Paul Cullen writes:
'Greetings, friends of the MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival:
Welcome to the first AWBF News Blog of 2016 and best wishes for a successful and prosperous New Year from all of us here at the Hobart office. The pace is already quickening, as we look forward to a very busy year. As we mentioned before, we'll be helping to deliver the Australian Antarctic Festival in September (8-13) while simultaneously preparing for the MyState Australian Wooden Boat Festival in February 2017.
The past year was very kind to us, with a successful AWBF delivered in February 2015, scoring a win in the Tasmanian Tourism Awards for Best Major Event or Festival, and going on as a finalist to the Australian Tourism Awards. That result will be announced in February, and you'll be hearing the news as soon as we do. Just last week we were pleased to learn that the 2015 Festival has been named the Australia Day Community Event of the Year by the Hobart City Council. Deputy Chairman Peter Higgs will accept the award on behalf of Chairman Steve Knight, who will be skippering the annual Gypsy expedition on the East Coast, a tradition that goes back more than 100 years.
This month, we'll tell you about the exciting line-up of feature vessels already taking shape for 2017 and plans to honour the 375th anniversary of Dutch explorer Abel Tasman's visit, back in 1642, to the island that would one day bear his name. There's great news about a new sponsor for the International Wooden Boat Symposium and if you are in Hobart next month you won't want to miss the chance to board a tall ship for the Channel Classic (7-8 February), a new event connecting the Royal Hobart Regatta and the Kettering Wooden Boat Rally for the first time. AWBF will help coordinate this weekend of sailing on the beautiful River Derwent. If you are in Sydney, look for us at the Classic & Wooden Boat Festival at the Australian National Maritime Museum (15-17 April 2016).
We're delighted to welcome our invaluable and long-serving Office Manager, Bronwyn Hansson, back from her Australia-wide travels and answering phone enquiries from Monday to Thursday 8:30 to 2:30pm on (03) 6223 3375.'