British Seagull Events & Racing.

Hello Folks, this might seem an odd page to add to the site, but I have heard that there are a bunch of friendly nut cases that actually do 'Race' British Seagulls......   However I have now included 'Events' too.

Personally it seems to go against the grain, but seeing and hearing the fun they have and the lengths they go to, well a page is the least I could do. Charles Large in the UK has started me off with an open letter re the possibility of a UK race venue. I do know of one every year in Cornwall, and I even attended one in Essex many years ago, at Benfleet Y.C., but it was a cold wet day and not too many enthusiasts. Abiding memory is of the guy with 2 direct drive Century's clamped to the back of a 10ft Dinghy, I wondered how he would start the second one, and indeed he never did, as the first took control every time he let go to start the second, very comical, but not very fast!

Hydrofoil powered by Seagull!

WOW!!!  This is from Roger Fryer.

It was built and is owned by Phill Smith, Glen Chisholm and myself. All members of the Cairns Wooden Boat Association.  Phill owns the Seagull we use on it, the boat was "designed " as we went along.

Had lots of fun and many trials trying to get it to work.

The pilot is Keven Muller. Also a WBAC member.

We are planning another one using Thermolite panels to save weight.

Keeps us out of trouble!

Regards, Roger

Seen at Tinaroo  February 2022.

Summerland Point,  New south Wales


2021 Summerland Point N.S.W. Piston Broke British Seagull race February 27th (year 6)


Hello John, my name is Ross Davidson thought you should know Seagull culture is running strong on the central coast of new south wales. For the last 5 years a group of up to 9 boaties have raced anything from timber to tinnies to canoes to catamarans to a 4hour made punt that doubles as our trophy cabinet. This year I will be running my FVP6296 (photo attached). Also a picture of last year's top three, 2020 champion on the right Graham Price with his 1960's 40, second and 2019 champion Billy Lennon on the left with his 1970's silver seagull and me in the middle with my LS25526, the winner's shield still eludes me.






Sunday 3rd July



Calling all discerning owners of

British Seagull or Anzani Outboards



The Royal Motor Yacht Club is hosting its annual SEAGULL REVIVAL Rally!


The idea is to navigate a set course in the area around

 Browsea Island, followed by a light lunch at the club.


Your Seagull or Anzani outboard can be mounted on any waterborne vessel that will get you SAFELY round the course…



The start will be off the entrance to the RMYC Marina

at 14:30hrs as most favourable tides, TBC

Description: Image result for british seagull






Booking is essential.

Please contact the Royal Motor Yacht Club for full details and a booking form


Email:   Tel: 01202 707227

Dale Cunningham


I am the organizer of the Kenton Seagull regatta which takes place on the Kariega River near the coastal village of Kenton on Sea, South Africa. I am also a collector of Seagull outboard engines, and have various vintages and models in my collection of 46 strong. We had our annual Kenton Seagull Regatta on 30 December 2023. It was another successful outing with a massive 207 seagull engines taking part in the event. Our annual Kenton Seagull Regatta has grown tremendously over the past 5 years, with 19 entrants in 2020, 73 entrants in 2021, 147 entrants in 2022, and then 207 in 2023. See below link to our recent 2023 regatta.


2023 Kenton Seagull Regatta - South Africa


The seagull enthusiasts have grown exponentially over the past 3 years, and thus these regattas have been, and will continue to be, well supported. In 2023 there were 3 different regattas that took place in South Africa. These were the St Francis regatta which took place on the Krom river in March, the Western Cape Regatta which took place on the Breede River in October and then the Kenton Seagull Regatta which took place on the Kariega River in December. The Kenton Seagull Regatta is the largest of the 3 regattas, although they all appear to be well supported, and are growing each year.

The old seagull engines are being scratched out of garages, warehouses and various storage sheds! The interest and demand in these iconic old engines has gained huge traction over a relatively short time frame. I think this could be attributed to the fact that many of the 1950/1960/1970 generation have had some encounter or experience with these motors during their youth.  The younger generation have jumped onto the proverbial bandwagon, and are also seeking to own one or more of these old iconic engines.


I am in the process of setting up a website in South Africa that will act as a central information database. It will also be used for a source of information, and also a form of highlight upcoming events. It will also be a platform where people can sell and buy seagull engines and spares.


Kenton Seagull Regatta











These boys know how to throw a party!


See link to Video. 

Thanks to Dale for the links.


Hello John,


We had our second seagull regatta on the 26 December 2020. The 2019 regatta was the initial event with some 4 seagull entrants. The event was originally set up as a challenge between the paddlers and the seagull vessels. The 2020 regatta had 21 seagulls starting the event, with 19 finishing. A handicap system was implemented whereby the paddlers set off some 30 minutes after the seagulls, following the same route. There were approximately 30 paddlers that took part in the 2020 regatta. The event took place on the Kariega river, located near the seaside village of Kenton on Sea, which is in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. Below is a Google drive link to the video, and a range of stills of the 2020 Regatta. 



The order of events was as follows,

Welcome to all attendees

A brief on the history of the Seagulls

‘God save the Queen’ – as they are British Seagulls

Release of pigeons

Ringing of a bell to start the regatta

Seagulls set off

Paddlers set of 30 minutes after the ringing of the bell

Two recovery/Back up vessels were used

Course – single loop on the Kariega River – See attached Google earth layout

Distance – 10,7 km – see attached distance calculation



The seagulls took the honors of the first 4 spots, followed by the first paddler

The regatta was handled in the correct spirit, with good banter, camaraderie and laughter, and a fun time was had by all.


The 2021 regatta promises to carry on the momentum from the 2020 regatta, and promises to be even bigger with more seagull enthusiasts, as the word and video has spread significantly!!



Best Regards, and have a great 2021!


Dale Cunningham

Mobile : 083 655 5597

Email : dale at


The Shaldon, Devon, Seagull Regatta!

Hope to get more info for this one!





  Calling all discerning owners of

British Seagull or Anzani Outboards


The Royal Motor Yacht Club is hosting another SEAGULL REVIVAL!


The idea is to circumnavigate Brownsea Island together, followed by supper at the Club.


Your outboard can be mounted on anything that will get you safely round the island.


The start will be off the entrance to the RMYC Marina at 1800


Image result for british seagull




Booking forms are available on the RMYC website – – in the ‘Cruises and Rallies’ section.

They must be returned to the RMYC by 25 June at the latest


pics from last years race, the Seagull powered surf board was the winner!



The 2019 Tinaroo Seagull Outboard Race


The winner


Close racing


The cheapest and the most expensive race for the line.


2019 presentations.


An eclectic collection of boats assembled at Lake Tinaroo in North Queensland for the second annual Seagull Outboard Race run on 20th July. The 2018 Seagull race created a lot of enthusiasm within the Wooden Boat Association of Cairns (WBAC) so the committee decided to run an annual event under the auspices of the Cairns Motor Boat Club (CMBC) division of the WBAC. The CMBC Seagull Outboard Race occurs during the annual Great Tinaroo Raid usually held at the Tinaroo Sailing Club camping grounds.


In cool clear winter weather, this gathering of wooden boat enthusiasts at the campsite included those who had travelled from distant Tasmania and boats that have been trailered north from as far away as Mackay in central Queensland. With fairly relaxed rules as to the style of boat permitted,  the craft this year ranged from a canoe style trimaran, through small dinghies, larger putt-putt boats, a steam launch, a medium sized sailing boat (minus sails) and the WBAC Currach, (built like a coracle but longer).


