Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Fremantle to Bali Yacht Race and Rally on a Seawind 1160

by Ralph Newton on 12 Nov 2013
Ralph Newton
With 'What a bloody great day to go sailing……' blaring out over our stereo on board, six good friends set off for the adventure of a lifetime: the Race and Rally from Fremantle to Bali, and then 'Beyond Bali', and later 'The Kimberley Odyssey'.

Our sail trimmer, Adrian Williams from Gosford Sailing Club contributed his copy of The Wolverines singing this catchy tune (with extremely simple words, which suited our very simple tastes!), and with this background noise we crossed the start line of the 2013 Wonderful Indonesia Fremantle to Bali Race and rally on May 4th this year, together with 32 other yachts, of which four others were catamarans.

For the first time ever, we attracted five cats to this Race and Rally, of which three were Seawind 1160’s.


I was Rally Director for this event and had been planning the route for the past 18 months, since we last cruised through Indonesia in 2011. Based on our earlier experiences of this beautiful and friendly, and safe, cruising destination, I submitted a comprehensive itinerary to the Committee, and after numerous tweaking of the route, the timing, etc etc, and several presentations at the major West Australian yacht clubs, we had over 60 ‘Expressions of Interest’, but as time went by, the tyre kickers faded away, and only the serious contenders were left. Our organising club, Fremantle Sailing Club, has run this event eight times previously, so, lots of knowledge and advice was available to the novices.

The Indonesian Government’s Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy were the major sponsors, and they helped us at every point, organising Visas and the all-important CAIT (Cruising Authority for Indonesian Territory).

We arranged for the best weather forecaster for miles around, Mr Bruce Buckley 'The Weatherman' to provide daily weather updates to the fleet. (Bruce is the official Australian Olympic Sailing Team’s weatherman) With a great deal of excitement and anxiety we sat down to Bruce’s first briefing forecast only to be told that two major weather systems were predicted to collide just 48 hours after departure, and they would affect the fleet some 300 to 400 nautical miles north of Fremantle.

Fortunately we had entered this event as a ‘Rally’ yacht and so were allowed to use our engine(s), and therefore the sensible decision was made by skipper and relief skipper, Kim Klaka, to immediately use our ‘iron headsails’ to get as far north as possible, and try to beat the storm. Pity those poor slow ‘Race’ yachts who had to endure calm to light conditions for the first 24 hours, and as a result, got caught in the 50 to 60k storm on the most unforgiving coastline almost anywhere in the world: between Geraldton and Dirk Hartog Island.

We made very good progress and ducked into the Shark Bay area about 36 hours after starting, and then continued north in sheltered waters, until the far northern point of Shark Bay, at Bernier Island. We had been told by a local fisherman of a cosy cove to ‘hole-up’ in, and took the opportunity to anchor in Hospital Bay for 38 hours. With two anchors down, and only 30 knots blowing over us, we felt very sorry for several yachts who were forced to stay out to sea as they recorded winds of 58 knots.

Anxious to leave the comfort zone after about 30 hours, we radioed another yacht passing further out to sea. They responded and said: 'Stay where you are, as we are really battling huge seas out here, and a cross swell of over seven metres would not be too comfortable!' We took their advice!

Finally underway again, the conditions moderated and we enjoyed a comfortable sail all the way to Bali, with only some mild excitement during two nights with severe electrical storms around us. No matter how we attempted to duck these storms as we read them on our Raymarine C120 chart-plotter, the storm always moved into our path to drench us with torrential rain, and scare the living daylights out of us with lightning cracking all around us.

After 11 days at sea, we finally came in view of Bali. We then had to negotiate southerly currents up to four knots, and did this by hugging the reefs just offshore from all those 5-Star hotels, so close as to give some of my crew the shivers. Especially when a big swell would suddenly emerge from nowhere with a surfer already attached to it!

The welcome in Benoa Harbour, Bali was fabulous. Fremantle Sailing Club had sponsored our ‘Pipes and Drums' band to fly up to Bali for the welcoming of each yacht, and to perform at various social occasions in Bali. I can assure you that they were a sensation: can you imagine what a full band of bagpipes and lots of drummers would sound like in the steamy atmosphere of Bali? Our Drum Major, Stuart Bradford caused a sensation when he accompanied one of the best Rock Bands in Bali and played the Aussie favourite 'It’s a Long Way to the Top when you want to Rock’n’Roll'.

I am delighted to say that our wonderful Seawind 1160 'Yandanooka' won the overall Rally Trophy, and our two nominated navigators, Dr Rob Hills and Stuart Norman, using good ol’ celestial navigation, won the coveted Navigators Trophy. Our Communications Officer, Peter Blaxell also was acknowledged with a piece of jewellery that made his wife very happy for his enormous contribution as Radio Relay Vessel from Start to Finish of this event.

Of special interest to catamaran owners: all Seawind 1160’s ('Yandanooka', 'Tinga Tinga' and 'Cat-o-Mine'), plus a Fontaine Pajot Lipari, and a 40’ Perry cat, all made the journey to Bali without any damage, and all of these multi-hulls continued on in the Rally fleet to be part of the 'Beyond Bali Rally' fleet. But, more of the next adventure (Beyond Bali and The Kimberley Odyssey in the next newsletters)

Oh, and finally, our merry crew of six had great fun performing the Wolverines song 'What a Bloody Great Day to Go Sailing' with special words added to give some real flavour, at the Sanur Beach Gala Presentation Dinner, in front of the Indonesian Minister of Tourism and the West Australian Minister of Tourism!


The next Freo to Bali Race and Rally will be held in May 2015, so get your diaries out and plan to join in the best cruise you’ll ever have!

More details on the rally including photos can be found at http://fremantlebali.com.au/

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted today at 5:56 am
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
Pantaenius – Smooth sailing is more than a favourable weather forecast
Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia As Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia, we get to see why they continue to grow their happy crew of customers. Sitting down with Pantaenius Australia’s MD, Jamie MacPhail, you immediately get a sense that the smooth sailing is a direct result of both their unique product and the marketplace’s willingness to embrace the better mousetrap
Posted on 27 Apr
100 days to Rio, are there potholes and bumps ahead?
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for most crews.
Posted on 26 Apr
Is George Lucas a sailor?
He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic, which has been instrumental in the making of many of the special effects that have made the digital world so impressive. Gone are the smears of Vaseline along the bottom edge of the clear filter to hide the trolley that was actually transporting Luke Skywalker’s Speeder, for instance.
Posted on 25 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Can World Sailing learn from dear old Oz?
Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint Some time ago now, Sail-World proposed that ISAF had a really good opportunity at hand when it morphed into World Sailing (WS). Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint, when you could bring out the jackhammers and do a proper reno??? A call was issued for 200,000 sets of goggles and earmuffs to be supplied and for the real work to be commenced.
Posted on 11 Apr
NaiadPacific Sailing School 660x82 1Safety at Sea - Baltic - 1