In our latest video we share some footage of the preparations for the Go East Rally voyage, the fun and informative events we hold leading up to the voyage, the voyage itself, the rally fleet arriving in New Caledonia and some VERY SPECIAL and VERY MEMORABLE MOMENTS along the way.
32 of the 34 yachts that departed from Southport on the Gold Coast, Australia with the Down Under ‘Go East’ Rally on May 15th 2018 have arrived in New Caledonia. Two vessels returned to Southport soon after departing with autopilot failure.
Overall the passage was a good one however some participants found the first 36 hours challenging thanks to a period of 3-4 metre swells and the occasional squall delivering short bursts of 30 -35 kts winds.
Seasickness was the major issue with the crew of most vessels crews succumbing at some stage, however, as expected the swell reduced and conditions improved on day 3.
Participants were required to send to Northland Radio position reports along with vessel and crew status updates every 24 hours. This was done by either SSB radio or via email using an Iridium Go.
Northland Radio then monitored progress of the fleet with daily updates being provided to the rally organisers via email.
Positions of vessels that were fitted with an Iridium Go and also had a PredictWind subscription were automatically plotted on the PredictWind Go East Rally tracking page which allowed Northland Radio as well as family and friends of the participants to follow the progress of the fleet in real time.
The first two vessels arrived in New Caledonia on May 20th having made the voyage of around 800nm in just over 4 ½ days. The remaining 30 vessels arrived between the 21st and 23rd May.
With the assistance of Noumea Yacht Services, the Down Under Rally arranged for permission from the New Caledonia authorities for the fleet to arrive and clear in to the country at Ilot Maître instead of Noumea. This allowed the participants to experience a hassle free, relaxed and convenient arrival in New Caledonia.
Officers from New Caledonia biosecurity came to Ilot Maître and were taken to each vessel by the rally organisers to carry out the vessel inspections.
After all the biosecurity inspections had been completed the masters of each vessel were then responsible for gathering the passports of all persons aboard their vessel. The masters then boarded a free ferry at Ilot Maître and were escorted by rally agents Noumea Yacht services to the mainland for customs and immigration clearances. The whole process was well organised and went very smoothly.
Once all formalities were complete, thanks to the co-operation and support of Ilot Maître resort, rally participants and their crew were able to go ashore at Ilot Maître and take advantage of the opportunity to rest and relax while enjoying full use of the resort facilities and enjoy the luxurious resort grounds.
On May 23rd the Bonjour les Marins (Hello Sailor) events thanks to the support provided by New Caledonia Tourism (NCTPS).
These events took place at the Ilot Maître Escapade Resort and included a morning session with Yoga4Yachties, Beach Olympics, Welcome to New Caledonia travel and cruising presentation and information session, Traditional dance performance by local group WE-CH-CA, Welcome cocktails, BBQ dinner, Awards ceremony and the final event of the rally, the End of Passage Party.
The majority of the rally participants will now spend the next 10 weeks cruising and exploring New Caledonia and then sail onwards to Vanuatu with the Down Under NC2V Rally (New Caledonia to Vanuatu Rally). A further 6-8 weeks will be spent cruising the waters of Vanuatu before returning to Australia in late October / Early November.
Down Under Rally organisers John and Leanne have been praised by participants for the professional and personal manner in which they have run the 'Go East' Rally with many saying they would not have made the voyage and had such a wonderful experience if it were not for the rally.
Down Under Rally director John Hembrow stated that the rally had exceeded all expectations and added that it would not have been possible with out the support of their many rally partners in particular their premium partners, Bundaberg Port Marina, The Boat Works, DBY Boat Sales, Grotty Yachty Clothing, Multihull Solutions, New Caledonia Tourism & PredictWind.
When sailing offshore or in remote locations you can't call 000 and get an ambulance to come to your aid !
If the worst happens it maybe a LONG time before professional help is available so it could be up to you to save a life.
The Down Under Rally is making it possible for all who are venturing out into the blue to attend a First Aid Course that is being taught by Tony Little who is an accredited first aid trainer and a cruising yachtie.
Tony understands the unique challenges you may be faced with when providing first aid at sea or in remote locations.
For more information about course locations, date and times as well as the course content go to: www.downunderrally.com/first-aid-for-cruisers
Event 1 - May 7th
Get your Grotty On !
2018 Go East Rally participants only
No RSVP required
Please click the image or link below for more details
Event 2 - May 7th
Get Know your Iridium Go & Predictwind Offshore App
Rally Participants & Rally Partners welcome
Please click the image or link below for more details and to RSVP
Event 3 - May 10th
Go East Rally Bon Voyage - Masquerade Party
2018 Go East Rally participants, crew members & Down Under Rally partners all welcome !
Please click the image or link below for more details and to RSVP
On the Gold Coast and Need a Lift ?
