The 2018 Spice Islands Darwin Ambon Race has drawn to a close for another year. With only 10 boats taking part due to a variety of reasons the event was still a raging success with many stories to be told.
As usual it was a light start in Darwin Harbour although many were hopeful as there was plenty of breeze early morning but unfortunately that disappeared by the time boats made it to the starting area. The light breezes continued for the first few days seeing most of the fleet stay within close range of each other. An unusually light southerly meant that much of the fleet were forced to gybe the angles covering a fair distance along the way.
The breeze finally kicked in for Antipodes the lead boat on Monday and they flew into Ambon Harbour receiving a hero’s welcome at lunch time Tuesday. Most of Amahusu came to watch the first yacht cross the line as well as the numerous dugouts and the official welcome boat that escorted them up the harbour complete with gamelan, drums and dancers!
In Cruising Monohull, Colie and Wallop had a close race throughout the trip swapping positions constantly finally finishing on Wednesday afternoon. Not too far behind and surprising everyone (even themselves) was Natsumi, a Roberts 53 that maximised their kite flying capacity and ability to run square, they finished on Wednesday night and took out first place. Special mention to the crew aboard Anastasia that stuck it out and finished on Thursday afternoon 2hrs before the welcome ceremony. A little dishevelled and quite relieved they managed to make it to the party – a great effort!
Cruising Multihull was also swapping leaders throughout the race but it was the trek up Ambon Harbour that eventually set the placings. On Wednesday night, Ozzie Mozzie had a good lead but a frustrating sail up the harbour took a little longer than they would have liked and made crossing the finish line a challenge in its self. Hot on their heels, Vitamin B had a dream run up the harbour and crossed the line doing 12 knots!
All yachts received the usual fireworks upon finishing & welcome drinks on the jetty. There were also plenty of activities on offer throughout the week including a welcome dinner at the Mayor of Ambon home, Becak tours through the city, School visits, games with locals and of course the Presentation event in Amahusu.
As always the hospitality of the people of Amahusu and Ambon was overwhelming and is the main reason that most boats will be back again in 2019 for a bigger and better race. You can now read articles submitted by yachts on our website www.darwinambonrace.com.au to find out what it’s all about.
The 2019 race will start at 10am on 3rd August 2019. For more information and to submit an Expression of Interest please contact