Luckily Phill Smith was as generous with his supply and loan of Seagull outboards, as he was with advice on how to get them running.  Five of the nine entrants were powered by Phill’s engines, with some people never having driven one before.


The nine starters were, Tom Wright (last year’s winner) in Renate with a big crew of enthusiastic adults and children,  Phill Smith in Pamela J, Peter Rowntree in Peridot, Dermot Smyth in Foresight, Chris O’Keefe in the Currach, Roger Fryer in Brahminy, Brendon O’Rourke in Sandy Bottom, Tom and Sheila Sparks in Tippy and Dave & Pauline Mullen in Yabby.


The new starting procedure was explained at the pre-race briefing, (guaranteed to confuse) then off they went to start the engines, get into position and try to avoid being run down. The hooter sounded at the one minute mark and one entrant, who shall remain nameless, crossed the line at full throttle, only to be called back into the melee of the prestart circling. There is always one!!


A long ‘Tooot’ with dropping of the flags signalled the real start, the water turned white and the snarl of race tuned (well almost) Seagulls reverberated across the placid water of Lake Tinaroo. Despite the first corner being a long way ahead, some people decided to cut across to get the “inside” line resulting in some arm waving and general abuse. Situation normal.

The engine in Yabby worked loose (2nd year running) and while the driver was tightening the clamps, almost ran down Brahminy, saved by an attentive wife and the petrified driver of Brahminy. No damage was done and with Tippy in the lead, the field steadied a bit as it headed for the first corner.


Tippy, clearly the faster boat, cleared out into the lead but the fight for second, third and fourth was close between Renate, Peridot and the Currach. Engine secure again, Yabby was making ground as was Pamela J, but Peridot, with a streamlined driver on the floor peeking over the gunwales, pulled away leaving third place between the Currach, Renate and Yabby.


On the final straight the Currach and Renate were head to head going for the line when the driver of the Currach tried to extend an oar to gain an advantage, dropped the tiller, and the somewhat unstable Currach proceeded to go in circles, allowing Renate to cross the line in third.  Yabby came in a gallant 4th, having overtaken most of the field, Pamela J was steady in 5th, closely followed by Sandy Bottom and Foresight. Brahminy strolled over the line in 8th place, well and truly last.


At the post race stewards meeting, for some reason it was decided that the Currach did not cross the line and was declared “Did not Finish”. A sad fate for a gallant driver and the cheapest boat in the race.


Tom and Sheila Sparks in their trimaran canoe Tippy were declared the winner in a time of 10 minutes and 32 seconds being over a minute and a half ahead of Peridot. Tom and Sheila were presented with the Seagull Trophy by Tom Wright, last year’s winner. Is this proof that you need to be a Tom to win??



Roger Fryer

25 July 2019





Click here to download the Lake Tinaroo 2019 info pack

The 2018 Lake Tinaroo Seagull Race

On a sunny north Queensland afternoon, 6 assorted craft and drivers lined up for the inaugural Seagull race at Lake Tinaroo. Powered by Seagull outboard engines, all being over 50 years old, the craft ranged from small flat-bottomed rowing skiffs, put-puts and a clinker-built launch to a steam driven launch.

From an initial idea by Phill Smith (the Cairns Seagull Guru), and developed in discussion with the writer, Roger Fryer, the concept was adopted enthusiastically by the Wooden Boat Association of Cairns (WBAC), to be run as part of their annual Great Tinaroo Raid event. Now we just needed to get the boats organised and the engines running!

The idea created a lot of interest among the WBAC members and, thanks to Phill's enthusiasm and skill, 6 seagull engines were resurrected. Brought to life, they started and ran, however even an hour before the race, there was not a lot of confidence in all 6 finishing. In the event, they all completed the course.

The 6 starters were: Phill Smith in "Pamela J.", Glen Chisholm in "Flatty", Tom Wright (plus children and seagull mascot) in "Henry", Brendon O'Roarke in "Sandy", Gill Cook in "Yabby" and Roger Fryer in "Brahminy".

The triangular course, approximately 900m long, was laid out to give the shore-based crowd a good view of the action. With the boats milling around, the race started at about 1.15. Starter Marc Richards gave a 2minute warning and then flagged the boats away.

Racing experience showed for Tom in "Henry" who crossed the start line first. As the roar of the Seagulls reached a crescendo, 4 of the other boats followed, while Gill was hampered as the Seagull in "Yabby" attempted to climb aboard the boat, and he lost time as he refitted it and tightened the clamps.

Down the long straight to the first buoy, "Henry" was in the lead and drawing ahead while "Brahminy", "Pamela J." and "Sandy" battled for the second spot, closely followed by "Flatty". Drawing ahead of "Sandy" at the turn, "Brahminy" had "Pamela J." overtake him on the next straight and the race settled down. It finished with "Henry" first, "Pamela J." second, "Brahminy" third, "Sandy" fourth, "Flatty" fifth and "Yabby" sixth, waving a protest flag (thought to be Gill's underpants) that was ignored by all and sundry.

The judges being satisfied that there was none (or very little) violation of the rules, the race was declared a success with line honours to Tom Wright (and children and mascot) in "Henry" taking only 8 minutes, with Phill Smith second and Roger Fryer third.

There is the possibility of a rematch of all participants next year with definite interest generated for a growing fleet of Seagulls.

As per the WBAC motto, it was a Shipload of Fun!

Roger Fryer, 26 July 2018

Click the pictures below for larger version in new window
Race Participants
6 in a row
Race Start
Down the first leg



 As you requested , this is the basic information about  the Wooden Boat Association of Cairns Inaugural Seagull race I mentioned in an earlier email.. Location is Tinaroo Sailing Club, Lake Tinaroo, Atherton, North Queensland, Australia. The race will start at about 1pm on, Saturday, 21st July 2018 over a triangular course, distance to be determined on the day.

We have about 7 entrants at the moment and suspect it will be a SLOW

Race- more for fun than anything else as all the boats were built for other purposes, but it is providing a lot of interest and I think that future events will have boats built specifically for it.

I have attached a flyer for the event which will be held in combination with the Lake Tinaroo Sailing Club.

Hope you enjoy your trip around the UK.


Roger Fryer



The 2016 Seagull Event at Lerryn

27th December 2016




The 2015 Seagull Event at Lerryn is on December 19th, early this year!!


Received a very nice letter of thanks from David Vipond for the prizes I donated,

 looking forward to pictures of the event.


The 2015 Lerryn Seagull Race poster!


Annual Event at Lerryn, Click to download the full size poster

The Lerryn Seagull Race was held on Monday 30th December, 2013 and by a remarkable stroke of luck we caught a window in the weather between two of the many violent storms that were rolling in from the Atlantic.   This gave us a sunny afternoon with a good tide and light winds which encouraged 44 boats out onto the water – the largest entry for many years.    Many of the crews dressed their boats and themselves to the theme "cartoon characters" and this produced a colourful spectacle.

New to this year’s event was the "Silent Start".   Because of the restricted starting area and the risks of so many boats milling about in all directions and speeds, competitors were not permitted to start their engines until the starting signal.    They had to manoeuvre only with oars or paddles which proved less hazardous and made a successful start.   This system will therefore be used in future events.

One of the contestants capsized their canoe at the turning mark (cornering too fast!) and were rescued and towed back to base.   I haven’t heard whether they have got the engine back to working order.

Winners were:  Under 12ft class: Allan McMillan,   Over 12ft class: The Thompson Triplets,

Canoe class: Chris Parks,   Fast Lady trophy: Clare Sprawson, Team trophy: "Surf Works",  Best dressed boat and crew: James Johns,  Concours d’elegance: Andy Reed.

