Presents are an important part of that celebration and there was no shortage on the day. Saw miller Dave Golding steered his beautifully restored boat Kerawynn into an elegant arrival at the WBC wharf, bearing stacks of donated timber from Hydrowood, the pioneering company that reclaims valuable boat-building timber from Tasmania’s highland lakes. Sponsor Blundstone tossed in some very useful Wellington boots for the crew and St Nicholas (patron saint of children and sailors) came to call with more goodies for the team, and for a gang of school children from Franklin Primary School.
AWBF Chairman Steve Knight welcomed the team to Tasmania on behalf of the Australian Wooden Boat Festival. Andrew Morgan from Hydrowood officially handed over the timber from which the boat will be built and Commissioner for the Huon Valley, Adriana Taylor gave the group a warm welcome to the valley in fluent Dutch. AWBF general manger Paul Cullen explained the broader scope of the Dutch Project and the 375th anniversary of the first European visit by Abel Tasman. He also commented on the long tradition of Aboriginal boat building on our island. Wooden Boat Centre manager Anne Holst welcomed them to the boat building shed where they will be working for the next eight weeks and LBT Secretary Richard Forster extended a personal welcome to instructor Bert van Barr.
The team will work and live in Franklin, enjoying home stay hospitality, before moving the boat to Hobart for completion at the Shipwright’s Village on the festival site. And then it might be time for a little friendly racing to see how the BM stacks up against the local fleet!