Sunday, 20 February 2011

Let's attend the Royal Hobart Regatta 2011

Well, trusty Planetarians, I’m pleased you enjoyed our jaunts around ‘the market’ and the Australian Wooden Boat Festival. Now how about you come with us on a visit to the Royal Hobart Regatta? Sounds fun? Okay, let’s slap those sunnies and sunscreen on again, unload the pixies from the chariot  and walk up to the Queen’s Domain, on the banks of the River Derwent. Hold onto your hats – it’s a bit windy! Hey, you know I can’t resist another flag photo – this is the Royal Hobart Regatta Association’s proud standard, fluttering strongly in a good southerly breeze up the Derwent.
This venerable Regatta has been held there every year since 1838 (except for 1967 when the infamous bushfires ravaged Hobart). Given Tasmania (then the colony of Van Diemen’s Land) was only settled in 1803, ‘the Regatta’, as the locals call it, has been an institution from the early days of British settlement. Started by the then Governor of Tasmania, Sir John Franklin, both as a free exhibition of aquatic competitions and displays and relaxation for the citizens, it is the oldest Australian public holiday.

A three day event, it’s still free. It even lays claim to being ‘the largest aquatic festival in the Southern Hemisphere’.  And how we 'southerners' cherish it (the ‘northerners’ of this fair island don’t get the holiday – they instead have Recreation Day in November!). Mr Wikipedia gives an informative account of the Regatta’s history here.

There are races for rowing (my grandfather used to participate in them as a coxswain in the 1940s), keelboats (my Dad used to participate in them and I used to be an official timekeeper), power boats, jet skis, dragon boats (maybe one day Mr PB and I will compete), outrigger canoes, swimming (including the prestigious 1.6 km Trans-Derwent swim) and a fishing competition. During the early 1900s, novelty events were introduced such as the (late-lamented – we used to love watching it as children) greasy pole competition.

Here are two very excited pixies at the start of our visit.
Joshua and India want to head over to Sideshow Alley first, if that’s okay. “Step right up, step right up. Come and try your luck” sound the loudhailers. What do we have here? This is a classic childhood memory for Mr PB and me, popping the balls in the mouths of these very clowns, hoping they’d drop into the right slots to add up to a number which would result in an excellent prize.
The ducks are fun as well.
Joshie and India prefer the Mickey Mouse versions so let’s see how they go. Joshie pops a ball in Mickey’s mouth.
How does he fare? Hmm, a grand total of 14.
Joshie wins a plastic sword (with sheath) and India scores a garish soft bunny. Look how delighted they are!
Sam, meanwhile, is taking it easy in his pram, just observing so he knows what to do for next year.
Now here’s something all the pixies can do together – take a little boat ride! Hop in and Joshie, make sure Sam doesn’t try to escape!
Now let’s see how they go. Hmm, happy campers, I’d say!
What else is about? There are slides. Hmm, maybe next year when you’re all a bit bigger.
Now let’s have a wander down to the Pavillion and sit on the grass. The rowing and sailing races are over but we might see some power boats taking a spin. Mr PB and India will lead the way, okay?
The Royal Australian Navy always sends a warship to be the Regatta’s flagship – this year it’s HMAS Parramatta.
What a shame – we’ve missed the tug-of-war between crew members from HMAS Ballarat and HMAS Parramatta. Oh, well, there’s always next year.

The Royal Australian Air Force normally sends the RAAF Roulettes to perform a dazzling aerobatic display, swooping in formation all over Hobart. Unfortunately, this year one of their planes broke down so the pixies were denied the thrill. This is what they usually look like.
They're always so impressive
How about a family shot (guess who’s holding the camera as usual ☺)?
Okay, Joshie you can take one with me in it. Hmm, it’s a little windy and glary for my liking but we’re keeping it real on Planet Baby, Planetarians!
Okay, Sam has ‘cracked it’ – time for Mr PB to take him to the chariot. Why don’t you join Joshie, India and me watching the wood-chopping competition? It’s a classic Tasmanian affair, although our Tasmanian world champion, David Foster, is missing this year. Let’s sit on this wooden stand and watch them prepare. First, they have to select an axe.
Then they have to discuss which one to use.
And then off they go! Er, I deleted the video I took but the man on the right won!
We'd like to stay to watch the teams event involving those big upright logs in the background (it's a stunning backdrop, don't you think?) but it's not for a few hours. There's always next year...
So now it’s time to take these weary pixies home. How did you find the Regatta? Was there anything novel that caught your imagination? I’d love to hear!