There is a good selection of photos on

A selection in from Richard!  But can you figure out the cartoon character??


The next Seagull Race will be on 3rd January, 2015.

South Africa Race, Entry form download here


Blessed with one of the rare nice days of the winter 29 craft of all shapes and sizes set off down the River Lerryn on a sunny and windless morning for the 25th anniversary British Seagull outboard motor race. The theme or "Rig of the day" was "Silver" and the winner of the Commodore’s Trophy for the best dressed boat was James Johns. The prize for the best dressed crew was won by Treve Fowler. The Ship Inn Trophy trophy for overall winner was won by A. McMillan while the "Fast Lady" trophy for the first lady helm was won by Becky Swiggs. This was a successful event and competitors and spectators enjoyed themselves which, of course, is what its all about. There is a huge collection of photos of the event available to view in the gallery of

Other prizes were:

RNLI Shield (1st in 12ft & over class) D.Southcott

Winner Class C (Canoes) C.Parks

Norman Douglass trophy (Spirit of event) M.Parton

Concours d’elegance A.Read

Minions BC Trophy (random drawn position) M.Blackham

Consolation prize (last place) D.Wilson

Thanks are due to the members of the RLYS committee who always work hard to lay on this event and also to Jackie Parrott and Ann Gibbons for their stirling work keeping the mince pies hot and the mulled wine flowing. They raised £97.50. A Seagull outboard kindly donated by Mike Harrison was auctioned after the prizegiving and raised £70. All in all we were able to make donations to local groups and charities totalling £275.

The RNLI Raffle raised £176 (not included in the above totals).

The next Seagull Race will be on Monday, 30th December, 2013 in the afternoon.

The Summer Solstice event will be on Saturday 22nd June, 2013.



Many thanks to Jeff for these great pictures, looks as if it was another great event!  well don to all the organisers and participants!



2012 Essex 'Wind Down' Seagull Meeting.

Cancelled due to flooding!!!!!!!

Sunday October 7th 2012.

Meet and launch at

Paper Mill lock on the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation.

North Hill, Little Baddow, Essex. CM3 4 BS

This year we are to travel up through a few locks to Barnes lock where we will leave the boats for an hour and drop into a local pub for lunch, before returning back to Paper Mill for afternoon cakes and coffee!  all very civilised! Darian and I plus one other crew, Keith and sister Sue, have to go for a  training session on the locks to be allowed to us the canal.  (The water paddle system is a little different to the rest of the UK....)

There will be a £15.00 fee for the use of the canal for the day, launching courtesy of SOS. Normal safety rules, enough fuel, lifejackets to be worn and enough string to be able to tow Charles back to base when his prop falls off!

More details shortly. 



The 2012 Round Hayling Island Marathon.

Sadly I did not give this meeting a mention on this page before the event,  if I had we may have had more takers, Editing problems...  Organised from the forum, we had 5 boats that Seagull'ed round the 22 miles over the ground and I worked it out at 26 miles through the water, allowing for the tide, so a real marathon! With 'Blue', (Barry) and Diane escorted us all the way. 'Charles UK' and 'HA', Alan from the forum did a terrific job of organising, even though Charles had to go and break his leg just beforehand, as an excuse for getting out of tackling the terrors of Chichester harbour entrance! He and Trish acted as official timekeepers!

'HA' Alan, crewed by 'Oysterman' Adrian  and 'Mark HLD' with his lad Stephen as crew sped off from the start at Itchenor, never to be seen till we got back, they were out to make waves, we on the other hand were there to enjoy the scenery and took 2 hours longer, coming in after 5 hours! With John and Darian in 'Seagull' bringing up the rear. 

Congratulations to Jan, Marteen and Wanda from the Netherlands and crew Richard from Hastings for sticking with it when it got rough, and a real big thankyou to Barry and Diane in their sturdy launch for shepherding them.

The Itchenor Sailing club accommodation was brilliant and Darian and I will certainly be back, well done Charles and Alan for organising it.

A few photos from the day:- these from Andrew.

 Seagull waiting for the off Charles boat to be used by Jan and Richard Jan and richard Wanda and Marteen Mark and Stephen HLD on the way back Barry and Diane the safety boat crew Jan and Richard back Marteen and Wanda at the finish Marteen at the finsh 2 motors Seagull at the finish

These from Richard:-

HA away at the start Heading out Chichester harbour entrance chop Jan and 102 laid back on board the safety boat refueling in Langstone mulberry Ready for a hand over Seagull at the bridge john looking grumpy The bridge Where are we john The wildlife the locals nearly home HA comes to see where we have been

John and Darian's pics:-

Darian likes it here Diane and Trish Admiral Charles surveys the fleet Launching HA modified Seagull very modified Yamaha for the safety boat Darian and Diane Ready for the offJohn with emergency backup under starters orders Diane and Barry  at the start not a lot of freeboard John captain of Seagull Darian afloat and smiling Marteen refueling John navigating new waters the shephearding safetyboat crew Gently into Langstone so as not to wake the crew investigating the Mulberry Wanda and Marteen in Langstone smiling faces special delivery Cheers Jan my favourite beer   plain sailing from now on strong tide at the bridge HA with Wanda and Marteen  Charles awarding the prizes first boat home to HA HLD and Steve winners of the new cup Seagull stripy shirts everywhere  Trish and Raynor

Got more? I know Alan's wife Rayna took some... Maybe a better one of the trophies?



British Seagull_race_Cornwall_2012

Another successful and enjoyable event this year.    After a week of gales and rain we were treated to a grey and windless but warm day and 34 boats took to the water of whom 31 finished.  Many of the boats and crews were dressed up to the theme "Strictly……."

Overall winner and winner of Class 1 was A.Mcmillan,  Class 2 winner was D.Swiggs and the Canoe class winner was J.Ferris.   The Team Trophy was won by the Lerryn Lowertown team and the "Fast Lady" trophy by J.Ferris.   Best dressed boat P.Ellesmere and best dressed crew P.James and the Concours d’Elegance (best turned out engine) J.Hayward.

Lots of photographs are available to view on but I have asked Keith Rooker to send you a few of his excellent pics which give an overall flavour of this fun event.


Best wishes,



Here are a selection of photos sent in by Keith Rooker. 

Looks like a real fun event.  My Favourite is the Police Boat, of course!

lerryn_mg_5348  lerryn_mg_5339   lerryn_mg_5319   lerryn_mg_5380  lerryn_mg_5381

lerryn_mg_5384  lerryn_mg_5393  lerryn_mg_5415  lerryn_mg_5426

Essex Flocking of Seagulls 2011.

Sunday October 9th 2011 10am

Paper Mill lock on the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation.

North Hill, Little Baddow, Essex. CM3 4 BS

papermill lock

Meet 10am to launch into the canal.  When all ready a gentle trip towards Chelmsford in this most tranquil of canals, gently meandering through the Essex countryside.  Return to the Lock where we will be locked through en-masse!  Lets see if we can fill the lock with blue haze! 

Then off towards the Maldon direction to the next lock and back through the lock en-masse again.  Either a putter back up and back or just recover the boats.  Depending on timing we will have a stop at the lock side cafe at Paper Mill for lunch. Probably after the first leg before the first locking...

The canal normally charges a large fee for visiting boats and the locks but they have reduced the fee to £10 and thrown in a locking as well, launching is a one off fee for all the group which SOS pays.

