Seventeen yachts competing to reach finish line in Ambon

Ambon (ANTARA News) - Seventeen yachts in their international race from Darwin (North Australia) to Ambon, Maluku province are competing to reach the finish line in the coast of Amahusu village, Nusaniwe sub-district, Ambon.

"The participants are competing making use of the strong wind to reach the finish line in the Amahusu village coast," coordinator of the Darwin-Ambon Yacht Race & Rally 2011 Hellen de Lima told ANTARA on Monday.

He said the monitoring committee disclosed that the sail boat Fantasia with skipper Andrew Stransky was leading the race.

Since the flag off at Darwin port, Fantasia from Brisbane, Australia, managed to lead the race.

Since entering the Indonesian waters, Fantasia of the Racing Multihull category made use of the wind velocity of 13.45 knots per hour.

But since passing the waters between Babar Island and Romang Island, Southeast Maluku regency, Fantasia sailed with a wind velocity of only 10.52 knots per hour.

Another participant Walk On The Wild Side with skipper Garth Curran and Australian Maid (John Wardil) are second and third.

Walk On The Wild Side moved with the wind blowing at a velocity of 9.20 knots per hour, while Australian Maid 9.51 knots per hour.

The two sail boats were known to win various international yacht races, the last before the Darwin-Ambon Yacht Race & Rally 2011, the two won Visit Indonesia Fremantle-Bali International Yacht Race 2011.

In the meantime, Freedom Express with skipper Ross McCombe, the third as Racing Multihull category in the Darwin-Ambon Yacht Race & Rally 2010, was fourth of the total of 17 participants in the event.

Freedom Express sailed with the wind blowing at a velocity of 9.40 knots per hour, followed by Sue Sea (Brian Todd) 9.29 knots per hour.

Game Set (John Mulkearns) was trailing with the wind blowing at a velocity of 8.49 knots per hour, followed by Even Karma (John Hard) 8.44 knots per hour.

"Most of the participants have entered Southwest Maluku regency waters and the Banda Sea, where some of the participants may have reached the finish line to night (Tuesday) or Wednesday morning," Hellen said.

The annual event was held to fill this year`s Darwin-Ambon sister city cooperation program followed by 19 participants, in which 18 participants dame from Australia, and the other one from the Netherlands, covering 634 nautical miles, the equivalent of 1,174.68 kilometers.

The flag off of the participants was marked with start sign from on board the HMAS Ararat (89) patrol boat in Darwin port by Ambon Mayor Jopi Papilaja and Darwin Governor Tom Pauling on July 23, 2011.

The yacht race is competing four categories, namely racing monohull (IRC) followed by six yachts, racing monohull cruising (six yachts), racing multihull (five) and rally (two).

The race is to win the cup of the Indonesian Minister of Culture and Tourism, was for the first time held in 1976 in an attempt to establish cooperation between the Darwin and Ambon administrations.

In 2009 the number of participants reached 100 yachts, but was later canceled as Ambon and Maluku were involved in a social conflict, and revived only in 2007. (*)