We were delighted to see the exciting battle between the historic commercial ketches Mallana, Julie Burgess, Yukon and Rhona H at the 2015 MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival. It’s not often that you can see these beautiful ships ‘go like the clappers’, but of course friendly rivalry between fishing boats, cargo vessels and ferries was once an essential part of our maritime culture here in Tasmania, especially on the River Derwent. Devonport’s Julie Burgess carried away the line honours, with a brilliant display of sail handling and manoeuvrability. Sponsor Wrest Point presented a superb trophy to the winning crew when they returned to Elizabeth Street Pier.
Julie Burgess will be pressed to defend her title in 2017, against a larger field of contestants, including the much-fancied Mallana. This time around, we’d like to share the action with festival-goers ashore, by streaming live video from the boats, onto big screens in the Waterside Tavern. You can follow every snap of the sails and creak of the mast as if you were on board yourself. The Wrest Point Cup will be held on Sunday 12 February, and it’s not the only bit of excitement you can follow on the water that day.
A formal Match Race, supervised by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, will pit the sleek Dutch racer Oranje (proudly owned by the King and Queen of the Netherlands), against giant-killer Gnome, a highly competitive Derwent Class flyer that has taken on yachts many times more sophisticated, and thrashed them soundly. Don’t miss this highly charged contest between our guest nation’s finest and the local favourite, also on Sunday 12 February.
We will announce competition times closer to the event and of course everything is weather dependent, but choose your position (tip: Wrest Point’s Boardwalk will be a smart choice) early to get the best view.
In Constitution Dock and Sullivans Cove there will be plenty to see on the water, with Sabots, Firebugs and Herons, the unique Dutch tjotters, Sabres and rowing dinghies, mini-boats and more. Don’t miss any of the action – plan to be with us each day of the MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival.