Sailing spectacle in Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands was transformed into a sea of sails on Saturday for the 42nd Tall Ships and Classic Invitational Race, which drew just under 100 vessels ranging from vintage mullet boats to a monster superyacht. Hosted by the Russell Boating Club every January, this year’s competitors enjoyed the best conditions in many years with a southerly switching to a sea breeze just as the fleet reached the furthest mark. The tall ships division was won by Arcadian, a Whangarei-based junk-rigged schooner, while Valeria, a 104-year old mullet boat, won the classic division. Photos by Stephen Western and Peter de Graaf.