sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Trouble brewing in sailing paradise - sailors warned away

Trouble brewing in sailing paradise - sailors warned away

'Minerva Reef, remote, safe anchorage, pristine - but stay away!'    .

Minerva Reef position -  .. .  
Cruising sailors are being advised to stay away from Minerva Reef, one of their favourite stopping places in the Pacific, between the islands of the South Pacific and New Zealand.

The Reef consists of two atolls, one of which is an almost perfect circle. It boasts pristine waters and safe anchorage, and has an amazingly colourful history. Now it's in the news again, and all because of the escape of a high profile Fijian politician who took refuge in Tonga.


The Fijians, recognising that Minerva Reef is a sore point with Tonga, who claims ownership of the remote reef, placed one of their warships in the lagoon of the remote atoll, much to the anger of the Tongans. This week two Tongan navy patrol boats returned from the atolls claiming that they had chased away a Fijian Navy warship they found in the lagoon.

Tonga first claimed the two unpopulated Minerva Reefs in 1971 after an American tried to create a republic on them. The Pacific Forum recognised the Tongan action, but Fiji did not. Last year Tonga erected a beacon at a lagoon popular with yachties heading to and from New Zealand, but the Fijians destroyed it.

However the Tongan government is now warning yachts to avoid the area after Fiji ordered away a number of vessels away from the reef and announced it would use whatever force necessary to protect the territory.

'The best thing to do is not to go there for the time being until we get our differences solved with Fiji,' Samiu Vaipulu, Tonga Deputy Prime Minister told ONE News.

Rod Alley from the Centre for Strategic Studies said Fiji was using this dispute to 'flex their muscles' and to 'to show their neighbours… that Fiji can stand in its own corner and declare its interests.'

Minerva Reef - circular atoll popular with cruising sailors -  .. .  
The reef is popular because its position means boats can anchor there and wait out bad weather.

'There’s upwards of 400 boats a year coming into New Zealand from the islands…I would say at least half of them would consider Minerva Reef as a stop,' David Howie, Yachting website editor told ONE News.

Fiji and Tonga have now gone to the United Nations for help to avoid a potentially serious situation.

Background to the fracas:
The Minerva dispute is being seen by diplomatic sources as an attempt by Suva to divert attention from the tensions building within Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama's regime. Since Mara, one of his top soldiers, fled to Tonga to avoid sedition charges, the powerful Mara family has been openly acting against Bainimarama.

Mara is a son of Fiji's founding prime minister and president, the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.

Last month Tonga ship Savea intruded into Fijian waters to pick up the fleeing colonel. Although Suva demanded Mara be sent back, Fusimalohi has confirmed they have given him Tongan citizenship and a passport and he was in Australia.






  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=84664

9:21 PM Sun 12 Jun 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


News - USA and the World



























Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals by Andy Kopetzky, Santa Monica Bay


















America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,












America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,










Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships
Anna Tunnicliffe On the Final two days of the Reebok CrossFit Games
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet
Anna Tunnicliffe holds fourth at mid-point of Reebok CrossFit Games   
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win   
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event   
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - First blood to Toselli and Angulo   
Melges 24 Nationals - Record entries for 2014 and 2015 venue revealed   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Anna Kjellberg claims the lead   
Jessica Uniack Memorial Beach to Bay Race at Long Beach YC   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship - Poland tops the leaderboard   
America's Cup - Four teams confirm full support regardless of venue   
Plastic Classic takes place at Mariposa Hunters Point YC   
Six Metre European Championship - No champion declared for 2014   
J/Teams sail tough Chicago Mackinac Race   
Anna Tunnicliffe wins first event of Reebok Cross Fit Games + Video   
2014 Pacific Cup - Skill and luck required for victory   
Six Metre European Championship - Action resumes on day 4   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 4   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam on the horizon   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Golden Jubilee to take place this September   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT