A long blast from the whistle of HMAS Hobart sent kayakers on the River Derwent in Hobart paddling furiously.

Hobart officially started the annual kayak race on February 7, held as part of the 183rd annual Royal Hobart Regatta.

The ship was an impressive backdrop for the Regatta, sitting at anchor on the River Derwent for the festivities, which included fireworks.

The Regatta’s main event was a sail-past of a fleet of wooden ships, with a ceremonial salute to the Governor of Tasmania Professor Kate Warner aboard the Governor’s launch. 

This was Hobart’s second visit to her namesake city since commissioning in 2017, and her crew marked the occasion by rigging her from bow to stern in code flags in a practice known as ‘dressing ship’. 

The visit was a special occasion for the Tasmanian sailors and officers in the ship nicknamed the Green Ghost.

Many of the crew were visiting their hometown on a warship for the first time.

Assistant marine engineer officer Lieutenant Jack Petersen, who joined the Navy from the Hobart suburb of Rokeby, said he was proud to be back. 

“It’s a great feeling to see Hobart from this viewpoint,” he said.

“I can’t quite see my old school, but it’s quite something thinking about how much I’ve done since leaving there”.

Commanding Officer Hobart Commander Andrew Pepper said he was grateful to be able to bring his ship to his home state. 

“It’s a great privilege for Hobart to support her namesake city in this way,” Commander Pepper said.  

“We really appreciate the relationship with our ceremonial homeport and interacting with the crowd afloat was a great expression of that.” 

Commanding Officer HMAS Hobart Commander Andrew Pepper, right, and other Tasmanian-born members of the ship’s company wave during the ship's visit to Hobart for the 2021 Royal Hobart Regatta. Photo: Warrant Officer Class 2 Max Bree