Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA News) - Garry Lambert, the Alderman at Darwin City Council has said that his government would always support the Darwin-Ambon International Yacht Race and Rally because the event has helped strengthen the ties between Australia and Indonesia.

Since it was organized for the first time back in 1976, the rally had brought the people of Darwin in north Australia and Ambon in Maluku Province (Indonesia) closer to each other, Lambert said at the rally`s presentation here on Saturday (July 30).

Apart from the race and rally, Darwin and Ambon, which have forged sister city program, have established various cooperation including in the fields of education, socio-cultural and health.

Garry Lambert was optimistic that the yacht rally has improved in terms both of quality and quantity of the participants from year to year, especially after the end of the sectarian conflicts in Maluku in 1999.

He hoped that the number of participants could reach up to 100 boats, as what had happened in 1998.

The Darwin-Ambon International Yacht Race and Rally had flagged off at Darwin harbor on July 23, 2011.

Fantasia led by Skipper Andrew Stransky was the first to reach the finish line of the race and rally 2011 at Amahusu village beach, Ambon, on July 25.

The boat from Brisbane, Australia, recorded 57.37 hours after sailing at a total distance of 634 maritime miles or 1,174.68 kilometers from Darwin (Australia) to Ambon, Maluku Province.

The boat with a crew of five however failed to break the record made by Zuma captained by John Punch which reached the finish line after sailing 53.29 hours in 1998.

Fantasia also came out as the first winner for the category of racing multihull division.

By winning in the two categories, Fantasia is entitled to receive a challenge cup of the Indonesian tourism and culture minister and a bonus of 750 US dollars.

Nineteen yachts took part in the race. (*)

Editor: Kunto Wibisono
Copyright © ANTARA 2011