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Sun shines on regatta

03 Sep 2015

Sun shines on regatta Image

Thousands of people flocked to Docklands last month to take part in the Melbourne Regatta and Melbourne Day celebrations.

Following a week of grey and rainy weather, the sun emerged to shine on the August 30 event, which celebrated both Melbourne’s 180th birthday and Docklands waterways.

Organised by the Melbourne Passenger Boat Association, the Melbourne Regatta and Blessing of the Fleet saw boats fill Victoria Harbour.

Spectators also gathered at the harbour’s edge to watch Father Bob Maguire preside over the annual Blessing of the Fleet before a flotilla of vessels departed the harbour in an impressive display.

Leading the flotilla was the Enterprize, a replica of the topsail schooner that brought the first white settlers to Melbourne 180 years ago on August 30 in 1835.

With its crew decked out in period costumes, the Enterprize was dressed up for the occasion, which also coincided with the ship’s 18th birthday.

Activities along the harbour-side were organised by the Melbourne Day Committee and saw the crowds enjoy a free concert featuring the Pierce Brothers, Soli Tesema and headliners Daryl Braithwaite and Russell Morris.

The Docklands Sunday Market proved to be a hit, along with street performers around the waterfront.

Docklands’ own Open Door Singers choir also had the opportunity to perform to its first large audience in a public performance on the harbour side.

According to Melbourne Regatta and Blessing of the Fleet co-ordinator Bill Reid the day was a huge success.

“There were more people in Docklands than I’ve ever seen before,” he said. “There must have been at least 10,000 people here throughout the day.”

Melbourne Passenger Boat Association president Jeff Gordon was also pleased with the success of the event, tipping a crowd of between 20,000 to 30,000.

“We were really surprised and excited to see so many people turn out on the day,” Mr Gordon said. “We hope this will become Dockands’ major public event.”

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