With a fleet of more than 150 wonderful boats, craft demonstrations and displays, a variety of food stalls and a non-stop program of live entertainment, this year’s Classic & Wooden Boat Festival at Darling Harbour in Sydney on 8th 9th March promises to be the brightest ever.
The theme is Restoration and three boats will be in the spotlight…
Carl Ryves and John Bertrand with Taipan - .. .
Taipan, legendary designer Ben Lexcen’s revolutionary 18-foot skiff which he conceived, built and sailed in 1959 when he was just 23. (Recently restored by the National Maritime Museum);
Maluka, a Ranger class yacht (30 ft long), built 1932. (Privately owned and restored to compete as the oldest and smallest entry in the 2006 Sydney- Hobart yacht race);
Aggressor, a 26 ft hydroplane which reached 280 kph and completely dominated speedboat racing in Sydney prior to its crash in Hen & Chicken Bay in March 1972 – after which it never raced again. (Privately owned and recently restored to ‘show’ condition).
Aggressor - .. .
The large number of vessels on display will include graceful yachts, pleasure cruisers, streamlined speedboats and a variety of tugs and other workboats. Many will have their owners on board to talk about their vessel, restoration, maintenance and the sheer joy of being out on the water.
More than 12,000 visitors are expected to attend this bright two-day harbourside celebration, the eighth of its kind at the National Maritime Museum.
Entertainment will include…
A new Quick & Dirty Boat Building Competition… Try your hand at building a boat in just 2 hours… materials and a plan supplied! (Build the boat 10 am – 12 noon; launch and race-off 2 pm Saturday).
Australian Maritime Museums Council program of talks on the theme Managing the future of historic vessels (Saturday).
Traditional maritime crafts demonstrations – woodturning, rope-making, blacksmithing, coopering, sail-making, rigging demonstrations and line heaving lessons.
Overhaul of the tall ship Endeavour’s mizzen mast.
Specialist Deckhands’ Line-throwing Competition (11 am Sunday), and Kids Line-throwing Competitions (11 am Saturday, 2 pm Sunday).
Heritage boat rides on Darling Harbour
Music program with the Royal Australian Navy Band, Clan McLeod Pipe Band and traditional maritime musicians Warren Fahey and John Broomhall.
Maritime Museum Sydney - .. .
Lots of kids activities.
The Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour, will open normal hours, 9.30 am to 5 pm, on the festival weekend. Tickets at $18 adults, $9 children, $40 families will give admission to the festival, the museum and the ships HMB Endeavour, tall ship James Craig, destroyer HMAS Vampire and submarine HMAS Onslow.
For more information, phone (02) 9298 3777 or go to www.anmm.gov.au