Minstral II brought back to life

ONE of Australia’s most famous yachts will be brought back to life by the Windeward Bound Foundation to provide new training opportunities for young Tasmanians.

The restoration of the ‘Mistral ll’ will provide 18 disadvantaged young Tasmanians with training opportunities and a chance to learn new skills, build confidence and prepare for entering the workforce.

The restoration has been made possible thanks to more than $220,000 in grant funding through the Department of State Growth’s Training and Work Pathways Program.

Windeward Bound Trust managing trustee Captain Sarah Parry extended her sincere thanks to the State Government for its support for Mistral II’s new life.

“The restoration project will provide local job seekers with experience in a supportive, structured workplace and training to help them enter the workforce,” Captain Parry said.

“We hope that this program will help give our young trainees the helping hand they need to get a start in the workforce and realise their potential.

“Helping to restore such a historic vessel and preserving its place in maritime history is an enriching and deeply satisfying experience.”

Minister for Education and Training Jeremy Rockliff, who officially launched the project last month, said the Government had committed $220,000 towards the project.

“Trainees will undertake a four-day-a-week training program with TasTAFE, STV Windeward Bound and Seafood and Maritime Training Tasmania,” he said.

“The Liberal Government is focused on developing the skills needed now and into the future to support our growing economy and we are proud to support this program.”

Captain Parry said trainees would work regular hours with a shipwright to manufacture and install new frames, beams and decks on Mistral II and restore her paintwork.

“While they help bring her back to life, our trainees will also undertake short course training programs through TasTAFE and Seafood & Maritime Training,” she said.

“We’re so proud to be the custodians of Mistral II.

“We look forward to her being out on the blue water once more, providing youth development and sail training opportunities to the Australian community.

“On behalf of the Board, our crew and the young Tasmanians who will one day set sail on her, I want to thank Minister Rockliff and the State Government for their support and for giving Mistral II a second life.”

In her heyday, the Mistral ll raced in the first six Sydney to Hobart yacht races, chalking up three consecutive line honours second places between 1946 and 1948.

Since those glory days, the yacht fell into disrepair and returned to Hobart through the efforts of the Windeward Bound Foundation on the RAN’s heavy load ship HMAS Choules, as part of the 2018 Australian Wooden Boat Festival.

It is hoped a partially restored Mistral II will be ready to meet Sydney to Hobart fleet on the water for the race’s 75th anniversary in 2020 and be fully restored by her own 100th anniversary in 2022.

Caption: Minister for Education and Training Jeremy Rockliff with Windeward Bound Trust managing trustee Captain Sarah Parry and crew.

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