I decided to make sports fields the theme of this post. All the ones pictured are used for multiple sports but I have only visited in summer to watch cricket.
This photo was taken in 2010, my first ever time at a cricket match and the first time I had seen inside Bellerive Oval. There is a big new grandstand where the two small ones are now which is a shame in a way because you can’t see the mountain as well as before.
In the lead up to the Cricket World Cup practice games were held at suburban grounds. This was at Kingston and I especially liked the way the ground staff had prepared for the game which was between Scotland and Tasmania.
Another first for me was to travel to Launceston on my own to see a charity cricket match at Aurora Stadium.
This one was taken at the playing fields at Rupertswood, a grand old house in Sunbury, Victoria. Cricket history has it that the legend of “The Ashes” began here. Apart from the modern lighting towers, this place has not changed a lot.
On the same trip to Victoria, my friends and I went on a tour of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It was not a match day and I am unlikely to ever see any cricket played there because I won’t go to the mainland in summer if I can avoid it. However, I can imagine these empty stands full of excited fans on Boxing Day the traditional first day of the post Christmas Test Match because I have seen it many times on television.
Today the day of the Bathurst 1000 motor race an iconic race for Australian motor sport fans.
David and I used to watch the race on TV every year. He loved it, probably as much for the history of it as the actual racing. As time went on I didn’t watch the whole race as it goes on for several hours but would just stop every now and then to get an update.
Since he’s been gone I’ve put the TV on in the morning for the start and watched a bit. This year for the first time I didn’t do that. I haven’t been watching the series all year and many of the drivers are unfamiliar to me. It feels a little weird as it’s been such a long-standing tradition but in truth I don’t feel the same about it any more.
My photos today are two old ones, not taken at Bathurst but at the Adelaide Formula 1 Grand Prix where the V8 Supercars were a major support event. Pictured is Peter Brock who won Bathurst 9 times; more than any other driver.
I do enjoy action photography although I find it quite difficult. We used to go regularly to the Australian Grand Prix when it was held in Adelaide and I took many photos there, most of them still not on the computer as this was in the days of film.
Between 2010 and 2017 I practiced my skill at capturing moving objects at cricket matches at Bellerive Oval in Hobart. I went to a lot of games in that time always striving for the perfect capture, when I wasn’t busy cheering for our team or groaning at some awful play that is. The photography part was always fun even if we lost. Here are a variety of shots from those years.
This has been the first summer in seven years that I have not attended a cricket match at Bellerive. I’ve been very lucky to have seen Australia play against many other countries as well as attending Hobart Hurricanes games in the Big Bash League. This year I had to be content with watching it all on television and I missed being able to take photos of the ground and the players. These photos were taken at the very first match I attended in January 2010, a Test Match between Australia and Pakistan.
Bellerive Oval, now more often known as Blundstone Arena looks very different now with the new Ricky Ponting Stand where two older, smaller stands are in my photo. It is a beautiful stand but I rather miss the view of Mount Wellington.
There is a lot of cricket played in Australia in January. There is a Test Match early in the month, One Day Internationals and the domestic Big Bash competition is in full swing. This photo was taken last summer when I attended a Hobart Hurricanes match at Bellerive.
The Sydney Hobart yacht race has been run and won again although not without controversy. It was a speedy race this year starting as usual at lunchtime on Boxing Day with the first yachts reaching Hobart at nightfall of the 27th. In fact I think five yachts arrived inside the record time set by Perpetual Loyal in 2016
As always Line Honours was hotly contested by the big maxi yachts including previous winners Wild Oats XI and Infotrack formerly Perpetual Loyal.
The controversy was over an incident between Wild Oats XI and Comanche in Sydney Harbour at the start of the race. I was watching on television when this happened and as Wild Oats XI tacked very close to Comanche the two came very close to colliding. Comanche raised a red protest flag almost at once as they were forced to change course. The race commentators explained that Comanche would have had right of way and that Wild Oats might do what they called penalty turns to avoid being given a penalty later. My understanding of this is that it is similar to where in motor racing if a car gains an advantage by cutting a corner while overtaking they must give the place back to the other car. However, as far as I know Wild Oats XI did not do this and the two big yachts raced each other all the way to the Derwent sometimes one leading and sometimes the other. In the Derwent River as often happens Comanche could not get enough wind and Wild Oats XI sailed past her to reach the finishing line twenty-six minutes ahead of her rival.
Commanche was declared line honours winner after a protest .
Wild Oats XI first to arrive in Hobart this year but penalised for an incident in Sydney Harbour
The next day there was a three hour hearing and the judges found that Wild Oats XI was at fault in the incident back in Sydney Harbour and gave her a one hour penalty. Of course that meant that Comanche now found herself the Line Honours winner. Guess Wild Oats XI should have done those penalty turns.
I decided to make my visit to the yachts on Friday as the weather forecast was better and many yachts had arrived by that time, several more arrived while I was there. It is always nice to see them sailing in. They drop their sails after passing the finish line and before entering Constitution Dock they do a lap of honour past the shed at Princes Wharf where they are applauded by the patrons of the Taste of Tasmania before being directed to a berth and handed the traditional slab of beer.
I always follow the same routine at the dock. I walk out on to the temporary pontoons between the lines of yachts. It is usually very crowded and there are a lot of obstacles to taking photos like people with prams, crew members moving luggage or gear, small children with ice creams, men with cans of beer standing around near their yachts and of course other photographers. The pontoons are quite steady to walk on but I confess that I like to stand near a bollard when taking a picture because I feel more secure that way.
I like to photograph the Line Honours Winner and the overall winner on handicap if it has been decided by the time I get there. This year’s overall winner was Ichi Ban a yacht that I usually try to photograph as part of a group of familiar names that I like to look out for. Helsal 3 is another of these.
Ichi Ban, this year’s overall winner.
Yachts with unusual names, interesting colour schemes or those from overseas are also ones that I like to photograph. My favourite this year was “Occasional Coarse Language”. Very appropriate on a racing yacht I imagine.
There was quite a bit of activity on the yachts too. As many had not long arrived there was a lot of unpacking, cleaning and stowing of gear going on so I was able to get some pictures of that too.
I found this name amusing.
A yacht from New York
After my walk I bought some lunch at one of the food vans set up nearby. I finished up the day by visiting the Taste of Tasmania over on Princes Wharf but I’ll write about that elsewhere.
The Ashes are on again and the First Test is being played at “The Gabba” in Brisbane this week. I think this beardless boy is England wicket keeper Johnny Bairstow. This photo was taken four years ago when England were playing a tour match against Australia A. Hobart does not rate an Ashes Test Match which is a shame because I’d love to see one but hate going to the mainland in summer.