After a gap of 14 years, the Fremantle to Bali Yacht Race will be held this year commencing from Fremantle on April 23, 2011 with an ocean rally followed by the official start of the yacht race on April 26, 2011. Depending on weather conditions, the first boats completing the journey are expected across the finish line at the Royal Bali Yacht Club on April 29, 2011.
As part of the festivities, a two-day Visit Indonesia Festival will also take place in Perth April 25-26, 2011.
The race is hosted by the Fremantle Sailing Club whose Vice-Commodore, Kaye Riseley, said: "After months of planning, Fremantle Sailing Club is thrilled to be officially announcing the return of international ocean racing to Western Australia - after a gap of 14 years. In partnership with the Indonesian Government Ministry of Culture and Tourism we look forward to the Race becoming the premier offshore sailing event on the Western Australian sailing calendar and possibly even being known as the Sydney to Hobart of the West. At 1440 nautical miles, the event is more than two-and-a-half times the distance of the Sydney to Hobart, so it will be a real challenge for competitors."
Speaking on behalf of the Indonesian government, Syarief Syamsuri, Consul General of the Western Australia Consulate of the Republic of Indonesia, said, "We are pleased to be partnering with the Fremantle Yacht Club for the Fremantle to Bali 2011 Race and look forward to the opportunity of promoting our beautiful country to sailing enthusiasts and welcoming competitors to Bali. We believe the event will assist in promoting positive relationships between Australia and Indonesia through sporting links, and also through an event that truly symbolizes a connection between our two nations."
The first Fremantle to Bali Yacht Race was held in 1981 but was halted in 1997 until its re-launch this year.
The Visit Indonesia Fremantle-Bali Yacht Raceis a 'Category 1' event in terms of International Sailing Federations (ISAF) Rules of Racing, requiring that the level of safety and risk management to be the same standard as that applied to the management of the iconic Sydney-Hobart race.
Organizers hope to attract up to fifty yachts in the event supported by more than 500 crew and support personnel.
The inaugural race was won by legendary yachtsman Rolly Tasker in 1981 in 6 days 15 hours 39 minutes. Rolly will serve as the patron of the 2011 event.
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