Thank you for your amazing response to the new format Australian Wooden Boat Festival News Blog. When we opened the sign-up page and asked you to renew your subscription, the needles flew off the gauges with almost 1000 registrations received in the first 72 hours. It’s great to know that you are following AWBF events and that you found the new publication worth reading. We’ll try to keep up the promise of more lively articles, faster turn-around time for your news stories and the inside tips on what’s happening in the lead-up to the 2017 festival.
We are now using a mail service called MailChimp to keep track of our subscriber list and make sure it’s up to date. When you get a message from MailChimp asking ‘Do you want to receive the AWBF News Blog?’, you need to click on ‘Yes’ to get yourself on that list. If you have already done this, you’re all set. If you haven’t, we will retire your name from our list and stop bothering you with unwanted mail. You can always sign up again through our regular AWBF website. And of course, you can check on the latest news anytime by bookmarking our page HERE.
It seems extraordinary that we are already counting down in months to the next festival, but it’s true and the number is SIXTEEN months to go!
You won’t be waiting that long to hear from us, because there are some exciting events coming up before that. You’ll see us this month at the Seafarer’s Festival in Bellerive on Sunday 25 October, and we’ll be helping out with Tall Ships at the Kettering Wooden Boat Rally and the Royal Hobart Regatta in February 2016. Read the details in this issue of the AWBF News Blog and follow the stories on our Facebook page, if that’s your favourite channel.
We will also be flying the AWBF flag at the Launceston Wooden Boat Rally (20-21 February, 2016), at the Devonport Apex Regatta in March and the Sydney Wooden and Classic Boat Festival (Friday 15 April – Sunday 17 April, 2016).
The big news is that AWBF, Inc. will be working with the Mawson’s Huts Foundation and the Australian Antarctic Division to deliver an entirely new event in September, 2016 – The Hobart Antarctic Week (THAW). What has the Antarctic got to do with wooden boats? Glad you asked! In fact, Australia’s earliest participation in Antarctic exploration was carried out on stout wooden ships including the Aurora (the original one, that is), the Fram, Wyatt Earp, the Endurance and Nimrod. Not familiar with all of these? Read the article in this month’s News Blog for more detail. AWBF will be helping to produce a lively program of exhibitions, tours and activities in Hobart over five days from Thursday 8 September to Monday 12 September 2016. Just the thing to get us warmed up for the 2017 MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival following on 20 weeks later.
Other dates to keep handy for your calendar: early expressions of interest (EOIs) for Boats Afloat and Boats Ashore are due to open in May 2016, with Commercial Exhibitor spaces going on-line in early July and Food & Beverage vendors opening later that month. Community Groups and Charities will be able to register from August 2016 and we’ll be calling for volunteers in September. We’re looking forward to seeing all our regulars again and gathering a few new friends for 2017.
– Paul Cullen, General Manager