  1. Woodchop! That's my favourite thing ever... I mean it. I have no idea why. When the Show comes to town, that's where you'll find me for the day with my sandwiches and my flask. Woodchop. x

  2. I used to love the clowns and the boat ride. I was always obsessed with anything involving water (still am). Boy, you guys had a busy weekend last week. I hope the one just gone was nice and relaxing for you :)

  3. love this family adventure! love the clowns - ahh! the memories.

    we have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. David Foster several times at shows in Adelaide. We even have his book! Matt would work every year in the wood chopping area and loved watching the big guys do their thing.

    Great to see your family had a wonderful day and so great to see you looking lovely in a picture too! Naomi x

  4. Oh, those pixies
    are just.too.cute!!
    The festival truly
    looks like something
    out of another era ~
    those clowns, especially!
    I was enjoying the sun
    on my shoulders via you
    and your lovely family....
    We are in the middle
    of a snowstorm, here!
    xx Suzanne

  5. The little wooden boat ride is just divine. I have never seen anything
    Ike it anywhere in the world! x

  6. You wre busy the weekend before last! I only made it to the wooden boats xox

  7. Beautiful outing Jane.
    I'm sure your little ones had a wonderful time!

  8. Thanks for taking me to the Regatta. It looks like a fun place to visit and your pixies look like they had lots of fun. I love the clown game too. xo

  9. You're right Jane, that is a magnificent backdrop for a day out. I like the look of the woodchoppers. x

  10. I was a bit hasty there and forgot to say thanks for the introduction to Georgie at St Johns Wood - yes, divine library. x

  11. Fantatic Jane...what a great outing!!
    Your pixies are adorable and that hubbie of yours is too :)
    I think I tell you that every time!

    Jeanne xx

  12. Busy! You certainly are a busy bee, Jane... thanks for taking me along! gxo

  13. What fun! Loved the photos of everyone! Sam in his pram. :)

    You all had a very busy weekend. Great fun!

  14. Wow, what a great festival. It looks like you guys had a ball. Just wait till next year, Sam will show you all how to do it. lol.


  15. hi jane!

    just saw your comment on my blog! (a bit late, but i found it!) i'm so glad you liked your labels and gift tags! i'll definitely let you know if i have any blog-related questions :)
    thanks so much!

  16. This looks like another wonderful sunshiney day by the water in Hobart town.

    I must say, Josh did a fine job with the photo, it's a lovely shot of the three of you together.

    Methinks Tourism Tasmania should be paying you a commission for your work promoting your perfect patch of paradise!

    Felicity x

  17. I have to admit Jane, as a relatively recent arrival I just don't 'get' the Regatta (don't get me wrong though, I'm happy to take the holiday!). Thanks for the history lesson, it makes a little more sense now.

    We love the woodchopping too - in fact it was Doots' favourite thing at the show!

  18. Hi Jane!
    Couldn't sleep, middle of the night here, so I'm off reading all the posts I have missed while being away (your kids look so cute!).
    I'm going to pretend it's your timezone, instead of mine... Hugs, Maureen x

  19. Looks like a fun and beautiful day. I've been thinking of you with the earthquake. Were you able to feel it? XOL

  20. Hi Jane, these pics look amazing...must have been a great happy and sunny day! Thank you for your lovely comments on creJJtion and adding the give-away to your side bar, how sweet of you!
    Have a great day,
    love Maaike

  21. Cripes! I turn my back and look how industrious you've all been!

    Bron, I am so delighted to find a fellow admirer. We Tasmanians are very proud of our wood-chopping heritage, especially our world champions!

    Yes, Sarah, that weekend was full-on. I'd love to see your boat some time.

    Naomi, I'm most impressed you know about David Foster. What a legend. And you're very kind about my photo - I'm trying to step out from behind the camera more this year but that wind wasn't the best inducement!

    Ah, Suzanne, I can't imagine how much you must be shivering over there. Sorry to rub it in ☺. It's funny - it all seems so natural to us here but it seems to others, the Regatta is a reminder of days long-gone.

    Emma, you need to plan a trip down here with your pirates at Regatta time - next year they could have a ride with the pixies!

    Beth, I'm so glad you've found Georgie - her heavenly library is only one part of her divine homestead.

    Felicity, I have been pondering that myself a little. I haven't yet found anyone blogging about life in Tasmania 'on the ground' - I'm on the hunt.

    Ah, Sarah, I'll fill you in on it a lot more next time we meet. Unfortunately, we were only there mainly for the land events. The aquatic events were on beforehand and they really capture the Regatta's spirit.

    Ah, Maureen, so glad to transport you.

    Laura, no, there's a lot of water between us and NZ but thanks for the thought. Those poor Christchurchers - two earthquakes so close together is really so cruel.

    Thanks, Maaike, and so fabulous to have you stopping by. Your giveaway is just divine, you generous soul. J x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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