North Shore Times : February 7th 2014
Auckland’s most powerful media NETWORK Unbeatable coverage of Friday, February 7, 2014 Aussies got point of Pencil By SIMON MAUDE A YACHTIE who shook Australia by winning the Sydney to Hobart race almost 50 years ago has been reunited with the boat he did it in. The yacht self-made businessman Jim Daverne owned and raced in the 60s turned up in Auckland for the Anniversary Day regatta. Fidelis, an 18.3 metre ocean racer built in 1964 and nicknamed The Pencil, catapulted the 36-year-old Daverne to yachting fame in 1967 when it won the prestigious event. Its once-spartan interior is now luxuriously appointed to cater for corporate cruises on Sydney Harbour. But Fidelis rattled a complacent Australian yachting fraternity unused to competitive New Zealand boats in the 60s. ‘‘When we got to Sydney for the Sydney to Hobart, we flew through the heads at 10 knots,’’ Mr Daverne says. The 84-year-old grew up poor in Pt Chevalier and was the child of an itinerant Irish seaman who he never met. He was determined to show up the Aussies. The Aussie sailors scoffed, ‘‘‘what are you going to do with that pencil’. ‘‘I said, ‘I’m going to beat you with superior sailing skills and a fast boat, I’m going to p*** on you guys’.’’ Trophy boat: Jim Daverne proudly holds the Sydney to Hobart yacht race trophy – one of many he won skippering Fidelis. And he did. Fidelis won the race in 4 days, 8 hours and 39 minutes, a record which stood for nine years. Seeing the ‘‘dream to sail’’ Fidelis for the first time in many years brought ‘‘tears to my eyes’’, Mr Daverne says. Owning the yacht was the proud realisation of a boy- Get more online hood dream for Mr Daverne, who was awestruck by the longtime king of New Zealand yachts, Ranger – a boat Fidelis beat. His first boats were canoes made of scrap tin roofing. He wasn’t even 10 years old when he and a friend nearly drowned paddling from Meola Creek to Pt Chevalier. A lifetime later he found the crude craft on display in Swashbucklers bar in Westhaven. ‘‘It’s important for young kids to know that there was this guy with no money, no education, who came from inside himself. All the top guys are made from themselves,’’ he says. Mr Daverne made his for- tune in construction as one of the pioneers of transporting entire buildings by truck. Now he is excited about the possibility of captaining a vintage yacht again. He’s working on classic boat race series to help fundraise for up-and-coming-sailors. 808,000 readers 15+ Ph 09 525 0666 Source: Nielsen CMI Q3 2011–Q2 2012 Building sites By MARYKE PENMAN Vivid memories: Jim Daverne some time in the 1960s on board his Aussie-beating yacht Fidelis. The housing boom is attracting thieves to building sites, leaving tradesmen and home owners out of pocket. Police have issued a warning after tools, materials and appliances were stolen from sites in the Torbay, Northcote and Takapuna areas. North Shore area commander Inspector Shanan Gray says the thefts appear to be taking place overnight or during the weekends. Police are investigating whether they are linked. ‘‘A recent example we had was a house that was nearly finished but wasn’t at the stage where it could be locked up. The entire kitchen appliance package was delivered and someone broke in and stole a number of the appliances,’’ Mr Gray says. Among the stolen items are a couple of fridges, he says although their value is unknown. ‘‘Thieves will take any opportunity you can give them. There’s nothing more frustrating for a tradesman than to have the things they use to make a living pinched from them. Make sure your tools are in a secure place or take them with you.’’ Police advise home owners and project managers not to get items delivered until properties are secure. Anyone who notices suspicious activity around construction and building sites, especially after hours, is asked to call police immediately. targeted ditions everyday! Just click on “Latest Edition” at www.northshoretimes.co.nz News Read, Hear & Watch!
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