HMAS Choules has completed one of her more unusual tasks; delivering veteran Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race vessel Mistral II to Hobart.
Choules, an amphibious Landing Ship Dock, arrived in Tasmania's capital ahead of her role as Flag Ship at the Royal Hobart Regatta, as well as to support Tasmanian Navy Week activities.
The Commanding Officer of Choules said he was happy to transport Mistral II to her new home.
“Mistral II is being restored by the not-for-profit organisation Windward Bound Trust as an employment skills training project and, on completion, will be used as a sail training vessel,” said Commander Scott Houlihan.
“Choules was pleased to transport the 97-year old schooner from White Bay in Sydney to Hobart for the Trust.”
Mistral II raced in the first five Sydney to Hobart races, and transporting the 64-foot, 26-tonne vessel was no easy feat according to Major David English, the Officer in Command of the ship’s Army establishment.
“A number of stakeholders were involved in the load and transport of Mistral II from Sydney to Hobart. Everyone had different technical requirements and priorities,” MAJ English said.
“To get the job done, we had to manage complex ship movements, very heavy crane operations and remain in constant dialogue and flexible with planning. At the end of the day it all came together and produced a great outcome for everyone involved."
The Mistral II will be on display at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival from 8-11 February, before going into refurbishment.