Eighty-three yachts from among the 109 yachts joining Sail Indonesia, will call on several destinations in East Nusatenggara, sailing around Timor, Flores, Sumba, and Komodo. The Sail Indonesia Rally was flagged off from Darwin, Australia, on Monday, July 25.
The yachts will voyage through the islands for 40 days, said Ubaidus Gogi, ofifcial of the East Nusatenggara Culture and Tourism Office. Whereas, the other 26 yachts have opted for the northern route, sailing to Ambon and Wakatobi, but will join the Nusatenggara fleet at Labuan Bajo between September 5-7 to visit the Komodo dragons, then all will continue the journey together to Lombok and Bali.
The majority of the yachts have arrived at Kupang on the island of Timor on July 26, with 2-3 boats having arrived earlier.
Sail East Nusatenggara, also known as Sail Flobamora, has two courses: the northern passage that follows the route from Alor to Lembata (Lamalera), Larantuka, Sikka, Nagakeo, Bajawa, and Labuan Bajo, and the southern passage that goes from Rote, Ndao, Sabu Raijua, East Sumba, Southwest Sumba, and Labuan Bajo, the port to call before entering the Komodo National Park.
All yachts in Sail Indonesia have decided to visit the last habitat of the prehistoric Komodo dragons, one of the fiercest predators on Earth.
The total number of crews and participants on board the vessels have yet to be reported, but it is estimated that at an average of 4 persons per yacht, there will be 332 persons joining the event.
Every vessel is expected to stop for about 2-4 days at every destination, depending on preparations and tourism attractions found in the area. Meanwhile, each district visited has prepared welcoming ceremonies, cultural attractions, local handicrafts exhibitions, and other programs.
“These sailors are mostly retired, or businessmen who are significantly wealthy. The experience from past sail events has shown that yachters spend more money than regular tourists.”
Yacht participants spend more time on the boat and only come to shore for several hours. But they will not hesitate to spend heavily on shopping. All kinds of antique and souvenirs available at each port of call will most likely be stormed by yachters. They will not feel burdened by the loads of crafts and souvenirs as long as these can fit in the boat.
On the issue of taxes which occurred in 2009, Gogi stated that the misunderstanding between the Customs and Immigrations will not happen again. Customs officers, Quarantine, Immigrations officers, and Port administrators have conducted several coordinating meetings to resolve the issue.
Head of Promotion of the East Nusatenggara Culture and Tourism Office, Ubaldus Gogi, commented that the visit of the 83 race yachts to East Nusatenggara is proof that destinations in this province have become the primary attraction for yachters and sailing tourists, especially from Australia.
For detailed information on Sail Indonesia, Sail Wakatobi-Belitong, and the Darwin-Ambon race, please visit these links: