The event is organised from Timor-Leste through a cross sector Committee comprising Timor-Leste Government Departments and industry. The Timor-Leste Government has generously supported the Rally by offering prize money of USD15,000. The NT Government provides support for the Rally and the Cruising Yacht Association of the NT (CYANT) provides technical support and advice to the Committee through funding received from the NT Government.
The 2013 event is the fourth Darwin Dili Yacht Rally of the modern era, having recommenced in 2010 after a 36 year hiatus following successful events in 1973 and 1974. In 2013, the 10 yachts are sailing in three divisions: Division I – Monohull Competitive Cruising, Division II – Cruising Rally and Division III - Monohull Competitive Cruising.
Division I is headed up by Jon Wardill’s Australian Maid and other local monohull yachts including the 2012 winner, Gameset, owned by John Mulkearns. Division III comprises 3 multihull yachts, Albatross II, Mai Tai I and Majeak. Given good winds, most of the yachts in Divisions I and III have a good chance of breaking the current Rally record 76.9 hours set by Mojo 3 in 2012.
Division II comprises a diverse fleet of cruising yachts from Darwin, Sydney and Launceston, ranging in size from 9 to 24 metres. Launceston-registered Skye Melody, owned by Graeme Hay, will be carrying over 1 tonne of donated medical and educational supplies to Dili for the humanitarian sailing vessel, Vega, for distribution to needy communities through Timor-Leste and Indonesia.
This year’s fleet also has the honour of having the Rally’s youngest-ever participant, 3-month old Polly Wharton, who will be sailing aboard Darwin yacht Mango Madness with her parents, Toby and Alya Wharton and grandparents, Lindsey and Bo Wharton. The sailing tradition starts early in this family!
Once in Dili, the Rally yachts will be treated to a range of sightseeing tours and gala events, after which they are free to cruise through Timor-Leste’s pristine waters and enjoy world-class coral reefs and spectacular mountain scenery.
The 2013 Darwin Dili Yacht Rally will be jointly started by the Hon. Francisco Kalbuadi Lay, Timor-Leste Minister for Tourism and NT Chief Minister, Hon. Adam Giles at 1000 hours on Saturday 13 July 2013 aboard the official start vessel Spirit of Darwin in the area to the west of the Darwin Sailing Club.
Media are welcome to cover the Rally and the Start. Media opportunities for coverage include:
• Loading of humanitarian supplies aboard the Skye Melody
• Aboard the Start Boat
• On ‘chase boats’ at the Start
• Interviews with Rally participants, organisers and previous participants.
10 July 2013