Chris Bouzaid won a yacht race 46 years ago - and the victory shared the front page of the Auckland Star with the Moon landing.

His 1969 One Ton Cup victory on Rainbow II in Germany was a huge achievement at the time, and is seen as the forerunner of New Zealand yachting's subsequent success.

Bouzaid and his iconic boat are back on the water next week in a regatta featuring some of the most storied names in the sport. The One Top Cup Revisited, which starts on Saturday, is a celebration of a special time in our nautical history.

Apart from Rainbow II, the regatta will also feature another beloved yacht Wai Aniwa, which Bouzaid sailed to his second One Ton Cup victory in Sydney in 1971.


"There have been jokes about plenty of zimmer frames in the carpark but it's going to be pretty competitive," said Bouzaid. "Not too much changes. It's still about sailing smarter."

Bouzaid has recruited several members of his original crew, including Alan Warwick and Roy Dickson, as well as his son Richard and brother Leo.

"It will be interesting to see what these boats can do," Bouzaid said. "It will be a glimpse of the old days."

The 1969 One Ton Cup was one of New Zealand's first significant international campaigns in keel boat sailing. Bouzaid was named Sportsman of the Year and the team had a ticker-tape parade.

"New Zealand has gone on to much bigger and better things in sailing," said Bouzaid. "But it never hurts to be first. You are always remembered."

Former America's Cup sailors Tom Schnackenberg and Tom Dodson, who will be facing off against Bouzaid on Wai Aniwa, have their own memories.

"I was fascinated by these boats when I was just starting out as a sailmaker," said Schnackenberg. "It was state-of-the-art design and it was the first time international ocean racing came to New Zealand."

Dodson was an aspiring P-Class sailor at the time. "It dominated the summer," he recalled. "It was quite a buzz to see New Zealand boats winning and then the international boats coming here to race."


Schnackenberg and Dodson have been brought together by Wellington sailor Roger Foley, who has painstakingly restored Wai Aniwa to racing condition.

"The sailing racing community is quite small so it was a case of tapping on shoulders," said Foley. "It's been a labour of love for me with Wai Aniwa and it will be great to be out on the water with these guys. Back in the day, the One Ton Cup was the equivalent of Formula 1 and we are honouring that."

The regatta, which was the brainchild of veteran yachting journalist Alan Sefton and has been organised by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, starts on Saturday and runs until March 7.