It was all in the name of Australia day, held on 26th January each year. The official national day of Australia; it is the largest civic holiday in Australia.
There was a slightly dodgy moment when one of the Manly ferries seemed to be running as normal, on its route, in the completely opposite direction to the flow of the race, and down the middle of the competing ferries. I am sure it was all planned...maybe...
The first to cross the winning line of the harbour bridge was the ferry, Friendship.
However we did get into the spirit and purchase something with the flag on it: