Indonesia Yacht Race 2007

Indonesia Yacht Race 2007 kicked off at Darwin port, Australia, on Saturday with its participants setting sail for Kupang as their first stop in Indonesia, according to a report from Darwin.

Raymond T Lesmana, chairman of the Indonesia Maritime Lovers Foundation, said in a cellular text message from Darwin that the local Indonesian consul, Harbarang Napitupulu, conducted the race`s flagging off as the article in the Antara News explains.

“Participants of Indonesia Yacht Race 2007 have just left Darwin port for Indonesia. They are expected to arrive in Kupang, East Nusa Teggara, in three days` time,” Raymond said in his message.

He said the yacht race was the biggest in Asia with 124 vessels taking part.

Meanwhile, head of Tourism Promotion of East Nusa Tenggara Tourism and Arts Service, Kanisius Pasar said early this week the event would have participants from 22 countries.

Participants were expected to stay in Kupang for a week before continuing their sail to the districts of Alor, Lembata, Sikka, Ngada and Manggarai on the western tip of Flores island before proceding to West Nusa Tenggara, Bali and other provinces in Indonesia.

Kanisius Pasar said the regional government of Kupang which would serve as the entry port of the race should be able to function as a good host.

“We involve many parties in order to provide services for participants such as banks (to prepare money changing facilities) and state-owned telecommunications firm PT Telkom (to provide telecommuncation facilities),” he added.

The Indonesian yacht race started in 2001 when there were only nine boats from eight countries taking part. In 2002, the participants increased to 18 boats from seven countries.

In 2003, the number of participants increased further to 25 ships from eight countries with the same route from Darwin to Denpasar in Bali.

The number of boats taking part in 2004 was recorded at 43 coming from 10 countries and in 2005 participants almost doubled with 70 vessels from 20 countries.