Many thanks to our hosts at the Australian National Maritime Museum, for great hospitality and a prime position at the recent Classic & Wooden Boat Show in Sydney. It was a wonderful chance to catch up with lots of friends in the wooden boat community and spread the word about the upcoming MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival in 2019. The two events are perfectly poised to cross-promote, falling as they do in opposite years.
The results were excellent in bright, hot, sunny Sydney weather. A few of us Tasmanians were melting around the edges, but blustery winds kept the temperature within reason and the crowds were out to enjoy themselves. We met up with representatives from the Museum (sponsor of the International Wooden Boat Symposium in Hobart), the Sydney Heritage Fleet (confirming intentions to bring the magnificent James Craig to Tasmania for 2019) and Tall Ships Australia & New Zealand (who offered promising news about tall ships Soren Larsen and One and All).
The line-up at the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival was magnificent, with more than 140 boats present, including the stunning Edwardian steam launch Ena and screen star Hurrica V. The array of shiny Halvorsens at the Darling Harbour waterfront had classic boat enthusiasts drooling and across the water at Cockle Bay, a really fascinating collection of vintage and veterans boats including ferries, workboats and ex-Service vessels.
Thanks go to to AWBF On Water Manager Ross Barnett and his wife Cheryl, Sue and Geoff Pickard and Symposium convenor Mike Ponsonby for their long-serving hours of help, staffing the AWBF stand and answering questions with great patience.
The atmosphere was upbeat and friendly, the entertainment charmed the crowd and performances by the angelic Australian Girls’ Choir brought the odd tear to a few Crusty Old Salts’ eyes. There seemed to be a livelier and more interesting assortment of displays this year and from the exhibitor’s point of view, the site crew and security staff could not have been more helpful.