Last week I posted information in advance of the Royal Hobart Regatta and the Australian Wooden Boat Festival both of which celebrated Hobart’s water-based history on and in relation to the Derwent River.
On Friday afternoon, the Parade of Sails offered a flotilla of yachts and sailing ships which manoeuvred to the starting point of John Garrow Light and then headed upriver to Sullivans Cove at the wharf in Hobart. Followers may recall that, on an earlier stage of my walk along the Derwent River, I passed the John Garrow navigation light in Lower Sandy Bay when I reached Blinking Billy Point.
Last Friday I thought that a raised vantage point would give me a great view of the Parade of Sails, so I joined with neighbours from their balcony to watch. I saw hundreds of marine craft sailing up the river on a heavenly blue sky day. The wind pushed them quickly upriver to Sandy Bay and then they seemed to stall. The sails congregated en masse close to shore between Wrest Point Hotel Casino and the suburb of Battery Point.
This was so far away and unless you enlarge my photos you will believe there were few vessels on the Derwent River that day. When not much forward movement happened, I realised that the finishing time for the Parade of Sails was 1.30pm but it wasn’t yet 1pm. Therefore, I presumed the ships decided to wait so the grand entrance/arrival into the Hobart docks could be on time.
On Monday I watched a swooping display from 4 synchronised planes, the Roulettes. They flew in complex formations around the city, across Mount Wellington and along the Derwent River, spewing steam behind to mark their athletic twists and turns.
It was a packed weekend and the media provided spectacular views of all the activities. Have a look and consider being around when these events are held next time.
Only a couple of Stages ago I walked through the Hobart Regatta Ground as part of my trek along the Derwent River. At the time, other than a few fishermen the area was people-less and very dull.
By contrast, next weekend the area will be crowded with people involved in all sorts of Regatta related activities. The place will be buzzing. You only have to read the blurb offered by the Royal Hobart Regatta organisers on http://www.royalhobartregatta.com/ to realise there will be something that should interest everyone. Serious boat races and silly community fun races will be the mainstays of the Regatta. Concerts, movies, music, wood-chopping contests, pageants and trans-Derwent swims will support the event. Members of the Royal Australian Navy will arrive on the Flagship HMAS Sydney, complete with helicopters simulating live rescues etc. Finally, a fireworks display will light up the Derwent Harbour on Monday night.
The Regatta experience runs in tandem with the Australian Wooden Boat Festival over the weekend. Hobart’s waterfront will come alive with festivities. Thousands of people will throng the area over the four days.
The Australian Boat Festival will run from Friday 6th to Monday 9th February centred around Hobart’s city waterfront and the Derwent River.
Every two years we remember that the first indigenous inhabitants made wooden canoes and the first European settlers arrived here in tall sailing ships constructed from wood, and we look at our historical (this time 20 of the boats will be over a century old) and current wooden boats. Around 550 vessels will be part of this Festival in 2015.
Apparently this has now become the southern hemisphere’s largest wooden boat festival. These days in southern Tasmania we have a new history of a boat building industry that produces custom made craft, and restoration of older boats.
The spectacular Parade of Sails starts the program on Friday at 1pm and so I, like many others, will gather somewhere along the Derwent River to witness the event.