There’s a stellar line-up planned for the 2017 International Wooden Boat Symposium, sponsored by the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) and directed by AWBF board member Chris Palmer. Following on from a hugely successful symposium in 2015, the program is expanded with international guests Ron Holland, Ben Mendlowitz and Steve Stone among others. Cooperation with Australia’s largest maritime museum, the ANMM, has opened doors not previously available and generous support from the University of Tasmania has again confirmed the Dechaineaux Theatre as the venue. The Symposium is gathering strength as one of the world’s leading convocations of maritime experts in design, restoration, maritime history and practical applications of interest to the international community of wooden boat enthusiasts.
New Zealand born, Canadian based Ron Holland is a design legend, having made a reputation with race-winning yachts including British Prime Minister Edward Heath’s Morning Cloud. His designs won a string of victories in the Admiral’s Cup at Cowes, the Fastnet Race and the Sydney to Hobart race (with Screw Loose in 1979). He is perhaps best known for the breathtaking Mirabella V, the largest (247 feet) and tallest (290 feet) single-masted yacht in the world.
Ben Mendlowitz is perhaps responsible for more unrequited longing among wooden boat enthusiasts than any other photographer alive. His superb images of wooden boat beauty have graced the pages of the US magazine WoodenBoat since 1980 and his Calendar of Wooden Boats is a reliable Christmas gift for any wooden boat tragic world-wide. Ben will talk about the craft and art of wooden boat photography at the Symposium.
Off Center Harbor’s Steve Stone was an unexpected visitor to the 2015 Australian Wooden Boat Festival, where he discovered ‘one of the largest festivals in the world for wooden boats’. Steve brilliant video ‘Tasmania’s Warm Embrace’ went viral, capturing the perfect combination of excitement, inclusiveness and genuine hospitality for which the AWBF is famous. If you haven’t seen it, the video is to not to be missed at www.offcenterharbor.com/videos/awbs-warm-embrace/. Off Center Harbor is a wonderful on-line collection of maritime videos on a wide range of topics. Steve will be with us for a second time in 2017.
Tasmanian tall ship master Gary Wilson will present on his experience of skippering the Dutch replica ‘jacht’ Duyfken and the remarkable sailing qualities of a 16th Century long-range scouting ship. Dr. Nigel Erskine, marine archaeology expert from the Australian National Maritime Museum, long-distance sailor Lyn Pardey and maritime journalist Bruce Stannard and Lyle Hess historian Chris Burke are among the other speakers. The Australian Wooden Boat Symposium is entirely free to the public.