With numerous unique sailing events scheduled, 2012 is predicted to be the biggest year yet for sailing in Indonesia. Some of these events include the Back Down Under Rally 2012, Sail Indonesia Rally 2012, and the Sail Morotai 2012. These events are rallies, which unlike races are really for the pure enjoyment and cultural experience. Despite the slumping world economy, more and more yachties are passing through Indonesia than ever before, for great boating and a passageway to a paradise like no other place in the world. There are over 17,000 islands in Indonesia, and more than half of them are uninhabited. Intrigued by the rare rawness of the earth and the invitingly diverse culture, boaters from all over the globe will be sailing or using international boat shipping companies to transport their boats to Indonesia this year for the chance to participate in the laid-back boating activities.
April marks the beginning of the Back to Down Under Rally 2012, which is a rally for the Australian yachts that participated in last year’s Sail Indonesia 2011 and after some post-rally sailing are ready to return to their home land. The event starts at Sabah at Tarkan and then proceeds through northern Indonesia stopping along the way at some rarely visited spots including Sitaro, Morotai, Jailolo – W. Halmahera, Ternate City, Tidore, Gura Ici Island and Labuha where the route splits with some yachts heading to Biak in West Papua while others head to Darwin via Saumlaki. At each stopover, the sailors are greeted by the smiling natives who then guide them to the perfect spot to drop anchor, and then lead them onto the shore where they may partake in the local cultural events.
In July, the Sail Indonesia Rally 2012, which is the biggest sailing event in Asia, will have over 100 yachts and yacht owners’ participating from all over the world, many of whom who will have their crafts shipped there by international boat shipping companies. Much like the Back Down Under Rally, sailors will be greeted by the friendly locals at scheduled stopovers with welcome ceremonies, local tours, cooking classes, handicraft exhibitions, and unique cultural displays.
Also in July, Sail Morotai 2012 is the next sailing event on Indonesia’s calendar in 2012. Morotai is the northernmost island if Eastern Indonesia, and is currently being developed as a fishing, tourist, trade, and services center. Sail Morotai will be organized and planned to be the main event for the Sail Indonesia Rally 2012.
While the planning and preparing for the events of 2012 are still in the works, there is also a lot of preparation being done for next year’s big happening, Welcome Indonesia – Fremantle to Bali 2013 Ocean Race and Rally, which is set to be another huge maritime event for Indonesia, as well as a major boost to the local economy. And it’s no wonder, these sail events are an enriching and educational slice of the Indonesian way of life as well as some of the best sailing in the world.
According to data provided by international boat shipping companies, there has been a steady annual increase of shipping requests to the country since 2009. It seems year after year, more and more boaters are discovering the secret treasure of sailing Indonesia. One sailor described it as, “A place where the spirit meets the open seas.”