Monday, September 10, 2007

Sailing Canoes of Papua New Guinea

The highlight of the 1978 Hiri Moale festival held in Port Moresby was undoubtedly the great canoe race. More than 90 canoes with almost 750 crew lined up along Moresby's harbor beach .
The rules limited the the sail area to 280 sq feet, but the canoes ranged from 28 to 42 foot in length.
The wind was strong and many competitors reached speeds close to 20 knots.
The shunting rigs have Western style rectangular boomless sprit sails. The mast can be tilted fore and aft for trim on any given course.

The photos were scanned from Air Niugini's flight magazine.

1 comment:

David from Adelaide said...

Gary thanks for these great photos. I remember my dad flying to New Guinea in the late 70s and bringing back the in-flight magazine. I was captivated by these amazing sailing craft, even though I had never sailed before. I would spend many hours drawing these boats during boring school lessons. It was more than 10 years before I moved to the country and joined a sailing club. I learnt to sail in monohull dinghies and completely forgot about proas. These pics have rekindled an intrest in Pacific outriggers.
Thanks for your book by the way, its been a great read and I hope to order some plans soon (if only I could decide which plans!)