Royal Hobart Regatta 2016

I finally got a chance to check out the action and festivities at the Royal Hobart Regatta yesterday and it certainly didn’t disappoint, a great day out for all the family.

The Royal Hobart Regatta began in 1838 and consists of a series of aquatic competitions and displays held annually ever since making it Tasmania’s oldest sporting event. The regatta runs for three days, ending on the second Monday in February, and dominates the whole river for the duration of the event.

It was begun by the then Governor of Tasmania, Sir John Franklin. Back in the early days, Franklin provided free food and beer for all of the spectators, and the tradition of free entry continues to this day (The tradition of free food and beer alas does not). The Monday was declared as a public holiday by the governor, and is now the oldest public holiday still continuing in Australia.

The regatta is held in grounds known as the “Regatta Ground” at the Queens Domain along the western side of the River Derwent. The grounds are now dominated by the Hobart Cenotaph, a war memorial to Tasmania’s war dead.

It is normally well attended by public and competitors and is usually well supported by the Royal Australian Navy, which sends a warship to be a flagship for the regatta, this year the HMAS Stuart was on hand to lend its support to the event and keep a long tradition alive.

Some of the notable events that took place at the regatta this year were a return by the powerboats after a two-year hiatus, jet skis, sideshows, rides, rowing races, woodchopping, yacht racing, a Regatta Boy/Girl Pageant and the traditional fireworks on Monday night.

It was a scorcher of a day on Monday with the main grandstand providing some much needed shade for those attending on the day. There were events taking place throughout the regatta grounds with a fun fair on site to keep the kids entertained, while the adults checked out the festivities around the site. It was easy enough to get about and I managed to fit in most of the events on the agenda for the day. I had to head home in the late afternoon but was delighted to be able to catch the fireworks display from Mount Nelson later in the evening.

It’s great being able to experience traditions like this in Hobart and indeed in any new place for that matter. Here’s hoping this event keeps going for many more years.

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One of the powerboats races past the HMAS Stuart

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The chequered flag is waved at the end of one of the powerboat races.

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The SV Rhona H floats past the regatta grounds.

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Windeward Bound turns around in front of the Tasman Bridge before making her way back to dock.

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The Chinese Lion Dance gave the crowd a taste of multicultural entertainment.

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The poor dancers must have been absolutely exhausted after dancing around in the sweltering heat.

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Members of the Police strain hard during the tug of war competition.

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It was smiles all round during the tug of war which eventually took a sizeable group to take down the winning members of the Police force.

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The winner of this particular wood chopping event hacks away at his log.

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There was activity all over the Derwent all day long, as befitting such an event.

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Some of the HMAS Stuart’s crew exploring the regatta grounds.

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Two ladies having a chat while hiding from the blistering sun above.

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Guests on board the Golden Princess cruise ship enjoyed some of the best views in the house from its sumptuous decks.

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Watching over the events on the river.

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One of the more powerful…ummm….powerboats waiting to tear up the Derwent.

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Hard at it during the tug of war event.

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The “tree” event during the wood chopping event is certainly not for those afraid of heights.

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The navy had one of their helicopters on sight for the crowds to explore.

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Chilling out at the Regatta.

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The fireworks display brought the three day event to a close and gave the cruise ship passengers a fond final memory of their trip to Hobart.


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