National Geographic : 1974 Aug
Harnessing the wind, a sloop's crew wrestles with its spinnaker during the Anniversary Regatta at Auckland. More than a thousand boats annually com memorate the founding of the city in 1840. In that year half a dozen whale boats, gigs, and Maori canoes raced for prizes of gold sovereigns. Pleasure flotilla fills a marine basin at Auckland (left), familiar sight in a land where no one lives more than 80 miles from the sea. New Zealand's largest city served as its capital until 1865, when the government moved to more cen trally located Wellington. Packed like sardines, Maoris paddle to the cadence of a coxswain in the bow. In larger canoes, lashed together in pairs, Polynesians first voyaged to the North Island 1,200 years ago. Their descendants were overwhelmed by the Maoris-also from Polynesia-who ar rived perhaps six centuries later.