There are winds of change in the air for next year's Fremantle to Bali Yacht Race and at 1,440 nautical miles it is the longest yacht race in Australia. While the race will maintain it's traditional Fremantle to Bali route for racing and rally yachts, the event which is to be held in May 2017 will offer even greater attractions than ever before with an extension to the Javanese port in Banyuwangi and an original Spice Islands Rally taking yachts on a day by day circumnavigation of Bali.

For those that wish to continue, the very popular Beyond Bali Rally will give sailors the opportunity to visit the magic of the Indonesian archipelago with stopovers in many of the tropical island bays including Komodo, returning home via Darwin and the Kimberley coast.

The Java Sunrise Rally will take the entire fleet from the racing finish point at Benoa in Bali to a brand new marina facility at Banyuwangi. This one day sail is over a distance of about 60 miles. The strait between Bali and Java is only a mile or so wide, so the two islands are within sight of each other. The effect of such a narrow gap between two land masses is a strong, surging tidal stream. Currents are running faster that the maximum speed of some of the yachts under sail and will challenge skippers and navigators to work out their tactics to make best use of quick flowing water streams.

Event chairman Ralph Newton said with the promise of thrilling racing, exotic stopovers and the prospect of cruising through some of the world's most attractive tropical regions it hardly comes as a surprise that some of Australia's top racing yachts have indicated their intention to compete said Newton.

With the inclusion of the new leg to Java's Boom Beach on the Sunshine Coast at Banyuwangi  and the opportunity to spend time away from the Bali tourism hot spots, there are more reasons than ever for yacht owners to head north next winter. Given the level of interest within the yachting community already, a strong fleet is assured.

To learn more about the event visit the official website -

Published by Julian Groom