The Sail Indonesia Rally is on again for 2009 and will depart from Darwin for Indonesia on July 18. So far an amazing 88 boats have registered their interest for this valuable rally, which introduces yachts as seamlessly as possible to Indonesia and the Asian cruising grounds beyond.
The organisers are still taking registrations of interest, and judging by those who missed out in previous years, one is well advised to register early.
Boats from Australia and the United Kingdom are represented heavily among the entries, but there are also many others from a wide range of countries. European boats are there in force, while under-represented this year are yachts from the USA. Among more unusual entries are those from the Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands and Vanuatu. The majority of yachts are between 30ft and 50ft, and the more heavily constructed, long keeled yachts are in the majority.
Sail Indonesia 2009 will be as full of interest and adventure as ever. The fun begins as you leave Darwin, and during the following 3 months you be invited to a series of Cultural Festivals at different locations through Indonesia.
As in past years the Local Administration at each of these Indonesian islands has planned a number of events at the time of your visit which include a ceremonial welcome and dinner as well as cultural and arts displays and also dance performances.
Participants will be able so see some of the more remote parts of Indonesia away from the well worn tourist areas. At each of these stopovers you will be able to experience different peoples and their cultures, different lifestyles, different arts, crafts, foods and even different languages.
The new route, to take into consideration negotiations with authorities in Indonesia, is shown above. In previous years yachts had problems with high import duties demanded on their arrival in Indonesia.
In announcing the recent changes, the organisers said: 'There have been some changes to the route across Indonesia for 2009, we at Sail Indonesia can only apologise for this however it is outside our control. The reason for this is that the Indonesian Government wish to make Sail Bunaken a success fo 2009. To attract as many participants as possible entry to Sail Indonesia will be free for 2009 and there will be also an amount of $5000 USD as cash prizes for some stages of the event.'
After extensive meetings at the end of February 2009 in both Jakarta and Manado the Indonesian Government has decided that the traditional Western Passage will be cancelled for 2009.
For full details of the route, the Indonesian expectations and the other tricky aspects of this favourite cruising route, go the the Sail Indonesia web page.
Map of the route