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

































































International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,


ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - American unbeatable on day 1
RS Feva World Championships - All set at Yacht Club de Carnac
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards - Nominations now open
BIC Techno 293 Worlds - Steady winds on day 2 + Video
29er North American Open Championship - Qualifying series wraps up
Opening ceremony O'pen Bic World Cup, Travemunde Week, Germany
Six Metre Europeans - Wind fails to make an appearance on day 2
Edgartown Race Weekend - Let the sailing (and good times) begin
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Action commences July 23
International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video
Spirits high as Team Alvimedica completes Transatlantic crossing
Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature
29er North American Championship - Day 1 in Kingston
Red Bull 49erFX: First look at the Olympic sailing venue at Rio
Fuerteventura Kiteboarding Grand Slam - Classic conditions on day 3
NYYC Race Week Part II images by Rolex/Daniel Forster
Drowning or electric shock? What you need to know to help save a life
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 1
Six Metre European Championship - Blazing sunshine on opening day
National Sailing Hall of Fame to present Lifetime Achievement Award
International Moth Worlds: Greenhalgh and Rashley tied at the top   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Fantastic finale determines winners   
Six Metre Class British Open Championship - Llanoria and Valhalla win   
Anna Tunnicliffe set to compete at the CrossFit Games   
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA holds foiling camp at Wangi SC   
Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi OR completes double Atlantic crossing   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team SCA has a 'pull through day' off the Canaries   
No tiller sailing - how to steer using just the sails + Video   
International Moth Worlds: Three bullets in a row for Greenhalgh   
U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship - Sophia Reineke wins   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 0 Opening   
Fuerteventura World Cup - Slalom action highlights day 2   
2014 Governor's Cup - Sam Gilmour of RFBYC victorious again   
Farr 40 West Coast Champ - Skipper Alberto Rossi leads Enfant Terrible   
Flying Dutchman World Championships - Magyars are the Masters   
Final day shakes up standings at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek   
2014 -15 Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica pushing towards Southampton   
NYYC Race Week - Saving the best for last   
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander commands   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Waiting game on Day 3   


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 WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT