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Classic and Wooden Boat Festival

Source: ANMM Watermarks Gallery.

Wooden Boat festival returns to Sydney in 2016 thanks to ANMM,, 4 June 2015

It will be four years since the last but it is a welcome return to the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANM).

Today (4 June 2015) the ANMM launched its 2016 Classic and Wooden Boat Festival, announcing that the event will take place Friday 15 April – Sunday 17 April 2016. An added bonus is that it is secured to return every second year to 2020 to celebrate 250 years since Captain Cook’s arrival.

The announcement was made by museum director, Kevin Sumption, against the backdrop of a display of vintage boats, giving stakeholders a taste of what is to come. Initial reports from a museum spokeswomen says over 100 yachts are already pencilled in for the festival, plenty more are intended to sign up to be on display.

Mr Sumption announced the museum’s six year strategy for the biennial festival with each festival growing in size and ambition. The reinvigorated 2016 festival will celebrate the best of Australia’s maritime and boating heritage while the 2018 festival will have a Pacific flavour with a collection of visting traditional Pacific Islander canoes adding to the mix.

The six year festival plan culminates in a major on-water festival in 2020 to mark the 250th anniversary of Cook’s landing.

In planning the strategic direction of the festival the museum has undertaken considerable consultation with a number of stakeholder groups including the Wooden Boat Association, the Halvorsen Club, the Historical Sailing Skiff Association, the Steam Boat Association of Australia, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and Sydney Heritage Fleet. Kevin Sumption expressed how delighted the museum is to be working in partnership with these important stakeholders on the future of the festival.

“The Australian National Maritime Museum is extremely proud to have managed the Classic and Wooden Boat Festival for the last twenty years. And as we look to the future we are delighted that we have the strong support of Australia’s boating community in planning and delivering three outstanding festivals in 2016, 2018 and 2020,” he said.

The Classic and Wooden Boat Festival is a weekend celebration of vintage and wooden boats from all around Australia. From beautiful Halvorsens, yachts and skiffs, classic speedboats, steam yachts and even Navy workboats it represents Australia’s rich maritime history. Boating enthusiasts and families enjoy a packed program of demonstrations, workshops, children’s activities and more set against the backdrop of sparkling Sydney Harbour.

The museum has ensured that its festival runs in alternate years to the biennial Tasmanian wooden boat show (next due in 2017) and will intends to work with that festival for mutual assistance.

The Australian National Maritime Museum on Darling Harbour is open daily from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm.