We want to hold several competitions."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The annual international maritime event of Sail Indonesia this year is called Sail Karimata Strait 2016 and will involve four provinces located on Kalimantan and Sumatra Islands: West Kalimantan, Jambi, Bangka Belitung, and Riau Islands.

Its peak event will be held in North Kayong District, West Kalimantan, on October 15 and is expected to be officially kicked off by President Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

Besides the peak event, the main activities will include a national seminar on maritime affairs to be organized in Jambi on August 25, 2016; Belitung Festival on October 22; and Riau Islands Maritime Festival on October 28.

A series of activities to welcome the Sail Karimata Strait, however, will begin on June 1, Safri Burhanuddin, deputy IV of the coordinating minister of maritime affairs, stated during a coordination meeting on the event held recently in Jakarta.

The meeting was attended by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Rizal Ramli and Industry Minister Saleh Husin.

Rizal Ramli observed that the event, which is part of annual Sail Indonesia, must yield benefits for the community.

"As requested by the President, we dont want it just to be another event. We want to see benefits before and after the activity, for the community. The development should also be more coordinated," he added.

The people should be able to see concrete benefits, including renovation of seaports, roads, markets and water supply, he stressed.

The Sail Karimata Strait event will be held for the eighth time since Sail Indonesia was first organized in 2009.

The previous sail events are Sail Bunaken held in North Sulawesi in 2009, Sail Banda in Maluku in 2010, Sail Wakatobi-Belitung in Southeast Sulawesi and Bangka Balitung in 2011, Sail Morotai in North Maluku in 2012, Sail Komodo in East Nusa Tenggara in 2013, Sail Raja Ampat in West Papua in 2014, and Sail Tomini held in the provinces of Central Sulawesi and Gorontalo in 2015.

Like the other sail events, the current edition is aimed at promoting tourism and boosting regional development, he affirmed.

The minister expected that it could contribute to the development of basic infrastructure, allow provision of clean water and floating ports at least in eight districts within the four provinces.

Besides, he proposed to hold various competitions as part of the implementation of this years Sail.

"We want to hold several competitions. It would not be interesting if merely the event was held. With varied competitions, the public will be happy as they will be able to support their champions. The response will be louder," he affirmed.

Some 70 yachts will participate in the sail, in addition to warships and traditional boats.

Ramli suggested organizing a yacht race, a dragon boat race, a traditional boat race, and durian as well as "sambal" (chili condiment) contests, among other events.

The minister even proposed to hold a boxing championship as West Kalimantan had several good boxers.

He also called to organize an Asian textile design contest during the sail.

Competitions will also help to promote the annual international maritime event globally, he added.

He cited Tour de Flores as an example of a successful competition as the cycling race had become a trending topic on social media for five days.

"I want Sail Karimata Strait to become a trending topic too," he added.

President Joko Widodo is scheduled to officially open the Sail Karimata Strait 2016.

Minister Ramli is chairman of the Sail Karimata Strait steering committee and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti is the chairperson of the organizing committee.

In the meantime, North Kayong has deployed three speed boats to transport guests from Pontianak to Sukadana, which will take some three hours, during the Sail peak event, North Kayong District Head Hildi Hamid stated.

People not opting to use water transportation could also take a flight from Supadio Airport in Pontianak to Ketapang and then undertake a 1.5-hour road trip to Sukadana.

As thousands of guests are expected to attend the event, accommodations are being provided not only in North Kayong District but also in Ketapang District.

On March 11 a team of the Indonesian Navy Headquarters had visited the Sukadana area to inspect the preparations for the Sail in the district.

"We have come here to preview the venue for the event. We want to check what preparations have to be made ahead of the event, including those regarding the location and depth of the waters," the Spokesman for the Indonesian Navy Headquarters, Colonel I Ketut Suaria said.

Among the locations the team inspected, were the Teluk Cik Kadir port and the coast of the Datok Island, which will most likely serve as the venue for the Sail Karimata Strait 2016 peak event.

During the inspection, the team gathered inputs on the possibility of building more Navy command posts and increasing the number of personnel.

Reporter: Fardah
Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2016