News

  • 2016 Fleet Sets Sail For Dili

    A fleet of 8 yachts and over 60 crew will set sail for Dili, Timor-Leste, at 10.00am on Saturday 9 July in the 2016 Darwin Dili Yacht Rally. The Start Line is to the west of the Darwin Sailing Club, and the best vantage point for watching the Start is from East Point.

    The event is organised from Timor-Leste through the Ministry of Tourism and a cross sector Committee. The Ministry of Tourism Timor-Leste 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 2016 event is the seventh 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 2016, the 8 yachts are sailing in four divisions: Division I IRC, Division I – Monohull Competitive Cruising, Division II – Monohull Cruising and Division III Multihull Competitive Cruising.

    Division I – IRC is headed up by Geoff Hill’s Antipodes, a 22 metre Smith Santa Cruz 72 with a crew of 20 on board which has come down from the Philippines for a number events on the north Australian sailing circuit. Her main competition is the 15 metre Fremantle yacht, Sue Sea, skippered by Brian Todd. Antipodes holds the Rally record of 42.98 hours set in 2015 and is hoping for good winds and favourable conditions in 2016 to see if it can be bettered.

    An all-female crew on the Darwin yacht Boussole, skippered by Louise Becker, is competing in Division I Division I – Monohull Competitive Cruising. Division III comprises four catamarans, SITE and Indian Summer 1 from Fremantle and Jalan Jalan I and Chaotic Harmony from Darwin. Osborne Star from Fremantle completes the fleet in Division II – Monohull Cruising.

    All participating vessels will be equipped with the Yellow Brick Tracking device, allowing friends, families and spectators to follow the Rally’s progress online at http://yb.tl/d2d2016 or on the Yellow Brick App (YB Races).

    In a first for 2016, after completing festivities in Dili, yachts will be able to go on to enjoy a 4-day program in the Timor-Leste enclave of Oecusse, and visit the site where the Portuguese first came ashore in Timor over 500 years ago. This second leg of the Rally is being hosted by ZEESM TL, the authority for the Special Economic Zone of Oecusse and Atauro Island.

    The 2016 Darwin Dili Yacht Rally will be started by Mr Joao Mendes Goncalves, Head of the Tri-Lateral Mission and State Representative of the Office of Timor-Leste Minister of Planning and Strategic Investment. Representatives of the Ministry for Tourism will also be in attendance.

    Media are welcome to cover the Rally and the Start. Media opportunities for coverage include:

    • Aboard the official Start Boat, the Spirit of Darwin, which departs Cullen Bay Public Ferry Terminal at 08.45 am sharp on Saturday 9 July
    • Interviews with officials on the Start Boat
    • Interviews with Rally participants, organisers and previous participants.

    Media enquiries should be directed to Anne Kemp on 0412 180 330 or to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Full details on the Rally and participants can also be obtained from www.sailtimorleste.org

  • 2015 Cruising Helmsman : Darwin Dili Yacht Rally

    PDF scan of an article in Cruising Helmsman Waterfront Nov 2015 (#7) on the Darwin-Dili Yacht Rally written by Rosemary Jilderts.

  • 2015 Darwin Dili Yacht Rally Record Smashed

    2015 Darwin Dili Yacht Rally Record Smashed

    The 2015 Darwin Dili Yacht Rally which started from Darwin of Saturday 11 July 2015 at 1100 hours changed from a quiet start with gentle breezes to fresher conditions which allowed Antipodes, Line Honours favourite, to reach Dili in a record breaking time of 42h 59m.

    The yacht Antipodes, a Smith Santa Cruz 72, owned by Geoff Hill, was first over the start line and lead the fleet of 5 yachts out of the harbour. The new record replaces that of Australian Maid in 2013 who finished in 52h 7m.

    Antipodes was followed into Dili by Finally, Skye Melody, NT Evolution and Annadora III ovewr the course of Tuesday and Wednesday. Elapsed times can be seen online at http://yb.tl/d2d2015. Final results on handicap can be found at http://sailtimorleste.org/rally.

  • Media Release : Sail Timor-Leste 8 Jul 2015

    Media release from Sail Timor-Leste 8 July 2015.

  • 2015 Timor-Leste Press Release : Ministry of Tourism

    Press release from the Director-General of Tourism in Timor-Leste.

  • 2014 Bow2Stern : Darwin Dili Yacht Rally

    PDF scan of an article in Bow2Stern January 2015 (#29) on the Darwin-Dili Yacht Rally written by Rosemary Jilderts.

  • East Timor: SEA Yachting's newest and friendliest sailing destination

    A small piece of uncomplicated paradise right on the route from Australia to Indonesia’s most scenic islands. Read more
    Click here for the full on-line publication.

  • Moorings for Dili Bay

    Darwin business people join forces to build yacht moorings in East Timor.

  • 2014 Media Release: Fleet Sets Sail For Dili

    A fleet of 9 yachts and over 60 crew will set sail for Dili, Timor-Leste, at 10.00am on Saturday 12 July in the 2014 Darwin Dili Yacht Rally.  The Start Line is to the west of the Darwin Sailing Club, and the best vantage point for watching the Start is from East Point.

    The event is organised from Timor-Leste through the Ministry of Tourism and a cross sector Committee.  The Timor-Leste Ministry of Tourism 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 2014 event is the fifth 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 9 yachts are sailing in three divisions: Division I – Monohull Competitive Cruising, Division II – Monohull Cruising and Division IIA - Multihull Cruising.

    Division I is headed up by Jon Wardill’s Australian Maid, which set a new Rally record in 2013 with an elapsed time of 52.12 hours. Other local monohull yachts in Division I includes Bob Colman’s Raucous and Barrie Morgan’s Evolution NT.