Margaret & Clayton are mates of the Down Under Rally. They are also yachties and they are replenishing the cruising kitty by offering their services as drivers. They are happy to pick you up from anywhere on the Gold Coast and take you to anywhere on the Gold Coast. They are also happy to do airport transfers to and from Brisbane and Gold Coast Airports. A "fair price with great service" is their motto.
If you are wanting to pick up other people along the way they are also happy to do this too which is perfect for getting to rally events at the Southport Yacht Club if your boat is at Coomera or one of the Hope Island Marinas.
Phone : Margaret Dillon 0412 766 388
Phone : Clayton Dillon 0422 174 232
Mention the Down Under Rally when you call !
Rally Great Prizes
Australian Marine Wholesale Prize
Ultra Marine Products Prize
"With over 40 partner businesses all offering "Rally Good Deals" to our Down Under Rally participants you are just about guaranteed to save more than the rally entry fee!"
In addition to all the "Rally Good Deals" already on offer to our rally participants the Down Under Rally is excited to make the following announcements:
The Boat Works "Australia's Greatest Boatyard" is once again partnering with the Down Under Rally in 2018! But wait there's more ,,,,,
Rally Great Prizes
Not only are the Boat Works partnering with us again and offering a 10% discount on your *Boat Works Bill (*conditions apply) so are 18 of the businesses who are located within the Boat Works marine precinct and they are all offering "Rally Good Deals" on products and services ranging from Antifouling to Zincs and everything in between! We would like to say "Welcome Aboard" to:
- Affordable Antifoul Solutions
- Australian Marine Wholesale
- Bayline Marine Covers
- Choice Stainless Steel
- Everything Marine
- Marine Energy Systems
- Marine Mechanical Solutions
- Marine Trade Supplies & Chandlery
- Ocean Degree Yacht Services
- Print Images Signs & Marine Wraps
- RTM Marine
- Seaspray Marine
- Spraytech Marine
- Stella Marine Group
- The Boat Butler
- The Galley Restaurant & Takeaway
- Trim Workz
- Ultra Marine Products
The Down Under Rally invites you to visit the website of each of these 18 businesses and see the huge range of products they sell and the services they provide. Just click on their business name above. Remember if you are a Down Under Rally participant let them know when you contact them and ask for the details of the Down Under Deal.
Rainman Desalination have also come aboard as a Down Under Rally Partner and they are offering rally participants $400 off the price of any new Rainman Watermaker System!
Please Note : To qualify for the discounts and Down Under Deals you will need to produce your Down Under Rally Certificate of Participation.
Full details of all the offers being made by our rally partners will be provided in our "Guide to Rally Benefits Go East 2018" when you register for the 2018 "Go East" & "Go West" Rallies.
Yesterday, 2018 Go East Rally participants Warren & Debbie of s.v Phase2 won 10 litres of Jotun Seavictor 40 Antifoul thanks to Marine Trade Supplies and Jotun Australia Marine
Australian Marine Wholesale & Ultra Marine Products are offering rally participants the chance to WIN AGAIN
All you need to do to be in the prize draw is visit their showrooms at the Boat Works. See below for details:
Having returned from New Caledonia late last year I started asking a few people about their watermakers, what they had, what they thought of it etc.
Leanne & Steve of s.v "Easy Tiger" had this to say about their watermaker :
"We have a Rainman and know several people that do. We have the 140 litres an hour unit and have used it extensively. We love it. It's easy. It does exactly what it proclaims to do. We have built ours in now so we don't have to keep pulling it out and setting up. Even that is easy. We would give the unit a 10 out of 10. While we were in Vanuatu we even used it to make water for villagers in the Maskelyne islands. We along with other boats filled up a massive water storage until for for islanders"
Others I spoke to also had great things to say about their Rainman Watermaker so I decided to do some more research.
I discovered that Rainman Desalination was actually the brainchild of a cruising yachtie. This made me even more interested as I have a belief that those who have cruised make the best products for cruisers. The story of how the company began can be found on the Rainman Desalination website at www.rainmandesal.com or you can click this link: A Brief History Of Rainman Desalination
I also discovered that Rainman Desalination was the recipient of several industry awards and many positive reviews.
At the end of my research I decided I liked what I had learned and heard, and it was time to see if Rainman Desalination would like to partner with the Down Under Rally".
The outcome is that we are excited to announce that not only have Rainman Desalination "come aboard" as a rally partner they are also offering a:
"Rally Good Deal"
$400 off the retail price of any NEW Rainman Watermaker system.
