Message from the Chairman – January/February 2019

Well, not long to go now!  Only a few sleeps – or for those travelling by sea, a handful of watches – before we have the remarkable parade of sail, to start the 2019 MyState Bank Australian Wooden Boat Festival!

This extraordinary spectacle is not to be missed, and I venture to suggest there are not many places in Australia – and even the world – where from the banks of our fabulous river you will see so many magnificent vessels under sail at any one time, celebrating the start of our event!

We are, as usual, honoured to have Her Excellency the Governor, Professor Warner, aboard the official launch Egeria, kindly provided for that purpose by the Motor Yacht Club of Tasmania, to commence the sail past. Don’t forget to either go out on the water, or come down to the river, to watch it!

I should also acknowledge TasPorts.  The simple fact of the matter is that we could not have a festival without the incredible support of TasPorts.  This organisation has expeditiously provided all necessary licences and approvals for our event, in a very timely fashion; and continues to provide great assistance in getting the Festival up and running whilst simultaneously handling the yacht races, dealing with the Taste of Tasmania, and the regular parade of tankers, cargo vessels, cruise ships, naval vessels and recreational vessels. It’s a very impressive performance, and on behalf of all of us at AWBF, I would like to sincerely thanks TasPorts for its help.

Our American boatbuilders are at Franklin, enjoying the terrific hospitality at the Wooden Boat Centre, and the local community, and are well underway with the building of the two Haven 12½s.  I have been reliably informed that the boats are looking absolutely terrific, and I cannot wait to see them.  And further, I cannot wait to again greet all of our American friends, a large number of whom have come to join us for our festival!

Brand Tasmania has also joined our body of supporters and is, providing assistance for overseas journalists visiting Tasmania to cover the Festival, and to then stay on to see more of our island.  Only the other day I was talking to a local who mentioned she had been overseas recently, and that on several separate occasions individuals had mentioned that they had heard wonderful things about the MyState Bank Australian Wooden Boat Festival, and that they were either coming to Hobart to see it, or it was on their “wish list”. The journalists who cover our event contribute to this publicity, so thanks to them, and thanks to Brand Tasmania for helping support the journalists spread the word!

I look forward to seeing you all at the Festival.  Make sure you say hello!

Steve Knight, OAM

Chairman, Australian Wooden Boat Festival, Inc.


(Editor’s note:  Chairman Steve Knight was recognised in the 2019 Australia Day honours, awarded the Order of Australia Medal or OAM for services to community celebrations.  We congratulate Steve on this richly deserved award.)

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