May 30, 2015


Star Clippers, the tall ship sailing specialist, has started building a fourth ship to add to their fleet of graceful square riggers and the first new build since the launch of “Royal Clipper” in July 2000. The new vessel will be the biggest and most ambitious to date, carrying 300 passengers, measuring 8,770 tons and powered by more than 6,350 sq m of sails. Technically a five masted, square-rigged barque, the new ship will be launched in the second half of 2017 and is yet to be named.

The company’s flagship “Royal Clipper” is modelled on the legendary German sailing ship “Preussen”, but the new member of the fleet will be a near-replica of the even more dramatic “France II”, commissioned in 1911 and the largest square rigger ever built. Just as the original “France II” eclipsed “Preussen” more than a century ago as the world’s largest square rigger, Star Clippers’ new build will replace its sister, “Royal Clipper”, as the largest ship of its kind afloat today.

As well as generous deck space, the new vessel will have a watersports platform in the stern, for use when the ship is at anchor. Three pools, with one that funnels sunlight through the ship’s atrium into the elegantly appointed dining room, will ensure those who like a swim are well catered for. A restaurant in the light filled atrium will accommodate all passengers for open seating dining.

Regular guests will be pleased to find the hallmarks of all Star Clippers ships, such as the cosy library, bowsprit net and the al fresco Tropical Bar, where evening entertainment takes place. Adding to the comfort levels for the 300 passengers are four luxurious owner’s suites, 34 suites with balconies plus a variety of cabin grades.

The new ship, which is to be delivered in the second half of 2017, will have ecologically sound high-tech engines, but like its sisters, will rely on wind power and its sails wherever possible. She will initially sail the company’s most popular itineraries in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

Operating three of the world’s largest and tallest sailing vessels, Star Clippers visits ports often untouched by larger cruise ships and offers passengers the activities, amenities and atmosphere of a private yacht. Passengers can enjoy the romance of sailing on board a true tall ship in a relaxed atmosphere, with high standards of service.

Star Clippers, with headquarters in Monaco, was founded in 1989 by Swedish entrepreneur and classic boat connoisseur, Mikael Krafft, who initially operated two identical four masted barquentines, “Star Flyer”, which set sail in 1991 and her twin, “Star Clipper”, launched in 1992. The vessels were the first sailing clippers to be built since 1910 and heralded a renaissance of a golden age of sail. In 2000, he added a third vessel, “Royal Clipper”, a fully square rigged vessel with 42 sails. “Royal Clipper” holds the Guinness World Record as being the biggest five masted ship in the world.

Sandra Tiltman


May 30, 2015

EORA Bangarra Vivid Sydney2015 Photo by Tiffany Parker

Each evening when the city lights up for Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, the southern pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge will feature a spectacular projection of contemporary dance and Eora history, thanks to a partnership between Bangarra Dance Theatre and the University of Sydney.

Visitors, along with Sydneysiders can discover Sydney’s Aboriginal history through EORA, a three minute video, visible nightly from 6pm to midnight for the duration of Vivid Sydney which runs until 8 June. Created by Bangarra’s Artistic Director Stephen Page and Head of Design Jacob Nash, EORA stars Bangarra dancers Kaine Sultan-Babij and Nicola Sabatino.

The work was created in celebration and continuation of Eora knowledge. “Following the re-awakening of Patyegarang last year with our first video projection on the pylon, we wanted to reclaim this significant place that is Dawes Point by continuing the sharing and celebration of the Eora. We invite people to cast their mind back to just a few hundreds years ago and re-imagine the place we live on today. We look forward to many more years of celebration of our culture”,
 Stephen Page said.

EORA will also be projected on the University of Sydney’s famous quadrangle facade.

Sandra Tiltman  


May 30, 2015


Macular Degeneration is Australia’s leading cause of severe vision loss and blindness, but many still wrongly confuse symptoms of the disease as a normal sign of ageing. Affecting more than 1.15 million Australians over 50, it is set to increase to 1.7 million by 2030, without appropriate prevention and treatment measures.

The most common symptoms include difficulty in reading or doing any other activity that requires fine vision, distortion where straight lines appear wavy or bent, distinguishing faces becomes a problem and dark patches or empty spaces appear in the centre of your vision.

Although the condition may not make itself apparent until later in life, preventative measures can be started much earlier. Smoking damages the cells in your retina and more than doubles the risk of age related Macular Degeneration. To protect your retina from the impact of harmful UV rays, wear good quality sunglasses with 100% UVA protection. Eat well, as research suggests that diets rich in carotenoids found in leafy green vegetables, such as raw carrot, broccoli and raw spinach can reduce the risk of Macular Degeneration. Be self aware, between visits to your eye health professional, those over 50 should monitor for changes in vision by using an Amsler grid, a simple tool which tests for symptoms of Macular Degeneration.

A chronic disease, Macular Degeneration, can be diagnosed through regular eye tests that examine the retina. Early detection is crucial as there are a great number of treatment options available to slow the progression of the disease. Macular Degeneration Week highlights the need for Australians to get sight smart and to consider having regular eye examinations.

Sandra Tiltman