2016 Darwin To Ambon Yacht Race - Antipodes Breaks 18 Year Race Record

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In its 32nd year, the Darwin to Ambon Yacht Race this year was hosted by Dinah Beach Cruising Yacht Club.  A fleet of 16 yachts comprising of more than 100 crew from 9 Nations, set sail from Northern Australia for Indonesia on 13th August 2016.  After a very slow start and a painful exit from the harbour the wind gods finally heard the calls.  The fleet sailed in an average of 20-30 knots of breeze throughout the 600NM race.  Warm weather, winds & a kite most of the way making for great sailing…

Ambon Harbour known for its light & fluky breezes was fairly well tackled by most and racing was keenly followed by many through the race tracking site in both Australia & Indonesia as the 18yr long race record was broken.  There was also the “Battle of the Beneteau’ s” for line honours in the Cruising Monohull Division with the first two boats finishing just 15 minutes apart after duelling for 3 days.

Geoff Hill’s Hong Kong based ANTIPODES (Santa Cruz 72) took out line honours breaking the race record set by ZUMA in 1998 and blitzing her opposition in IRC Racing.

Cruising Monohull was won by race veteran Alan James on KITA (Beneteau Oceanis) with Cruising Multihull won by another regular John Punch on NAUTILUS (Stealth 1250).  Full results here

Most of the fleet arrived in time for Indonesian Independence Day celebrations.  As usual the locals put on a great reception (including fireworks for the first few yachts!). Participants spent the week chilling out in the village of Amahusu, talking to locals, visiting schools & participating in a number of organised social events including even a rock concert on the beach!

The race was generously supported by the Northern Territory Government, Dinah Beach Cruising Yacht Association, City of Darwin Sister Cities Program & 2018 Indonesian Asian Games Organising Committee. Next year’s race will start on Saturday 5th August 2017.  It is hoped that the race will attract a larger fleet in 2017 as it ties in with the Fremantle to Bali Race & word spreads about the great times to be had by all in Ambon this year. Anyone interested in the 2017 race should register their interest via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   


@ Claire Hall, Club Services Officer NT

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