Sail Indonesia 2011, along with the Darwin to Ambon Yacht Race and Rally, will depart from Darwin on Saturday, July 23 at 11:00 am local time. In the following three months, all participants are invited to participate in a series of events and cultural festivals at the different stopovers across Indonesia from the islands of Timor, Banda, Ambon, Buton, Lembata, Wakatobi, Flores, Komodo, Sulawesi, Bali, Java, Kalimantan, Belitung, and finally on to Batam or Bintan just south of Singapore.
This year’s highlights in Sail Indonesia are the Sail Wakatobi, to be held August 23-29, 2011 and Sail Belitung, from October 5-12, 2011, filled with cultural activities, seminars on oceans and the environment, and underwater photography competitions. Over 200 yachts are expected to participate in the event.
Sail Indonesia is an annual mega Sailing Rally across Indonesian waters, now in its eleventh year, that begins in Darwin every year in the middle of July. The departure from Darwin on July 23 is the beginning of a 3-month program of linked events across Indonesia. These events are supported by the Indonesian government and various local governments at the designated destinations across the country.
As a part of the Sail Indonesia, the Indonesian Sailing Association, PORLASI, has also scheduled to sail off the Darwin to Ambon Yacht Race on the same day, Saturday July 23.
The Sail Indonesia 2011 features 3 routes across Indonesia’s vast seas. The first entry port for immigration and customs clearance will be at Kupang as in past years at 10° 09 and 123° 34′ located 420 miles WNW from Darwin, and from there participants follow the traditional Western Passage Route. The second entry port and immigration and customs clearance will be at Saumlaki at 07° 54’ and 131° 22 ’ located 270 miles north of Darwin in the Tanimbar Islands, and is the first stopover of the Eastern Passage or Saumlaki Route. The third one is the direct Yacht Race from Darwin to Ambon.
The Western Passage Route takes ships first to Kupang, which is one of the main cities in Eastern Indonesia located at the western end of Timor and is well known as the place where Captain Bligh finished his epic journey across the Pacific after the mutiny on the H.M.S. Bounty in June of 1789. From there the route goes on to Rote (Roti), Alor, Lembata, Sikka, Ende, Riung, Labuan Bajo, Lombok, Bali, Karimun Jawa, Kumai River in Kalimantan, Belitung, Bintan, and finally Batam.
The Eastern Passage passes the first checkpoint at Saumlaki, which has been available for Sail Indonesia yachts since 2008, then to Tual, Banda, Ambon, Wakatobi, Bau-bau, Selayar/Bulukumba, and expected to arrive at Makassar for the city’s anniversary on September 14 to 17. From Makassar Eastern Passage, participants can then sail south to Flores or Bali to join the Western Passage yachts that first went to Kupang.
As in past years, the local administration at each of these Indonesian islands has planned a number of events at the time of the visits, which include a ceremonial welcome and dinner, as well as cultural and arts displays and also dance performances. At each of these stopovers, participants will be welcomed by Indonesia’s many different peoples and experience their cultures, different lifestyles, different arts, different crafts, and wonderful foods.
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