31 Jan 2011

Boat capsizes during Auckland regatta

7:25 pm on 31 January 2011

A boat taking part in the Auckland Anniversary Day regatta has capsized in the Hauraki Gulf.

At least 500 vessels are taking part in the city's 171st annual regatta on Monday, the biggest in the country.

Organising committee chairperson Eric Mahoney says the winds were up to 35 knots. One person was rescued by the Coastguard and taken to shore.

Mr Mahoney says other boats are reporting some gear damage but the regatta will not be called off because the winds are not extreme.

The event started at 9am with 20 tug boats parading from Viaduct Harbour to their race start line off North Head.

"The tug-boat race has become quite a feature of the regatta and involves tugs dating back to almost the turn of last century," Mr Mahoney says.

Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand fired the official starting gun for the division A class classic yacht race at 11.30am.