat sailors and LBYC.
Some investigation was then done about the cup to find out more about it’s history. Hugh Poole has a photograph of the trophy being presented to the Wellington Yachting Association (WYA) on board the Shaw Saville Liner “Gothic” at Queens Wharf in 1952. Other well know sailors present that night were Brian Cooper, Graham Hargreaves, and Pat Millar. It is not known as to what happened to the trophy after being given to WYA, and how it ended up back at the Shaw Saville Line agents office. Due to this unknown history there was a certain amount of politics regarding where the trophy should end up. Some of those present thought it should be given back to WYA, some wanted it to be given to RPNYC, and others were happy for LBYC to have it. The outcome was that the trophy is for the keel-boat sailors of Wellington Harbour, and it is to be raced for in an annual open keel-boat regatta.
With the historical issues settled, vice commodore Geoff Herd assisted by Grahame Eathorne, the late Blair Robertson and others began planning the inaugural Sail Wellington Regatta. It was held in 1998 with 60 keel-boats attending from LBYC, RPNYC, and Mana Cruising Club. The regatta also included juniors in Optimist's and trailer yachts as well. After the first year the dinghy side of the regatta was dropped from two days to one day, and eventually removed as there was little support from the dinghy clubs. While this may have been disappointing it allowed the regatta to concentrate on what is was created for - regatta sailing for keel-boats and trailer yachts.
The Sail Wellington Regatta is now firmly entrenched in the Wellington sailing calendar. Over the last few years it has suffered from lower numbers of yachts competing. LBYC have now made this a single day regatta and want to improve the regatta and get it back to being a top regional keel-boat regatta in New Zealand. Hopefully this can happen with more support from Wellington keel-boat sailors. Would be great to see it back as a two day regatta.
Grant Reid (regatta organising committee)