    Division II comprises a diverse fleet of cruising yachts from Darwin, Brisbane and Launceston, ranging in size from 9 to 24 metres.  Launceston-registered Skye Melody, owned by Graeme Hay, will be carrying over 120 boxes 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 first-ever Timorese participant. Eleven year old, Tommy Lee Fawcett, will be sailing aboard the Skye Melody.

    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 2014 Darwin Dili Yacht Rally will be started by Mr Joao Mendes Goncalves, Head of Mission and State Representative of the Office of Timor-Leste Prime Minister, the Timor-Leste’s Consul General, Mr Frank Felipe, the NT Chief Minister, Hon. Adam Giles and Ministry of Tourism Timor-Leste delegation officials and at 1000 hours on Saturday 12 July 2014 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 on Monday 7 July at the Frances Bay Mooring Basin (Duck Pond) Service wharf – the best time to obtain coverage would be around 11.00am.
    • Aboard the official Start Boat, the Spirit of Darwin, which departs Cullen Bay Public Ferry Terminal at 9.00 am sharp on Saturday 12 July
    •  Interviews with Rally participants, organisers and previous participants.
    Media enquiries should be directed to Anne Kemp on 0412 180 330 or to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Full details on the Rally and participants can also be obtained from www.sailtimorleste.org

    This document is available for download in Microsoft Word format here.
  • 2014 Timor-Leste Welcomes Rally

    The Timor-Leste Minister for Tourism officially welcomes yachts in the 2014 Darwin Dili Yacht Rally . A PDF copy of the media release is available here.
  • 2014 TooWheels Adventures Sponsors Again

    The last yacht to arrive in Dili in the annual Darwin Dili Yacht Rally generally faces the gentle ribaldry of the rest of the fleet.  That all changed in 2013 when a new sponsor, “TooWheels Adventures”, committed US$5,000 to fund a perpetual trophy, replica trophies and a cash component to the last yacht to arrive in Dili in the Rally.  We are delighted to announce that TooWheels Adventures have confirmed their ongoing sponsorship for the 2014 Rally meaning that the last yacht over the line will again receive a substantial USD cash prize plus their name on the fabulous bronze turtle that is the perpetual trophy.
  • Arafura Sailing Adventures offers Dili Rally charter

    Arafura Sailing Adventures is offering a special charter for the 2014 Darwin Dili Yacht Rally. So if you don't have a yacht and want to go on the Rally, this is option is for you.  For further information go to: http://saildarwin.com.au/darwin-to-dili-yacht-rally-2014/
  • 2014 Rally Prize Pool announced

    The Government of Timor-Leste is offering a special prize pool valued at USD$15,000.00 for the 2014 Rally. 
  • Month long Sail Timor-Leste Festival in 2013

    PRESS RELEASE – Ministry of Tourism – Sail Timor-Leste Festival
    Sail Timor-Leste is proud to announce that the annual weeklong Darwin Dili Yacht Rally Event will in 2013 be combined with the ALL NEW Sail Timor-Leste Festival - a 1-month event from June 24th – July 25th 2013
  • Timor-Leste Minister welcomes yachts in 2013

    PRESS RELEASE – Ministers Statement – Darwin to Dili Yacht Rally
    Our tourism sector is at its early stages of development with limited, but growing, numbers of international tourists and an emerging tourist infrastructure.
  • TwoWheels Adventures Sponsors USD5,000 for the last yacht to reach Dili

    Media Release: Darwin Dili Yacht Rally: New Sponsor supports Rally in 2013 and beyond
     
    The last yacht to arrive in Dili in the annual Darwin Dili Yacht Rally generally faces the gentle ribaldry of the rest of the fleet.  That is all about to change with a new sponsor, “TooWheels Adventures”, committing US$5,000 to fund a perpetual trophy, replica trophies and a cash component to the last yacht to arrive in Dili in the Rally.
  • 2013 Australian Maid sets new Rally record

    Media Release: Australian Maid sets new Rally record
    Australian Maid, skippered by Jon Wardill, crossed the finish line in Dili at 1407 hours Monday 15 July. This is a Total Elapsed TIme of 52.12 hours and has been confirmed as a Line Honours Record for the event.   It is more than 24 hours faster than the previous record set by Mojo 3 in 2012. Gameset and Mai Tai arrived Dili late on Monday afternoon, and have both recorded 'personal bests' slashing over 24 hours off their 2012 times.  
    Placings will be confirmed when all yachts have reached Dili and skipper's have completed sign off from the event.
  • 2013 Fleet Sets Sail for Dili

    Media Release: Fleet Sets Sail for Dili
    A fleet of 10 yachts and 60 crew will set sail for Dili, Timor-Leste, at 10.00am on Saturday 13 July in the 2013 Darwin Dili Yacht Rally.  The Start Line is to the west of the Darwin Sailing Club, and the best vantage point for watching the Start is from East Point.

    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.
     
    Media enquiries should be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Full details on the Rally and participants can also be obtained from www.sailtimorleste.org 
    10 July 2013
  • Mojo 3 sets new record

    Mojo 3,  the Brisbane registered 15 metre Schionning G Force catamaran, skippered by Peter Wilcox, set a new record time in the 2012 Rally of 76.9 hours.  Mojo's new record time beat the previous record held by Matthew Baker's Darwin based catamaran of 78.17 hours set  in 2011.
  • Timor-Leste : Neighbour of mystery

    Rosemary Jildberts has recently written a comprehensive and informative account of the Darwin Dili Yacht Rally and Timor-Leste which was published in the Cruising Helmsman in March 2014. A PDF copy of the article is available here.
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