One day each summer, some of the oldest sailing ships in New Zealand gather at Sullivans Bay (also known as Otarawao) to take part in a race that dates back to 1858. The race is the premiere event of the Mahurangi Regatta. It's also a day when the community gets together to take part in sand sculpture competitions, running races and a hotly contested tug of war, usually resulting in triumph for the whānau from nearby Opahi Bay. First Hand captures the organisational dramas preceding the fun, and the community spirit inspiring this regular get together.
Most of the competitors mistake the five minute gun for the start. In a picnic regatta no one is going to lodge a protest, so five minutes early they're off.– Narrator Paul Gittins on the opening of Mahurangi Cup race
Made with funding from NZ On Air