Fair breezes. Warm friendships. Exotic landfalls.

Wonderful Indonesia Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally
A part of Fremantle Sailing Club's
Summer of Sail

2013 Race record set by Super Sled
5 days 23 hours 30 minutes 24 seconds

View The Yachts page here to see race or rally status of all yachts

Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally

Day 9 - 27 May 2015

FREMANTLE TO BALI:  Playground first Rally yacht across the line with light winds causing retirements and ocean racing challenges

First over the line in the 2015 Wonderful Indonesia Fremantle to Bali RALLY was Martin Webster and Greg Barrett’s catamaran Playground. Crossing the finish line in Bali at 12.49am on Wednesday 27th May 2015 completing the 1440 nautical mile race in 8 days and 14 hours.

Playground-Crew-Photo-JCarter250px.jpgPlayground’s crew consisted of experienced sailors Greg Barrett, Martin Webster, Michael Bresnahan and Stuart Field. This was Playgrounds first Fremantle to Bali and leading the rally fleet for the entire 1543 nm they sailed made it a very successful sail for them. 

Martin Webster, skipper of Playground said the sail was wonderful and he couldn’t have asked for a better crew to share it with. “We flew up the coast experiencing the best of WA sailing until reaching the North West Cape where we had to start motoring as the wind died off.”

The rally was a breeze for Playground with chef Stuart Brown on board and cooking up yellow fish fin tuna one day and a striped fin tuna the next, finishing off dinner with Connoisseur ice cream. “You could say we did not want for anything”, commented Stuart Brown. “However a microwave would have been nice”.

Navigator Greg Barrett said “The first half of the rally up the West Australian coast was spectacular. We stayed ahead of race boat Audeamus for those first days with no motoring”.

For Playground the highlight of the trip by a consensus vote was the cracking night sailing along the Ningaloo reef in 22 knots with the spinnaker flying. “It was a surreal night, definitely the highlight of the trip,” explained Michael Bresnahan.Playground-at-finish-photo-JCarter250px.jpg

Playground experienced challenges just like all the other boats in the event, including a breakage with their spinnaker halyard. “It was an issue, but the crew handled it extremely well, with Stu volunteering to go up the mast to assess the problem,” reflected skipper Martin Webster. “Unfortunately we haven’t yet been able to fix the halyard”. 

Exceptionally light winds in the middle of the course have seen John Holder’s race boat Plus 16 and Rod Mulcahy’s rally boat Slipstream retire from the event with both yachts continuing to Bali under their own power.

Audeamus which also retired from the race to allow her to meet crew obligations has now arrived in Bali. Skipper Lisa Chamberlain said that due to crew commitments Audeamus had to reach Bali by a certain time.

“For 36 hours we went without any breeze over 5 knots which meant we were not going to meet our deadline and so we took the decision to withdraw from the race and use our motor to arrive in Bali today,” she said.

Audeamus’s owner Adrian Fini said even though they had to withdraw it was a great adventure. “The crew worked superbly together. It took a bit longer than we expected, but that’s sailing.”

The next yacht expected to arrive is Brian Todd’s race entry Sue Sea, anticipated at the finish line tomorrow (Thursday 28 May).

To track the rest of fleet on their progress to Bali follow the race via the Yellow Brick Trackers here: http://yb.tl/f2b2015

The Wonderful Indonesia Fremantle to Bali is a 1440 nautical mile ocean race which starts in the historic Port of Fremantle and finishes in exotic Bali.  Presented by Fremantle Sailing Club with its naming sponsor the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia the spectacular biennial event is one of Australia’s most exciting blue water yacht races.  

Report by

Jayllee Carter and Oakridge Communication Group






2015 Race and Rally Day 6 Report


by Jayllee Carter

Indian_image_Crosbie_Lorimer__Small.jpgFirst over the line in the 2015 Wonderful Indonesia Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally at 4 am today was Craig Carter’s INDIAN, a Carkeek 47, which convincingly won line honours completing the 1440 nautical mile race in 6 days 18 hours.

