by Borneo Times
Twenty-eight yachts from nine countries set off on the Borneo International Yachting Challenge (BIYC) here yesterday.
Borneo International Yachting Challenge 2013
The yachts from Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa, UK, Switzerland and Malaysia are from 3 categories; IRC, Multihull, and Cruising. The BIYC is, indeed, more a rally than a race, regularly attracting short-handed cruising boats happy to take advantage of the free berthing and air conditioned hotel rooms that go with the entry package.
This the 10th anniversary event, and Organising Committee Co-chairman Datuk Lee Kim Shin - who is also Assistant Minister of Sports - said, 'The Organising Committee has proposed that the event profile be further raised internationally.
'This is the only international yachting event in Borneo, and there is great potential for its future growth,' said Lee. Modelled after the famous Rolex Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race, BIYC participants sailed from a city to an island (hence Miri to Labuan), covering a distance of about 90 nautical miles. [Ed: city-to-island is about as far as the resemblance goes. The Sydney-Hobart Race is a Blue Riband event stuffed to the gunnels with super high performance ocean maxis, and notorious for ferocious weather conditions. The BIYC takes place on the Borneo coast, also known as 'the land below the wind'. Autohelms are allowed while racing.]
Three years ago the event was extended to include Kota Kinabalu at the request of the Sabah Tourism Board and the Sutera Harbour Marina.
Yesterday, the participants departed the 95nm Miri to Labuan Passage Race. The remaining races are the Labuan Harbour Race, the Labuan to Kota Kinabalu Passage Race (71nm), and the Kota Kinabalu Harbour Race.