Australian Ambassador to the Netherlands Brett Mason and Damen Shipyards Group CEO René Berkvens have carried out a celebratory send-off of the Dutch royal sailing yacht Oranje to the Australian Wooden Boat Festival. The eight-metre long vessel was sealed in a shipping container ready for transport to Hobart, Tasmania. As well as signifying the close historical ties between the Netherlands and Tasmania, the event also strengthens Damen’s connections with this Australian island.
Held first in 1994, and every two years since then, the Australian Wooden Boat Festival is a four-day event that attracts the largest numbers of wooden boats in the Southern Hemisphere. The festival takes place in Hobart, Tasmania.
The 2017 edition of the Australian Wooden Boat Festival will have a distinct Dutch theme. This is to celebrate the 375th anniversary of Dutch seafarer and explorer Abel Tasman’s discovery of what became known as Tasmania.