Catch the classics up close this weekend

Join us 13-15 April 2018 to celebrate the beauty and diversity of Australia’s heritage vessels and meet their craftspeople at the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival. Image: The 2016 Classic & Wooden Boat Festival / ANMM.

Join us this weekend to celebrate the beauty and diversity of Australia’s heritage vessels and meet their craftspeople at the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival. Image: The 2016 Classic & Wooden Boat Festival / ANMM.

Classic & Wooden Boat Festival 2018

The much anticipated Classic and Wooden Boat Festival is on at the Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour in just a few days, starting Friday 13th April and winding up on Sunday afternoon, 15th April. It’s a huge display of vessels, along with food and trade stalls as well as family-friendly entertainment, throughout the three days. Some of Australia’s most outstanding and prominent craft are coming once again to show off their style and elegance, while highlighting the craftsmanship that goes into maintaining these vessels.

SY Ena and Hurrica V will be centre stage. Both were built by WM Ford boatbuilders and have undergone multimillion-dollar rebuilding and restoration projects. They exemplify classic Edwardian elegance, reflecting their original status as gentlemen’s yachts, one of steam and one with sails.

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Kathleen Gillett on the harbour

Last Sunday the elegant Kathleen Gillett, usually moored at our museum wharves, took part in the Great Veteran’s Race on Sydney Harbour. With a crew made up of museum staff and volunteers, Kathleen Gillett made her way gracefully around the Great Veteran’s Harbour course, but unfortunately did not finish the race. We won’t hold that against the crew though!

The Great Veteran’s Race, is the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual tribute to those classic Sydney Hobart Yacht race yachts that sailed south in the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s and marks the opening of the Audi Winter Series.

Kathleen Gillett, a gaff-rigged ketch, was built in 1939 for Sydney marine artist Jack Earl to sail around the world. A founder of the Sydney-Hobart yacht race, Earl sailed Kathleen Gillett in the first race in 1945. Two years later, the ketch (named after Earl’s wife) circumnavigated the globe, only the second Australian yacht to do so. Kathleen Gillett’s venturesome career later included island trade and crocodile-hunting expeditions. In 1987, she was found in Guam and bought by the Norwegian government as a bicentennial gift to Australia.

Kathleen Gillett is moored at the museum’s wharves, along with our vast historic fleet and can be viewed any day of the year.

Below are some photographs of Kathleen Gillett in action last Sunday, what spectacular sight it was!

The race crew on board Cathleen Gillett

The race crew, including museum staff and volunteers on board Kathleen Gillett.

The beautiful Kathleen Gillett on Sydney Harbour

The beautiful Kathleen Gillett on Sydney Harbour

Kathleen Gillett on Sydney Harbour

Gliding on Sydney Harbour

Kathleen Gillett taking part in the Great Veterans Race on Sydney Harbour

The Great Veterans Race on Sydney Harbour