Sir Peter Blake's beloved yacht Bandit restored

Boating enthusiasts in Auckland are celebrating their latest restoration achievement after working for a year on an iconic yacht to return it to its former glory.

Sir Peter Blake’s Bandit has been restored thanks to a group of hard workers at Auckland based yacht building company, Yachting Developments and a yachting enthusiast.

The yacht was Sir Peter’s first which he built out the back of his mum and dad’s house 50 years ago with his brother Tony before it ended up in disrepair in a shed left to rot.

Tony says he can’t believe the quality of the restoration.

"I don't think we ever got a finish like that when we painted it," he said.

"Not a hand paint job compared with this. It's a wonderful restoration job."

The Blake brothers took a year to build Bandit in Devonport and not without incident – with moments such as lighting a fire under a bath tub full of lead for the keel proving to be a comedic moment.

"We got all the lead melted and the bath tub split and went all over mum's flower garden which she wasn't happy for."

After Sir Peter moved overseas, Bandit languished in a shed for 14 years before being rescued by sailing enthusiast and Classic Yacht trustee, Bruce Tantrum.

"The gentleman who owned it was keen for it to go to a good home and we agreed on a sale price and that was 20 cents," Mr Tantrum said.

"Of course the purchase cost certainly did not reflect the future restoration cost!"

The restoration’s cost ended up being approximately $40,000 which was met mostly by Mr Tantrum and Yachting Developments.

"I think it was very much the founding of Peter's career in offshore yachting," Tony said.

"He got into yachts overseas and step by step into the Whitbread and eventually the America's Cup and the Jules Vernes trophy."

The plan now is to install Bandit alongside Sir Peter’s America’s Cup winning yacht Black Magic in Auckland's Maritime Museum.

"I think that's the place (Bandit) should be because it will enable more people to actually see her and see the development of Peter's career from this at the beginning and here's NZL32 and the America's Cup."

"I think it will be great to see that progression."

The brothers took a year to build Bandit in Devonport and it will now be installed in Auckland's Maritime Museum. Source: 1 NEWS

Young NZ fur seal found with fishing line round neck is treated at Auckland Zoo

A young New Zealand fur seal is being treated for infection at Auckland Zoo after being found slumped on a rock ledge at Piha with discarded fishing line around its neck.

A young woman had spotted the injured seal and Department of Conservation rangers responded, DOC ranger Gabrielle Goodin told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp.

"Literally when we got out there I saw the seal and it was over this little rock ledge and I thought it was dead," Ms Goodin said.

Auckland Zoo vet Lydia Uddstrom said the fishing line has no give, so as the seal grows with it around the neck, the line cuts deeper and deeper.

"It's not a simple matter of cut the nylon off and just chuck him back out and good luck to you. It's really that follow up and making sure that we can control any infection," Ms Uddstrom said.

The vets work in silence, trying to keep the young seal as calm as possible while treating it at the zoo.

The case is a reminder of how a little piece of human waste can cause such pain to an innocent victim.

Fur seals are a conservation success story, with their numbers up.

But so is human interaction with them.

"We have a high population in Auckland, so it's managing that success. How can we make sure we still see a lot of seals, people are interacting with them properly and we can keep them from being injured from things like fishing lines," Ms Goodin said. 

Things are looking good for the young fur seal which has been showing improvement.

"We are hopeful that if we can get on top of this infection and everything else that's going on, he should be able to get out there where he belongs," Ms Uddstrom said.

Seven Sharp’s Lucas de Jong visited the mammal at the zoo. Source: Seven Sharp


Watch: Can you help? Black car takes off from West Auckland suburb after driver tries to grab woman

Police have released footage in the hopes it will help them find a man who grab a woman in West Auckland while she was walking down a street at night last week.

Detective Elizabeth Willis says the victim was walking towards Riversdale Road in Avondale on September 11 when she was followed by a man driving a black sedan between 8pm and 9:30pm.

The man, described as being possibly Māori or Pacific Island descent, in his 30s and around 175cm tall, yelled out to the victim before proceeding to park his car on Riversdale Road.

As the woman walked past, the suspect got out of his vehicle and grabbed her from behind but the victim managed to escape and hide until the man left the scene.

"This was a particularly frightening experience for the victim and we are very keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the incident or seen other suspicious behaviour in the area," Detective Willis said.

"If you have seen a vehicle or person matching this description behaving suspiciously, please call us immediately, even the smallest piece of information may prove valuable to help ensure this man is held to account for his actions."

People with information can contact Detective Willis from Avondale Police on (09) 820 5776 or anonymously provide information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Police are hunting the man who was driving the car in Avondale, followed the woman and grabbed her from behind. Source:


Police investigating after body found on Auckland beach

A body has been found on a South Auckland beach today.

A police spokesperson told 1 NEWS the body was found on Weymouth Beach after being notified at 1.10pm.

They say details around the circumstances of the death are unclear and at this stage and inquiries are underway to establish what has happened.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS

Former UFC champion Jon Jones to return to the octagon after 15-month doping suspension

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones should be eligible to fight by late October after completing a 15-month suspension for a doping violation.

The US Anti-Doping Agency today announced the length of Jones' ban for his second violation of the UFC's anti-doping policy.

The decision means the 31-year-old Jones could even fight at UFC 230 in New York on November 3, if the UFC decides to book his comeback bout on that card.

Jones is widely considered the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist in the world, but he has repeatedly sabotaged his own career.

He reclaimed the light heavyweight title from Daniel Cormier last year, but the victory was taken away when he tested positive for a steroid metabolite.

Jones also failed an out-of-competition test in 2016.

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 29:  (L-R) Jon Jones punches Daniel Cormier in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 214 event inside the Honda Center on July 29, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jon Jones punches Daniel Cormier in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 214 event inside the Honda Centre in Anaheim, California. Source: Getty