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Sail Bunaken - What a Spectacle!

by Sail-World Cruising on 28 Aug 2009
Sail Bunaken 2009 SW
What a spectacle, but no photos yet! An amazing 163 yachts took part in the 'Sail Bunaken 2009' festivities, which celebrated the Republic of Indonesian independence 64th anniversary last weekend in Manado, North Sulawesi province of Indonesia.

In the Sail Bunaken, the yacht rally was participated in by 25 countries and manned by 510 crew members, who sailed in a circuituous route through the islands of Indonesia, visiting 18 ports on the way. Not even any amateur photos have arrived fill the gap!

There were two routes for the Sail Bunaken participants namely from Darwin, Australia, which started on July 18 and went through Saumlaki, Maluku province to Manado

The second route, planned for yachts based in South East Asia, started at Kinabalu (Malaysia) on August 3, 2009 and passed through Tarakan, East Kalimantan (Indonesia), arrivomg in Bitung, North Sulawesi on August 12 to join Sail Bunaken.

The peak event of Sail Bunaken 2009 was the fleet review and sailpast which took place in Teluk Manado on August 19. On the day 31 warships, 3 tall ships, 42 yachts, 15 government boats and 40 fishing boat took part. Included in the sailpast were warships Indonesia, Bangladesh, China, Philippines, England, Germany, Cambodia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Greece, Libya, South Africa, Morocco, Kuwait, Oman, Algeria and Syria.

Seminars held in conjuction with the celebration on the subject of illegal fishing were attended by 16 Navy chiefs of staffs from 16 countries, including representatives of international and multilateral institutions.

During the festival, there were also staged musical performances, fireworks displays, industrial and maritime tourism exhibitions, culture and food festivals, an undersea photo competition, a flower festival and a city parade.

The event was jointly organized by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Ministry of Transportation, the Navy and the North Sulawesi provincial government.

It is Indonesia's attempt to promote Manado as an alternative destination to Bali, and would have provided an amazing spectacle for the participating yachts, many of whom are involved in circumnavigations. The event coincided nicely with the normal seasonal departure of yachts from Darwin in July, headed to Asia and the Indian Ocean.
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