The previous line honours record was set in 2013 by Super Sled, a 94 foot maxi yacht which completed the race in 5 days 23 hours 30 minutes 24 seconds.

Indian’s owner and skipper Craig Carter said the final 60 nautical miles were the hardest of the entire race as you can’t wave a magic wand and control the tides. “At one stage we were drifting backwards and there was nothing we could do about it”, said Craig smiling at the memory.

Indian was stranded just short of the finish line for six hours but eventually the adverse wind and tide conditions relented and she was signaled finished at 4am Monday 25th May 2015 by PRO Trevor Milton and Race Director Rob Thomas who had been on standby for many hours waiting for the moment.

Craig said Indian had an ideal start with great wind conditions for the first two days of the race but unfortunately the wind dropped off and the resulting light conditions reduced their ability to break the race record of 5 days 23 hours 30 minutes 24 seconds set Indian-Crew-Celebrate-350px.jpgby set by the late Tony Mitchell’s Super Sled in 2013.

A total of 1607 nautical miles in conditions testing all aspects of seamanship and boat preparation were sailed by Indian and Craig said the crew, consisting of co-helmsman Paul Eldrid, Darren Palmer, David Ward, John Suriano, Preben Nielsen, Rees Howell, Stephen Locke and Timothy Barton had delivered an excellent and rewarding result for the race.

On arrival in Bali Indian’s co-helmsman Paul Eldrid said there were many challenging times but the crew performed exceedingly well and were all happy to be on the boat.

Throughout the six days the race of sailing Garth Curran’s Walk on the Wild Side was constantly on the heels of Indian.  Choosing to sail a course that kept her closer to the West Australian coast and then sailing a rhumb line course to Bali.

Race control anticipates Walk on the Wild Side will be the next boat to finish expecting her to cross the finish line late this afternoon (Monday 25).  Veteran skipper Garth Curran currently has Wild Side approximately 88 nautical miles from the finish.

Report by
Jayllee Carter

Image Walk on the Wild Side by Bernie Kaaks

Follow the progress of the yachts on the Yellow Brick Tracker

Previous race reports can be viewed in the News section of this website.

The adventure begins
Race and Rally start:     Delayed to 1000hrs Monday 18 May 2015
Race and Rally elapsed time from Fremantle start

The official start date for the twenty boats participating in 2015 Wonderful Indonesia Fremantle to Bali is now 10:00am Perth time Monday May 18 for the racing fleet and ten minutes later for the rally fleet. 

This follows a 48 hour delay from the original start time of 1000hrs on May 16 due to serious weather conditions including gale force winds and the club’s commitment to safety.

With safety of paramount importance in the 1440 nm blue water race the postponement of the race and rally was taken following close consultation with the Bureau of Meteorology and event weather advisors. 

We invite you to continue to visit the website and follow the progress of the yachts via the Yellow Brick Trackers carried on all of the boats which plots each yacht's position at 20 minute intervals throughout the event. Being able to view the progress of the yachts along the course is almost as good as being on board but with a little more comfort for the viewer.

The Wonderful Indonesia Fremantle to Bali event takes race and rally yachts north up the coast of Western Australia to North West Cape where they set off across the Indian Ocean to their finish line at Benoa Harbour, Bali.  After the welcome celebrations on arrival and the gala prize night dinner on the beach at Sanur some of the yachts will return home to Australia while others will set off on a cruise through the beautiful Indonesian eastern archipelago taking in islands such as Komodo Island, Lembongan Island, Labuan Bajo and many of the other islands that make this area north of Australia such a favoured cruising ground for yachts and sailors from around the world.

This year as in past years the Beyond Bali yachts will carry gifts of footballs (the round type!), clothing, hats and pens, pencils and stationery for the children and families who enthusiastically welcome the visiting boats to their islands.  Many of the cruising yachts will return to Australia via the magnificent Kimberly coastline of Western Australia.

Fremantle Sailing Club Commodore Terry Baker, who has previously participated in the premium Western Australian event and the Beyond Bali cruise said of the event "The sailing adventure tests skills of seamanship and provides an unparalleled welcome in warm and exotic Bali that will be long remembered by all those who participate."

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