There will be prizes for the best turned out boats and motors and to the boat Seagull and crew who travel furthest to find us!  The Canal is nominally 2 ft deep, but in places 10ft, so lifejackets to be worn please.  Anchors not needed!! carry enough fuel and a pair of oars and a couple of mooring/towing lines. No compunction on insurance either, though recommended. Even though it is a freshwater canal, no overloading, trust all to be seamanlike and we will be invited again!

The canal is run by the Inland Waterways Association as a charitable trust and luckily the manager, Colin, is a Seagull owner and the the keeper of the sea lock at the Maldon end an ex police officer that I know, thus we have the invite.


This event was attended by 10 boats and 25 or more people, and called a great success!  The weather played a part in that too!

oct British Seagulls Essex event 008  oct British Seagulls Essex event018 octseagull event 2011 026  oct seagull event 2011 028 Green Seagull ext tiller oct 2011 029 Seagull event Keith P oct 2011 030  oct 2011 Essex event Sam  British Seagulls 023 Essex Seagull oct 2011 032 Essex Seagull event Charles oct 2011 031

First batch thanks to Nigel from Leicestershire sporting a nice FVP, clean and unrestored.

a and r 09102011080 a and r 09102011081 a and r 09102011084 a and r dsc01068 a and r dsc01070 a and r dsc01071 a and r dsc01072

This bunch from Andrew and Richard up from Hastings, running an unrestored  102.

keith p img_0073 keith p img_0074 keith p img_0076 keith p img_0077

These from Keith with the restored 102, he also had a rare Little Forty 'F' in the boat, that he also used!

darian imgp6993 darianimgp6996 darianimgp7000 darianimgp7002 darianimgp7005 darianimgp7015 darianimgp6919 darianimgp6924

darianimgp6929 darianimgp6934 darianimgp6939 darianimgp6940 darianimgp6943 darianimgp6948 darianimgp6951 darianimgp6953

darianimgp6958 darianimgp6970 darianimgp6972 darianimgp6982 darianimgp6983 darianimgp6988

All of these taken by John and Darian of 'Seagull' (what else!).

 paul and sam p1020806 paul and sam p1020810 paul and sam 1020795

These last three taken by Paul and Sam of 'Boo Babu'.

This last picture by John Stevens caught me recovering 'Seagull' to her trailer at the end of a great day!

Australian British Seagull gathering

  bermuda races

British Seagull race Cornwall 2010

lerryn 2010 race290046 lerryn race 10 0041  

Here are a couple of the entries to the race, great fun was had by all, blue smoke and fog!

See more on their website



Essex Flocking of Seagulls!

British Seagull race venue

We are meeting near the crane dock...

Saturday, 15th May 2010

 we are the guests of the North Fambridge marina at the slip and pontoon on the north side of the Crouch at North Fambridge.

We aim to assemble about 1130 and at Noon, take a trip up river to Battlesbridge, the head of the navigation, then back for a meal in the Ferryboat pub.

Plenty of trailer and boat parking....

Common sense rules, wear lifejacket, have spare fuel and tools etc, tow rope, no overloading....

for more ring 01621 778859.

 See below for pics of the day, lots of blue smoke and great fun! We will do something similar in 2011!


flocking5406 flocking5412 john at flocking_0930  flocking5414 flocking5418 flocking5420 flocking5423

flocking5425 flocking5429 flocking5431 flocking5434 flocking5436

flocking5437 flocking5438 flocking5439 flocking5444 flocking5449  

We all gathered on the quay and launched on the wide slip with no problem, visitors came from as far as Holland with Jan and Martin bringing a pair of inflatables in their Landrover. Charles brought his go faster machine, great till he lost his very expensive prop on the way back. Still that did prevent the harbourmaster having another word with him about the surprising speed he could achieve! Opps! We puttered up river to the limit of navigation at Battlesbridge, nipped ashore for a pint in the Barge, before riding the ebb downstream.  The tide ebbs with a vengeance here and 2 hours later all is dry!  The limbo dance to get back under the bridge was fun too!  All in all 12 boas and crews had a good afternoon out on the upper Crouch.  We got back and most of us got ashore before the water left the slip, one or two got muddy, as they wanted to stay out playing!

There was some amusement that John's Seagull enveloped him in steam on the way back, it kept going, just, with steam emitting from the head, but water still being injected into the exhaust from the other outlet on this 'modern' EFPC.

The next day John stripped the motor, this is what he found!

cooling problem5457

The joint plate had turned into paper maché.!!  A lump  of this gunge was neatly lodged in the outlet in the head.  The motor carried on because of the second outlet in the block, injecting water into the silencer.

cooling problem5451

However because of all the muck around the hole when I inspected it,  I opted to fit a 5" length of 5mm copper pipe into the hole. (using the same method as I have used on 102cc motors).  I had to hammer it in and sealed it with silicone, then cutting the tube end to tidy it up where it had deformed in the hammering.  The result has got to be better than the simple hole next to the exhaust port, the motor is still quiet and extensive use has not shown up any further problems....  embarrassing though.  Never seen a joint plate go like that before....

Was a brilliant day out, will link pics and U tube exerts here.    Lots of feed back on the forum....


2009 Cornish Seagull Race!


Cornish Seagull race 09

It's Race time in Cornwall again, and this year it poured!  Did not dampen the enthusiasm!

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22nd Annual British Seagull Outboard Motor Race

This event, held on 29th December, was the wettest Seagull Race for many a year. It rained without let-up before, during and after the race and the grassy river bank was reduced to a squelchy, muddy mess. But even this failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the competitors who braved the elements and dressed themselves and their boats to the theme (Rig of the Day) of "Pantomime". They ended the race drenched but still smiling and headed to the Ship Inn for warmth, lubrication and the prizegiving. They were supported by a surprising number of doughty spectators who remained on the foreshore, in the rain, throughout the race. Mulled wine and mince pies were available in the Drill Hall all afternoon and a barbeque nearby.

We always expect a much better turnout when the event is held in the week between Christmas and the new year and this year was no exception. 47 boats with between two and five crew entered the race, as against 40 boats last year in much better weather, and most of them finished the course. Can you imagine the characteristic sound of a Seagull engine at full chat? Multiply that by more than fifty times (several boats had two or more engines), add the blue haze hovering above the surface of the river, a few mini oil slicks and people pulling starter cords all along the course, you get the flavour of this famous spectacle. This is one day of the year when nobody worries about carbon footprints or noise pollution!

The prize for the Best Dressed Boat was won by Phil James whose boat was dressed as the genie and the lamp and even managed some smoke from the spout of the lamp!

The prize for the best dressed crew was won by Rod Tucker who was convincingly dressed as Ali Baba.

The overall winner of the race and winner of the Ship Inn Trophy was Tim Colyer. Class A (Canoes and Catamarans) was won by Andy Reid who also won the "Concours d’elegance" for the best turned out engine. Winner in Class B (Boats 12ft and over) was Tim Colyer.

First in Class C (Boats under 12 ft) was Mr. Southcoat.

The Fast Lady Trophy (first helmswoman to finish) was won by Caroline Vipond. The Team Trophy was won by the "Boathouse Pirates". Peter Pearce took the prize for the youngest competitor.

The event raised in the region of £300 which will be distributed to local voluntary organisations and charities. In addition to this about £140 was raised in the RNLI Raffle.

Some pictures can be seen on and a lot more on



Link to a NZ Newspaper website for a racing story, click here.



The Cornish British Seagull Race for 2007/8


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 Apologies I seem to have missed it off, till now! I thought I had added it, sorry. This is their 20th year, well done them!

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And the rules!

British Seagull racer 2007 small  seagul race 2007 small  the bat boat in race 07 small

And some of the participants! Looks like another good turn out.

Sadly the much modified British Seagull was a dead duck!

Bermuda.2007.  Latest film clip on 'U Tube' thanks to Greg for sending the link!


Vancouver, Canada!!

These pics in from Erik, thanks, looks like a well organised event, and the brightly painted canoe pictured looks to be fastest here, perhaps Erik will tell us more and give forward notice for the 2007 event!??

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Cornish British Seagull Race

 The Race this winter is in December 2006!

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Thanks to Richard for sending in these pics! The event went off well in between two days of storms, they had double figure temperatures and moderate winds on the day! You can see the size of the fleet, 40 took part, a credit to the Cornish lads! £300 was raised for the RNLI and another £300 for local charities, well done every one!

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I like the Galleon, but the prize has to go to the Dory with 6 British Seagulls on it! Richard tells me it never went any faster! Well it wouldn't I suppose, just make a bit more smoke and froth, great fun!!




I will add the links to the other racing sites, in N.Z. and Bermuda too, plus any info that comes my way.


See also:


This is Charles Large's Letter:

After returning from the Round the Island British Seagull Race (RISR) in Bermuda a couple of weeks ago and having to fend off the much repeated question "Why do you English only have one race in the middle of winter?", I feel it’s time that the nation that created the British Seagull should develop the expertise to beat these jolly foreigners. They seem to be able to make our motors go a lot better than we can ~ 3 hours 15 minutes to cover 42 miles in the open sea with a stock Silver Century on a 35 foot boat, carrying two people at an average speed of 12.92 mph.

Bearing in mind the following facts: -

We probably have the highest population density of cobwebbed redundant British Seagulls in sheds anywhere in the world.

We have the greatest access to British Seagull spares.

We almost invented the two-stroke engine.

We were one of the foremost boat building nations of lightweight high performance hulls.

We are surrounded and criss crossed by suitable waters.

We ought to be able to organize a race where these usurpers can be taught the error of their ways, shown the beauty of the English countryside, and made to part with their Kiwi and Bermudan dollars to the benefit of our tourist industry. And that if we don’t use these motors we will surely lose them to the skip over the passage of time.

There must be a yacht club or waterside town regatta that would be a suitable venue for a British Seagull race and that would welcome an additional event during their big day.

See the site to see how big this event could be and consider what beautiful holiday possibilities Bermuda and New Zealand have to offer, the hospitality and welcome I have received in both these locations was absolutely fabulous.

So if anyone has a 5R, Kingfisher, Osprey, 170, 125, Century or even a 102 lying unloved with the spiders, either resurrect it or sell it on this site so that someone may have the opportunity to build themselves a go-faster-British Seagull and show these ex-colonials that we can excel at some strange pursuits.

John Williams is going to try putting a racing page on this site to raise the interest level.

If anyone wants advice on how or what to do to make their British Seagull sing in tune or has a suggestion for a interested venue please contact me via these pages or email me direct at Charles Large c/


The Cornish British Seagull Race

This takes place annually on the river Lerryn which is a small creek on the Fowey river in south Cornwall. We like to hold the race during the week between Christmas and New Year when we get the most entries. The river, however, dries about 21/2 hours either side of high water. So we are constrained by the tides and of course at this time of year by the available daylight.

Surprisingly the weather is rarely too bad and we have only had to cancel the event once. For the last two years we have had calm sunny days! It is of course a fun event in which all of our close-knit community try to beg, borrow or steal a boat in order to take part. Our record entry was 65 boats a few years ago but we average 30 to 40. Most entries come from the south west but we have had entries from the north of England and from Wales. Participants dress up (themselves and their boats) according to a theme ("Rig of the Day" – see poster). We raise modest amounts for local charities and village activities plus an RNLI raffle.

Being within the Fowey harbour limits we have a speed limit of 6 knots so we have to specify displacement boats only and "traditional" twin-legged British Seagull motors. Maximum number of engines per boat is 10 – but boats must start and finish the race with the same number of engines running – that usually gets them!! In case of protest the commodore’s decision is both right and final! There are lots of prizes including the Ship Inn Trophy accompanied by a magnum of champagne, Commodore’s prize for best endeavour, fast lady trophy, youngest competitor, best dressed crews and boats, etc. We have a fiendish handicapping system developed over several years on a spreadsheet which effectively randomises the results (!) so that everyone has a chance of a prize however fast or slow their boats!

The race is organised by the River Lerryn Yacht Squadron – a group of boating enthusiasts who set up the Squadron 17 years ago for the sole purpose of organising a British Seagull race. But we do also organise a midsummer boating jamboree and treasure hunt called the "Summer Solstice" The Squadron has no constitution, rules, subscription or premises. Our clubhouse is The Ship Inn in the village where we meet ten or a dozen times a year to organise the events. Modest amounts of alcohol help!

Richard Parrott. Commodore, RLYS Nov.2004


Sound s great fun! Thanks for the info Richard.

John, SOS.

Feb 2005, the race photos!

lerryn British Seagull race preparations small lerryn roosters small participants lerryn British Seagull race 05 small Really like the centre pic, the theme? The Chinese New Year,

 the year of the Rooster of course! They raised £1000 for charity, good show!

Thanks Richard. I under stand his lads Andy and Jon won the race, at their eight attempt! Where's the pics of the winners then!

Here is a link to yet more pics, sent in by Marcus....

John, SOS

I include some fun photos of the Cornish Racers, From previous years

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I am not sure what time of year this was, but they race in winter!! Hardy souls. Now a July or August race might just tempt me down there!

  race British Seagull032 small race British Seagull031 smallThese two pics were sent in in Feb 2004, of the last race, 39 seagull powered craft, many in fancy dress, turned out for a couple of laps before retiring to the pub! Well done them! John

Bermuda Racing

Just to let you know what the dates are this year for the Bermudan race June 21 2003 - Venue Sandys Boat Club Rain date June 29Start getting those boats and engine ready There is also the Iron Man Race - March 8 - see Charlie Brown at Mills Creek for more detail................


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Racing Bermudan style!

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Just look at the colour of that Sea.... I'm corrected to tell you it is the Atlantic, not the same shade of blue as the Atlantic I have sailed, and I bet it is a sight warmer too....

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They are posers too! Note though they use the 'Selva' engines, badged as 'British Seagull Sport'. Is this really cricket?

New Zealand Racing  

Hi John, Charles asked me send our "Great Race" dates to you ... they are 19th and 20th April 2003  We assemble at Lake Karapiro on the 18th of April, socialise and catch up with old friends, 9am on the 19th the Dinghy class starts, followed by the Modifieds at 9.30 and the Open class at 10.30 ... the journey is 53 miles, we overnight at Rangiriri ..... on the 20th we restart to travel a further 35 miles to Hoods Landing, the day is concluded with a Prizegiving and more socialising, next day we disperse too our scattered corners of New Zealand and the World to plot and plan for next year, we are indeed fortunate to have a strong contingent of Bermudians and one lonely Englishman competing this year, the field looks to top 50 starters, so the foundations for a "great race" have been laid   Cheers John Crighton Otaua Boat Club New Zealand   

See Also...

Race Result?

May 8th, heard the other day that Charles Large came second in his race, well done that man!

His motor got lost somewhat on his return flight, and is having to come home separately!


July 2003.A little birdy tells me Charles returns from Bermuda with some of their silverware!

His 170 beat stiff opposition! (Much modified! I look forward to getting some photos).


The 5R

Just in case you find one, this is what a 5R adapter plate looks like, it married up the British Seagull with roller crank to a Yamaha leg?????  

5r adapter plate bottom small5r top of plate small get one of these...... the 5R........5r small


British Seagull sport, p. notman smallSnapped by Charles Large in N.Z. This is P. Notman's 5 sport.


Benfleet Yacht Club 'British Seagull Slaughter'

Normally in February!! For further details and find out how to enter, call Richard Smith on 07774 227653.


Racing in N.Z



Thanks to Charles Large for these pics and the write up. Now you can see just how fast they get them to go!  John.

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Well I'm back from NZ without any silverwork & only my tail between my legs.

I only took the barest minimum that I needed of my motor to NZ (airport security), having arranged to borrow everything that wasn't top secret, so it was rebuilt in Taupo with a Kiwi 5R leg, recoil start & hydroplane hull called Septic Tank, the name I’m told had something to do with the contents.


Day one Easter Saturday.

The race started well at Karapiro hydroelectric dam, Raoul Lealand (British Seagull sport) flying away at least 1mph faster than everyone else, me (seagull 170) .1mph ish faster than Bermudian Bruce Lorhan (British Seagull Sport) John Crighton (British Seagull Sport) & Pete Notman (British Seagull 5R).

Raoul vanished into the distance after 5 minutes & I slowly crept away from Bruce through the rapids & the deep verdant gorge that contains the river Waikato for the first five or six miles after Karapiro. For no apparent reason Bruce seemed to be falling behind me at a slightly faster crawl from this point.

fred 2 smalljohn crighton smallkarapiro2 smallji m and chad smallraoul hamilton flying smallreal British Seagull 170 small

Forty-five minutes after the start Hamilton started to appear on the banks on either side & a few minutes later I spotted my backup crew (girlfriend Toni & the infamous boat designer/builder Larry) on the beach by Hamilton rowing club, steering closer to them for a better photo shot I passed over the wake of one of the other river users only to find that Septic Tank was steering itself towards the beach, no amount of corrections or panicking could bend it from it’s self appointed task so up the beach I flew at 24 miles an hour with a screaming motor.

Two seconds after managing to stop the motor out I jumped & started to turn the boat around & pull it back out into the water so I could find out what went wrong with the rope operated steering, only to hear Larry say "wait a minute the motors wobbling about, your going nowhere" where on inspection I discovered that the borrowed Yamaha leg (a borrowed leg, I suspect Kiwi pre-emptive strike) had snapped just above the top transom mount, the only thing holding the power head onto the leg was the drive shaft, water delivery pipe & the gear linkage.

That was the end of my first days racing, second place in front of 2 British Seagull Sports & a British Seagull 5R & only 3 minutes behind Raoul in Microgull.

Now I had to suffer the ignominy of all my fellow competitors whizzing past me cameras ready with huge beaming smiles.


After a very fraught afternoon which comprised of borrowing John Crighton’s truck driving to his house borrowing his 5R leg after modifying it to fit the bottom of my motor & reversing into his girlfriends Carol’s car I returned to Rangeriri for day 2 of the world’s longest British Seagull’s race.

Day two Easter Sunday

I thought it better to get in the water early so I could check out whether John’s prop was suited to my motor as Raoul’s lower unit had taken from a Tohatsu leg & wouldn’t fit John’s only to find that the Kiwi recoil starter had given up the ghost.

At this point the word sabotage started to cross my mind, I know recoil starters sometimes fail but has anybody out there ever had a leg snap in half under the strain of a British Seagull?

Well not to be beaten, I cut the string out of the recoil & started by wrapping it around the starter pulley just like they used to in the Marston days.

The prop was OK, not perfect & at 10.30 off we set again towards the hidden sand banks by Huntley power station, perhaps my lucks changed, I don’t think I ever went close to the sand as opposed to last year when I had to get out & walk.

The only problem I have now is I can’t catch Bruce he’s slowly moving away from me perhaps he’s only carrying one case of red wine instead of his usual two, the funny thing is that at the finish line there never seems to be any on board at all.

Third place only one sport behind me not too bad until the wind started to blow at around ???? ( can’t remember the name) about 8 miles before the Waikato delta then the chop appears a very short vicious one. This is not funny in a hydroplane as it goes skip skip skip scream skip skip scream I now have bruises in places that only a ladies hairdresser would kiss better. I even did a Donald Campbell came off a big one, the bow went up a gust of wind picked it up to what felt 60 degrees where it went backwards into the water dunking the motor & half filling the boat with water, it’s strange how quiet a British Seagull is when placed under water. Never mind the motor get the water out of this hull before a big one comes over the side & I’m swimming, 5 minutes later almost dry lets look at the motor, remove plug, block air intake & start pumping fuel into engine, half a dozen pulls, replace plug two pulls, success, Motor my way out of these big waves over towards the nearest bank, I follow the bank around the corner looking for some shelter only to spot Raoul’s Orange survival suit sitting on a fisherman’s pontoon beside his moored boat, so I decided to join him for a cigarette break. Two damp cigarettes later the chop seems to be easing, back to the racing off I go.

5 Minutes later I see the safety boat that tells me to turn right into the reed covered islands & head towards the finish line after 2 miles of this I can’t find the chevron direction markers pointing to the finish & as I’m almost back in the main channel it’s turn around to look for the turn to Hoods landing the finishing point, I turn left to check a channel that looks like the one I went up last year & screech screech SILENCE, loose flywheel Bugger broken crankshaft.

So I paddled into a big patch of weeds in the middle of the channel & telephone my GPS position into my backup crew only to discover later I was 400 meters upwind of the finish line.

Two days in a row did not finish.

Well at least there’s always next year to prove I’ve got the fastest Real British Seagull in the Southern Hemisphere then there’s just the Bermudians in the Northern Hemisphere to beat.

The best thing about the whole episode, is that when my 170 is on song it’s faster than some Spaghetti British Seagull Sports, so when Doug Hele designed it he was right & it’s never been beaten by a 5R either.

So congratulations must go to John Crighton for breaking the record with a time of 4 hours & 14 minutes in atrocious conditions, Bruce Lorhan for finishing second even though it took him two British Seagull sports & to Pete Notman for finishing third with a Real British Seagull 5R in a Minimax (see picture), during wartime in those day two conditions he would have earned a George Cross, well done Pete.

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Whatever you say about the Kiwi British Seagull parts & rugby playing, it would be impossible to fault them on their hospitality & welcome.

So if any of you find yourself in New Zealand over Easter just mention your interest & you’ll probably find a boat & motor waiting for you at the race start, but don’t ever say "I wonder what that tastes like?" or the next meal time you’ll find a huge woodworm crawling around your plate or strange shellfish sizzling on the barby.  Charles Large.


