Subject: A rally reborn, and open now: Darwin to Dili Rally

A rally reborn, and open now: Darwin to Dili Rally

A rally that was begun as an annual rally in 1973, found instant success for both international circumnavigators and local boats, then disappeared a couple of years later when political upheaval overtook the region, is about to be reborn.

East Timor, or Timor Leste, is about to reintroduce the Darwin to Dili Rally, to coincide with the flood of yachts that depart Darwin around July bound for South East Asia.

The event is to be held under the auspices of the Government of Timor Leste, as an attempt to restore the yachting link between Darwin and Dili.

Darwin to Dili launch by Dr Gil Alves, Timor Leste's Minister for Tourism - .. . The event was officially launched this week by Dr. Gil Alves, Timor Leste's Minister of Tourism, Trade and Industry, and in so doing, he reflected on the history of the event. ' If in the 1970's the flag that commanded East Timor destiny was the Portuguese Flag, forty years later, now 2010, East Timor becomes Timor Leste and has its own Flag. The prophecy is true to life! 6 (six) yachts participated in the first ever international sailing event in 1973. 24 (twenty four) competitors took part the following year; unfortunately the event ceased in 1975 due to the political turmoil in Portuguese Timor. In 2002, eight (8) yachts made the voyage from Darwin to Dili to welcome the Nation's Independence Proclamation, in May 2002.

'This year, the Cruising Yacht Association of the Northern Territory (CYANT), is going to write the Second Chapter of its history with Timor Leste. The course of the rally will take these yachts on a great 425 Nautical Mile adventure through the Timor Sea, passing Jaco Island to the finish line off the City of Dili, the capital of Timor Leste.

'The rally will provide a unique opportunity to discover Timor Leste's beautiful and unique landscape for tourism destination and future sports tourism as the race will receive local and international media exposure.'

Darwin to Dili Rally - planned route - .. . The rally is expected to start from Darwin on 3rd July, and most yachts will arrive Dili on 6th-7th July. On Friday 9th July the ceremonies, celebrations and touring will commence, in a three-day extravaganza, Timorese style.

Many of the yachts participating will be circumnavigating boats, or those heading merely to South East Asia. Another contingent will be heading back to Darwin after their visit to Timor. No time limit exists for cruising sailors in Timor, but one's visa has to be renewed after 30 days. Unlike the Sail Indonesia Rally, the rally is not tied into other sailing events, and there will be no need to participate in further cruising in the area if it does not suite the yacht's program.

After the rally, yachts will be able to cruise at leisure along the north coast of Timor-Leste. Details of possible stop-over points will be provided to participants but there will be no formal arranged activities at these places. Cruising Permits will be issued as part of the CIQ process to all particpants to suit their schedule and timetable

Expressions of interest should be emailed to Sail Timor Leste at mail@sailtimorleste.org by 31 March 2010. For further information, go to www.sailtimorleste.org

by Nancy Knudsen 1:41 AM Mon 22 Feb 2010 GMT


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