Stuart leads Royal Hobart Regatta celebrations

Published on LEUT Adam Grover and LEUT John Cole (author)

Topic(s): Australian Navy Cadets, HMAS Anzac (F150), HMAS Stuart (F153)

Commanding Officer HMAS Stuart, Commander Simon Howard, Commander Dugald Clelland, and Lieutenant James Brandreth on the bridge wing while coming alongside in Hobart, Tasmania.  (photo: Unknown)
Commanding Officer HMAS Stuart, Commander Simon Howard, Commander Dugald Clelland, and Lieutenant James Brandreth on the bridge wing while coming alongside in Hobart, Tasmania.

Bagpipes, cheers and applause greeted the visit of HMAS Stuart to Hobart last week for the ship's duties as Flagship for the Royal Hobart Regatta.

The ship's company were kept busy with a range of activities to represent the fleet and add colour and pomp to the Regatta festivities.

Stuart’s Commanding Officer, Commander Simon Howard, presented the Navy Cup at Elwick racecourse as part of the Royal Hobart Cup racing season.

Members of Stuart's crew participated in the second oldest rowing race in the southern hemisphere as part of the Royal Hobart Regatta, acquitting themselves favourably against well-credentialed local crews.

Stuart was opened to the public for inspection, and in addition to hosting about 3000 curious guests on the day, she welcomed Australian Navy Cadets from Training Ship Derwent and potential recruits escorted by Defence Force Recruiting.

The open day finished with an official function for local dignitaries, a highlight of which was a ceremonial sunset in conjunction with the Royal Australian Navy Band.

Navy Headquarters - Tasmania Commanding Officer, Commander Lewis Gaha, said the response to the visit of Stuart, and the generosity of the crew, was overwhelmingly positive.

"A number of people remarked to me at the ship's open day about the friendliness of the crew, and the high regard in which Stuart is held in Tasmania," he said.

"These visits are important to the local community, in particular as Stuart was the Flagship of the Royal Hobart Regatta, which has a history stretching back to 1838.

"The visits give the local community an opportunity to engage with the crews of our visiting ships in both social and sporting contexts.

"It was also an opportunity for the various Tasmanian Cadet units, and the Defence Force Recruiting organisation - including prospective applicants for Navy - to have private tours of the ships."

Very early on Monday morning, in accordance with tradition, Stuart, on behalf of the Royal Australian Navy, took up position off the Regatta site in the River Derwent.

In addition to receiving a number of official guests and dignitaries, Stuart was the backdrop for the races and festivities of the Regatta.

On her departure from Hobart, Stuart joined HMAS Anzac and travelled in company to Fleet Base West where she is scheduled to complete an Anti-Ship Missile Defence upgrade later this year.