jc at speed 2

RESULTS… "THE GREAT RACE 2004" Dinghy [one man] 1st Day 2ndDay Av Speed !st Ross Leger 48 4hrs 11m 40s 3hrs 18m 10s 11.73 mph 2ndGerry Cole 25 5hrs22m40s 5hrs 00m 30s 8.47 mph 3rd Scott Wardlaw16 6hrs22m20s 5hrs 22m 50s 7.69 mph ……………………………………………. Dinghy Bermuda Class !st Ian Clarke 22 6hrs 18m 20s 6hrs 13m 00s 7.63mph 2nd Ray George 18 6hrs 33m 40s 5hrs 23m 10s 7.36mph Tony Kunac 2nd Rodger Carline 111 6hrs 38 50s 5hrs 36m 30s 7.18mph Ainslee Carline 4th Henry Johnson 7hrs 5 m 40s 6hrs 13m 00s 7.14mph Burt [BDA] Charlie Brown ……………………………………………………….. Modified 1stFred Southerwood 31 4hrs 34m 40s 3hrs 54m 50s 10.35mph 2nd Brian Neville 110 6hrs 24m 50s 5hrs 42m 20s 7.26mph …………………………………………………………. Open John Crighton 44 2hrs 28m 52s 1hrs 45m 40s 20.74mph Bruce Lorhan [BDA] 42 2hrs 21m 12s 2hrs 00m 00s 20.21mph Pete Notman 35 2hrs 59m 20s 2hrs 42m 50s 15.43mph …………………………………………………………. Time keeper Gary Vloet once again did a great job … thankyou Safety Boat Captains.. Mo Mathews, Tim Marlow, Ian Carline .. great job .. thankyou ……………………………………………………. Hard Luck Competitors Charles Large [GBR] 1stday broken outboard leg [DNF] 2nd day broken crank [DNF] Raoul Lealand … set huge time on the 1st day of 2hrs 08m.. only to break an ignition wire in the conditions on the 2nd day [[DNF] Tony King ….. [DNF] causes unknown, DNS 2nd day Jim Abernathy….1st day 6hrs 18m 20s … had to retire due a sick child Reece Taylor… 1st day 6hrs 17m 2nd day [DNF] causes unknown ………………………………………………………. The weather and conditions played their part during the weekend, with ideal conditions on the first day,….however the 2nd day proved to be a test of both captain and craft, with deteriorating conditions and the wind blowing out of the N/W at 20knots, stacking the waves up to give, 3ft high waves at 4ft centres, a test for any small craft … those that finished all had tales of constant bailing and crashing off those short dumping waves, the dinghy class boats reported constant spray and a cold hard ride .. the faster boats reported hull cracks and abraded bums, broken motors, the list goes on … our retirement rate was really minimal considering the conditions experienced .. thankyou for competing and enjoying the days cheers John Crighton 44

British Seagull Race 2005 Results from N.Z.




British Seagullians from the length and breadth of New Zealand assembled at Karapiro to welcome our guests from overseas, Bermudans, Bruce, Brian, Alex, Mark and Paula ..once again the Henglish were represented by Charles, who despite having 12 months to sort out the mechanics of his “beloved” 170 couldn’t take part in the event unless he set about eating huge amounts of “humble pie” followed by generous portions of “crow” and had to use a “SPORT” borrowed from Raoul.. Charles I keep receiving these plates of pie and crow so I’ll endeavour to forward them on, well get some meat on your skinny little frame yet.  

There was the usual lying and cheating, that proceeds any “Great Race” with all sorts of stupid questions asked by the “mountainmen” but that was quickly brought into line when I informed them that as a committee had to be formed to deal with each rule challenge or interpretation clarification… a fee of $50.00 would be levied against the protagonist…. queries vanished overnight and all seemed to get on with their business in preparation for the Race.  Cruel found a “new” ally this year, [in secret], a boat was constructed in Taupo and made its debut at Sandspit one week before the event .. I’m sorry to report boys but your plan came unstuck 2months before the event and I was aware of your manoeuvres…. Cant trust anyone, you should look inside your own organisation for the “grasser”.  

  On a positive note my phone ran “hot” most nights with enquiries about the “Race”… this was all generated by a pamphlet that Ross Leger had printed and distributed through most marine outlets in the South Is and the lower North Is .. British Seagull enthusiasts got a pamphlet when ordering parts through “Simply British Seagulls”, who are now based in Waitara, so the message got out to a whole lot of people this year… thankyou Ross, Jan and Graham, your efforts certainly helped swell the numbers to see 30 boats face the starter on Easter Saturday.  

  This year the “Sport” motor was moved to a separate class, as we now have 15 “Sport” motors in the country, they seem to have been scourced from all parts of the globe in varying states of repair and are now happily living in NZ, despite their murky British Seagull origins… so now the 102’s compete amongst them selves and all factions of the Club are happy.   

  The dinghy class was extremely well represented this year, with a total 17 dinghies included in this total are 5 Bermudian Class and one brave two man 2.5 hp dinghy class.. Allan Pullinger and John Green… take a bow … total elapsed time of 15hrs 50mins .. average speed of 5.55 mph… incredibly they were still able to conduct a polite conversation with each other after 2 days … the Bermudan logo once again springs to mind…. “The Race is not for the swift, but for those who can Endure” …Bermuda Class saw 5 dinghies assemble, Ray George and Tony Kunac produced a hull not unlike a Bermuda Flea Hull and proceeded to post a very credible time, but mechanical problems put them behind Rees Taylor who was able to average 7.9 mph., Mark and Paula using the Club boat had a great trip “awesome” ‘beautiful” said with an Irish twang puts a whole new twist on the words …. The Careys Bay crew [six lonely souls] from Dunedin arrived in a 40ft bus towing a 25ft trailer stacked with an assortment of small craft. ranging down from a great old planked dinghy, all 20+ft of her with an interesting history of clam gathering in Port Chalmers to a “blowup” backup boat, what a feat to transport that collection of marine “flotsam and jetsom” from one end of New Zealand to the other, too compete in a 2 day race down the Waikato river, aiding and abetting this was John Dale and Brian Fisher who travelled independently with their own boats to race in the one man dinghy class, a great effort by the southerners …. A briefing/signing up session was held in the kitchen at the Rowing Club, the course was explained to the new comers and a great deal of emphasis was put on the changes to the “marking out” of the course at the bottom end, competitor packs with maps were also handed out.. Thanks Alex for the “signup” help, for those of you who don’t know, Alex does the signup in Bermuda so she is well versed in the vagaries of “British Seagull” sign up sessions … Alex “that was easy, they’re all so polite and honest” … I think that’s enough comment there…as I moved among the competitors to answer questions, I couldn’t help but think what a great bunch of people, supported by an equally great bunch of grandpas, grannies, wives and children and unfortunate friends who had nothing better to do at Easter but to stand on the riverbank and watch a group of eccentrics go drifting down the River while a little historic motor wheezed and popped along behind them, one heading for obscurity, the other for insanity…

The start at the dam was something to see, as the minutes ticked down, one by one, each crew readied their offering to the “Taniwha” to join the milling group in the 100x50 yard staging area, there was the inevitable “coming togethers” as the circulating currents, crash boats together as the dinghies jostle for position, The whistle blew and and the dinghy fleet headed for the opening, the most amazing start I have ever seen was by Ainslee Carline 14yrs old, she started from the back of the pool, at the whistle she wound it wide open, bobbed and weaved her way through other dinghies to leave the pool second, one of the best displays of helming I have ever seen, unfortunately Ainslee had a couple of mechanical problems and could only manage to finish 3rd overall in the one man dinghy class, sporting a severely burnt hand, caused by grabbing the exhaust in an effort to quickly change a damaged spring “Miss Grit” soldiered on … pity we couldn’t attract some young boys to race who showed the same determination as what Ainslee does … watch this young lady next year.  

