An experienced cruising yachtsman from Cairns, Guy Chester, has announced plans for a Louisiades Rally later this year.
The rally is being organised with the support of the Yorkeys Knob Boating Club and the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority.
“After sailing in the race from Cairns to Port Moresby in 1991 we cruised a small section of the Louisiades and despite cruising around much of the Pacific and SE Asia over the last 20 years the lure of the untouched Louisiades has remained,” Chester said.
“We spent a month sailing in the Louisiades in 2007 with the idea of arranging a rally for 2008. The local people were so enthusiastic we knew we just had to make it happen.
“We have made arrangements for some great events, from traditional dancing, a skull cave visit, a traditional sailing canoe regatta, school visits and many other events. The locals are very keen to host the rally, already they provide a great welcome to the cruising yachts that visit the islands.”
The Louisiades are 500nm from Cairns, which equates to a two to four-day passage for most cruising yachts.
“We are providing support such as arranging customs clearance and flying in the PNG customs officer to the yachts,” Chester said.
“We will have safety briefings and provide weather and safety reports for yachts. This allows sailors who have not yet ventured offshore to have the confidence to give it a go.
“I first sailed offshore in the Darwin to Ambon race many years ago, and I know the benefit of venturing out for your first bluewater passage in the company of other yachts.”
The rally will start on September 20 and take yachts in company for four weeks to many island destinations. Yachts may then chose to carry on cruising the beautiful islands of PNG, head off to the Solomon Islands or cruise in company back to Cairns.
The rally has as a major aim to contribute to the communities visited, where people live in a subsistence lifestyle and even the basics of health and education are not guaranteed.
For more information contact Guy Chester on ph 0407 391 211.