Boating NZ : FREE TO READ April 2014
12 Boating New Zealand April 2014 IN A BID to restore the health of the Hauraki Gulf, the Revive Our Gulf project aims to rebuild the sub-tidal green-lipped mussel beds that once flourished on soft sediments throughout much of the Firth of Thames and Tamaki Strait. The beds were extensively dredged between 1910 and 1960 and the damaged and denuded areas did not recover, being replaced by barren muds. Mussels were donated by North Island Mussels Ltd for the creation of seven living-room-sized trial plots in a sheltered bay off eastern Waiheke Island. The group has partnered with the University of Auckland and two students are studying the trial plots for their doctorate work. Project research director Dr Shane Kelly says initial results are encouraging. “ The mussels have matted together and, despite some expected predation by snapper and starfish, they are functioning as a reef. Fish like triplefins and spotties, starfish and invertebrates are colonising the beds and making them home, in stark contrast to the surrounding barren sea floor.” Mussels are powerful filter feeders. A single mussel is capable of passing a bathtub of water a day through its gills. In their original, natural state they covered 500km2 and played a significant role in maintaining water quality and providing fish habitat in the Gulf. Revive Our Gulf Chairman John Laurence says the group has planned partnerships with mussel farms to utilise reject mussels further field. The project has received financial support from the Outboard Boating Club, the Hauraki Gulf Forum, Auckland Council and private donors. www.reviveourgulf.org.nz Mussel rehab FOR MOST OF the country, Cyclone Lusi was barely the storm in the proverbial teacup. But for Peter Caughey, defending Superboat champion, the elevated winds were enough to end any hopes of winning round four of the New Zealand Jetsprints. Caughey had set the fastest time in the penultimate knockout stage at Hastings, then made a spectacular exit from the podium round when his boat defied the track limits and gravity. Hastings is not an easy track at the best of time, he says. “It took four laps before I had enough confidence to really attack the track with consistent flow rather than feathering the throttle, though the boat was still setting fastest times.” In the top five, Caughey was the only racer to go under 46 seconds, with a 45.94. The racers had had problems with visibility earlier in the day but in the final round everything came unstuck. “ We were banging through there looking for a mid-45 and just couldn’t see,” says Caughey. “When the spray cleared we were about to hit. “We launched out of the water, shot off the track backwards and helicoptered for so long that I switched the motor off and hit the isolation switch before we landed in a spray of grassy mud. The crowd went wild and we won a greenstone trophy for the most spectacular exit, but I don’t want another one.” Fortunately the hull was barely damaged and Caughey’s ENZED team is already making plans for round five, to be held under lights in Whanganui on April 5. Graeme Hill went on to win the round, leaving Caughey in second place overall for the season. POWER DRILLS WILL buzz, saws will cut and bows will take shape at the Marine Trades Challenge in Auckland on April 5. The annual event, organised by NZ Marine ITO, brings together teams of four apprentices and boat builders to compete under pressure at what they do best – building boats. Teams can build to a supplied design or to their own, which must have been approved by NZ Marine ITO prior to the event. Based at NZMI House, Westhaven Drive, Auckland, the MTC has become a family day out for friends of the competing companies, delivering a blend of entertainment and education in boat building as the teams create their craft in two hours. The boats are then launched for a two-lap, two-heat regatta under paddle, sail and power – with not all competitors making it to the finish. www.nzmarine.co.nz On the tools LUSI LOOSENS GRIP RESULTS AFTER FIVE ROUNDS: 1 Graeme Hill, 114 2 Peter Caughey 109 3 Phonsy Mullan 105 4 Leighton Minnell 101 5 Peter Huijs 90 ON WATCH_April14.indd 12 19/03/2014 2:25:08 p.m.
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