At 10.30 Dave and Anne Candy dispatched the next batch, the Open Class this year contained a couple of “true” British Seagulls, Pete Notman and Roger Carline.. Petes an old campaigner, it amazes so many that he can do that race kneeling, the only explanation I can arrive at, he must Catholic .. Pete didn’t finish on the 1st day due to a coil breaking down [British Seagull world renowned for sourcing the cheapest possible parts] overnight we dropped another coil in, well done Pete … Roger set off with the motor that slide down the road 2 years ago as the result of a traffic accident … parts scrounged from all over and was finally deemed up to “it” 24 hrs before the Race, first time it was started was 10 mins before the actual race, that’s confidence with a big “C”…. Roger cruised quietly along keeping an eye on his sister to take the newly created “British Seagull Open Class Trophy” averaging 13.04 mph… The Sport class brought 10 boats too the line … Charles Large with a mouthful of feathers [as by now he had eaten 3 plates of humble pie and was looking for a change] John Crighton with last years boat remodelled, yet unnamed boat.. Brian Anfossi in “The Box” .. Bruce Lorhan in his “secret” boat, which was porposing like a demon possessed [well done Raoul cant let these Bermudans get up there and too close] Ian Walbran, Ross Leger flash and black, sporting surface piercing propellers, Raoul Lealand in X3 yellow and doing 25mph still sitting on the trailer, Daniel Summers running “Predator” cooking 2 motors on day one, Phillip Bennet from Kapiti, and Larry Grigg in “Hot Mullet”… well what a day, realising by Hamilton that there was some seriously quick machinery around and I was running 4thfor speed, I sat back to ponder a name for the remodelled “Retro” as we enjoyed the scenery and concentrated on the straight lines and remembering the trouble spots of previous years, the River was low at the banks but the channels appear to be deeper and better defined and there was a definite lack of snags, probably due to the floods of 2 years ago when all the accumulated rubbish got “flushed”….

Rounding Ngauruwahia, Charles is having a pee and a ciggy, Larry is on the cell stopped calling for fuel, no sign of Raoul or Ross, pressing on I found the only snag in the River at Huntly, replace pin, onwards, way in the distance I can see a boat inching up, Larry had got himself sorted and was closing, finally passing, through the channels North of Huntly.. about 2 miles from Rangiriri heres Raoul up to his normal tricks …paddling …. Must have got sick of the sound of his motor and decided to have a little Quiet Time????, he’s a real sport our Raoul doesn’t like to beat you by so much as to cause embarrassment, so he normally does a little paddling to keep things even and maintain the interest… so the results on the first day 12 mins covered 3 boats, that’s OK.. overnight Raoul welded a broken driveshaft to face the start next day, … incidentally “Capt Tricky Cruel” got to about Hamilton before a coil reduced him to thumbing a ride, left the best boat at home he did, the porpoising no doubt creating havoc in the electrics???, I know it was creating havoc with those who had to watch him bouncing down the river, he was so proud as to announce at the start he had no red wine or other beverage on board, just as  well he didn’t as I hate to see good Merlot spilt, when reaching Rangiriri I refuelled along with Ross and headed backup stream to bring our wounded Raoul home, rather than face the embarrassment of being towed Raoul had called his road team in and he was spirited away, thus robbing us of chance to help a competitor out… most unfair … Brian loomed into view 2mins after leaving Rangiriri, we exchanged muted pleasantries as Brian sped on by.... Brian passed through the finish line and kept going, as he hand helms “the Box” facing to port, so therefore he didn’t see the assembled reception committee on the starboard bank, and merrily heads off into the sunset [quite literally] on returning to Rangiriri Bridge I was sent in pursuit of Brian expecting to find a little man sitting on a riverbank, out of fuel and supping a Goslings.. no such luck, he’d disappeared in “the Rangiriri Triangle”…. so after exploring creeks and channels in constant peril from swamping, due to a brisk evening Sou’wester that had sprung up, I decided that if the Taniwha hadn’t got him I’d probably shoot him in the head when I saw him, and returned to Rangiriri…….. standing on the bank at Rangiriri a plan was being hatched involving Rescue boats, when news filtered through he had been seen at Mercer [15 miles downstream], turned around and was coming back, Brian finally comes into view, all relieved … gets to 200yards from the bridge, turns around and heads off downstream [Apparently he couldn’t see Rangiriri Bridge] after 10 mins he appears again, by this time you have 20 people on the bank willing him to come up river so we can start throwing things at him.. it worked he arrived, get this, the top was still on the Goslings.   

After an evening of food and cocktails at the Rangiriri Hotel, time for bed so with our “crash boat Commodore” Bernie Preece  under one arm we set off, with Bernie insisting he was OK, after 6 or 7 “downs” we finally got Bernie back on board, bruised and bleeding, reclining on the aft deck of his vessel so the mosquitoes could dine to their hearts content.. here endeth day one.   

Day 2 sees our intrepid 2.5hp two man vessel set off at 0800, followed by the dinghies at 0900, the southern dinghy crews are looking somewhat “seedy” but more than up to the task according to there own “doctor”, who was seen mixing healthy doses of “nitro “ to the fuel for that extra edge .. ahead lies 12 miles of sandbars and poorly defined channels … 10.30 and the Sport class goes, every one looking for a “leader” until Raoul goes for it, first casualty “Hot Mullet” .. broken engine leg, so Ross still leads the marathon, but I’ve gone into 2nd, the miles unfold to Tuakau bridge, its now a matter of finishing, oh no heres Ross sitting on a bank, broken bracket, split hull, it was at about this point that the new boat name arrived “Tortus” .. thankyou Aesop.. [look for the graphics on next years boat] down through the Elbow past David and Kevin on the “station boat” counting down past our highly coloured markers…. Turn up Hoods drain to the finish.  

From there collect up all those who finish, then back to Sandspit Motor Camp for showering and bedding ..prizegiving was held at the Waiuku Cosmopolitan Club where the Otaua Boat Club paid for a meal for all the competitors and supporters, Mathew Carline collected all cards from the digital cameras and produced a disc containing some interesting shots of various boats, groups etc ..if you want a copy contact Mathew through his brother Roger   

Thanks to all the helpers Bruce,  Dave S, Ross, Raoul, Dave and Anne, Alex, Gary … don’t forget the great job that our “crashboats” did  Bernie Preece, Jules Ellery, Jim Taylor, Ian Carline who incidentally blew an engine, took that boat home and brought back another so they could do the job next day   ….. Our club is in good heart and will continue to be,  as long as all of us give a little and help a lot …

 Thankyou…. John Crighton  Otaua Boat Club  


 British Seagull Racing in N.Z. 2005

Check out the speed Charles can fly at! With a much modified 170 mind you!

Race Results The Great Race 2005  Bermuda Class  time  av speed  1st Reece Taylor  11hrs 07 mins  7.90 mph  2nd Ray George/Tony Kunac  12hrs 20mins   7.13 mph  3rd Mark Seise  12hrs 31mins  7.02mph  Dinghy [one man]  Dennis Nisbett  9hrs 46mins  9.01mph  John Dale  11hrs 06mins  7.91mph  John Blom  11hrs 16 mins  7.80mph  Open Class British Seagull 102  Roger Carline   6hrs 44mins  13.04mph  Regatta 102 British Seagull  35 miles  Pete Nottman  2 hrs 32min  13.78mph  Open Class Sport  John Crighton  4hrs 07min  21.35mph  Charles Large   4hrs 10min  21.04mph  Regatta Sport  35 miles  Raoul Lealand  1hr28mins  23.86mph  Bruce Lorhan  1hr 48mins  19.21mph  Hard Luck Trophy  Ross Leger  Ladies Trophy  Ainslee Carline


John, SOS


If I am not answering the phone, this might give you a clue to where I might be!

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Please look through the 'FAQ' page first, you might find what you need there. 

Try also the'I. D. your British Seagull' pages, before mailing queries to me, as I now have to spend much time answering your e-mails! That, of course, keeps me from the workshop! UK queries may be better by phone, as I can ask you those extra little questions that might solve a problem easier. (Like why your 102 has a century plus gearbox!)