Here is how to get the deal:
Gold Coast & Melbourne
Phone: +61 (1) 800 761 159
The Watermaker Man
Phone: +61 41 44 77 602
Back in 2017 Paul and Sue of the catamaran Supa Trooper had for some time been dreaming of "sailing off into the blue"in search of adventure and new experiences.
We met them in February 2017 when they attended the Down Under Rally Offshore Cruising Preparation Course to learn skills and gain confidence in preparation for their first offshore cruising adventure. They subsequently joined the Down Under "Go East" Rally and in May 2017 sailed with the rally from Australia to New Caledonia.
After a successful voyage Paul and Sue spent almost 3 months cruising and exploring the pristine anchorages and islands of the lagoons of New Caledonia often in company of other 2017 Go East Rally Participants.
They sailed onwards to Vanuatu and once again in the company of other rally participants spent just over 2 months visiting many of the islands and experiencing the culture of the local people in the Vanuatu group.
Five months later Paul, Sue & the good ship Super Trooper had achieved their goal having sailed around 4000 nm in just under 5 months. Yesterday (3rd January 2018) Paul & Sue emailed me with this to say:
Hi John & Leanne,
A big Happy New Year to you both!
The videos below were taken by our passage crew Paul & Leah Waterston.
You can tell we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves but most of all, learned an awful lot when you see the difference in confidence, knowledge and the state of the boat, between the outward bound and homeward bound trips!
A big thank you for organising the 2017 Down Under Rallies and we would recommend them both to anyone wishing to sail offshore for the first time.
Paul & Sue
"OUTWARD BOUND" aboard s.v Super Trooper
SAILING FROM AUSTRALIA TO VANUATU 2017
"HOMEWARD BOUND"aboard s.v Super Trooper
SAILING FROM VANUATU TO AUSTRALIA
Coincidently Paul Waterson, who made these videos & his wife Leah contacted the Down Under Rally in March 2017 asking if there were any rally participants looking for crew. They subsequently joined Paul & Sue aboard Supa Trooper for both the passage from Australia to New Caledonia and the return voyage from Vanuatu to Australia.
The Down Under Rally says:"Well done team Supa Trooper" and thanks for sharing your experiance with us.
How to enter and win
- Join the 2018 Down Under "Go East" Rally from the Gold Coast to New Caledonia before January 22nd 2018
- Make a booking with the Boat Works Gold Coast before the 22th January 2018 to haul out your vessel anytime between January 22nd - April 30th 2018
- Haul out your vessel at the Boat Works Gold Coast anytime between January 22nd and April 30th 2018.
- Email confirmation of your booking to the Down Under Rally to enter the draw: email@example.com
- When your vessel is hauled out at the Boat Works visit Marine Trade Supplies located on site at the Boat Works, present your 2018 Go East Rally certificate of participation. Marine Trade Supplies will then confirm your vessel has been hauled out and you can collect the prize.
The Down Under "Go East" Rally departs the Southport Yacht Club on or soon after May 14th 2018.
To join the rally or learn more about the rally itself go to: www.downunderrally.com
You gotta be in it to win it !
- The winner will be notified by email on January 22nd.
- The winner will need to collect the prize from Marine Trade Supplies superstore at the Boatworks no later than April 30th 2018.
The Down Under "Go West" Rally is "turning the tide" on Australia's reputation within the international cruising community.
In recent times Australia has had a very poor reputation in the international cruising community for several reasons, and as a result, many international yachts have chosen not to include Australia as a destination.
Over the past 3 years the Down Under Rally has been working hard to encourage yachts to visit Australia, and it would seem we are having a positive impact, with over 100 yachts and their crews from countries all over the world including Denmark, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the USA, Canada and New Zealand having joined the "Go West" rally from New Caledonia and Vanuatu to Australia over the past 3 years.
The positive feedback we have received has been that the rally itself and the rally Welcome Week are amongst best run events they have ever attended.
Participants are also saying how pleasantly surprised they are by how professional and friendly the Australian Border Force and Department of Agriculture officials have been, and they have found the clearing in process to be straightforward and much less stressful than they have experienced in many other countries they have visited.
We have posted some of this feedback on the testimonials page of our website in the Go West menu for those who are interested.
Below is a video Leanne Hembrow has put together that explains what the Down Under Rally Welcome Week is all about and shares some of the highlights from what was truly a memorable 2017 Welcome Week.
The rally participants joined in for parties, seminars, mud crab races, hootenannies and more. Leanne has done a fantastic job putting this footage together. She has managed to capture some special moments and some pretty funny ones as well .
We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed being there!
The 2018 Down Under "Go West" Rally is now open for expressions of interest with many expressions of interest having already been received.
Opportunities to partner with the Down Under Rally are also available