Fun race

Rally Details

What’s it all about?

A cruise in company across the Coral Sea to the spectacular Louisiades, with a mix of events (ranging from sailing canoe racing, feasts, sing sings, skull cave visit, traditional dancing, a remote river trip, school and hospital visits etc.) and time for independent exploration of the islands and their friendly communities.

Why the Louisiades?

The islands have a great mix of landscapes, from coral atolls to uplifted coral reef islands to volcanic mountains, most with friendly local people who welcome cruising yachts.


Muster at Yorkeys Knob by 9 September, rally leaves 15 September – mid October 2012 (or till you decide to return!)


All Welcome

The Rally invites monos, multis, power and sail. No-one is “hullist” or “engineist”…well not too much! A wide range of vessels have joined the rally to date. Many monohull yachts from new fibreglass production boats (such as Jenaeaus, Bavaria’s, Beneteau’s and Hunters) to older steel and ferro yachts. Many sailing catamarans have participated with Crowther, Simpson, Catanas, Perry, Lightwave, Schionning and Leopard among the models.

 Motor yachts have also participated, with an 18 metre Riveria, a Nordhaven and 20 meter Crelock having joined the Rallies.

Reliance 65' Motoryacht

What to Bring

Your seaworthy yacht (or power boat for the mastless) of more than 30 feet and some other important stuff (liferaft, 406 EPIRB, HF radio or satellite phone, medicines etc.), oh and some items to trade with the locals and donations for community projects.

Little One trading

What the Rally Organisers will do…

We are committed to arranging a successful rally to the Louisiades in 2012, we will try to do everything we can to make it all work out. We ran the ’08, ’09 , “10” and “11″ Rallies and did a preliminary trip in 2007. We have arranged the support of the Yorkeys Knob Boating Club and the Papua New Guinea Tourism Promotion Authority. We have established arrangements with villagers and local councillors. The rally will be a success if all help out, we will:
• Send the  ”Rally Ready” preparation guide to entrants.
• Provide a comprehensive Manual for the Rally.
• Arrange outward customs clearance from Australia.
• Assist you to obtain PNG Visas for skipper and crew.
• Provide event, navigation and safety briefings and arrange radio scheds for outwards and inwards passages to Australia.
• Arrange coordinated inwards customs clearance for PNG (and facilities for outwards clearances in most circumstances).
• Provide daily radio scheds with weather information, vessel positions and rally info (until the end of the Rally, group responsibility for the return trip).
• Organise events including, Yorkeys Farewell, Panasia Welcome BBQ, Panapompom Regatta, Bagaman Muster, Blue Lagoon Raft Up, Wanim Wander, Sudest River Trip and Nimoa Farewell.
The aim is to provide a relaxed and fun event for experienced cruisers and to provide support for intrepid first timers!
NOTE: We cannot sail your boat for you, we cannot fix your boat, nor resolve your hassles with Australian Customs and Immigration. If in doubt ask us, but do remember that whilst we do not give out navigational advice in exceptional circumstances we may find it necessary to tell you where to go!

Rally entrants may use a Marina berth at Yorkeys Knob for the week prior to the Rally (rafting up may be required)..

We assist with PNG Visas for skippers and crew.

The aim is to provide a relaxed and fun event for experienced cruisers and to provide support for intrepid first timers!

NOTE: We cannot sail your boat for you, we cannot fix your boat, nor resolve your hassles with Australian/PNG Customs and Immigration.  We will try to help as best we can with problems you may be experiencing.

A Note on Competition

When two yachts sail on the same horizon they are of course racing…, however the rally is not a race, nor do the organisers condone any activity arranged outside the international rules for the prevention of collisions at sea… There will be no official “start” to the rally. However there will be many competitions during the event including less serious than others.

Serious Stuff

We are responsible for organising the rally, NOT ensuring your boat is safe, your experience is adequate and that you navigate safely. It is the prime responsibility of the skipper and owner(s) of the yacht as to whether the yacht joins the rally and continues in it. The safety of the vessel and its equipment, the competence of the crew and the all navigation decisions are the skippers alone.

Radio Schedules

Radio schedules (skeds) are compulsory for all yachts daily. On passage we will have a 0830 and 1800 radio skeds on suitable 4, 6 or 8 mHz frequencies. Once in the Louisiades we will have a daily morning sked on HF (VHF in port/anchorage). The safety network is considered vital to ensure all yachts can be accounted for.

Independent Cruising

We have set the rally up with time for independent cruising so that individual time can be spent away from the large group of yachts, if you are not used to travelling in company and need some quiet time, and secondarily as there are many places to visit that simply cannot host a large number of yachts at the one time (ie Sabara and Kamatal). We expect yachts will travel on their own or with a few friends to spread the benefit to those communities not blessed with an official event!

No Boat?

Talk to us if you wish to crew on a yacht. Or if you would like to arrange a charter.

No Crew?

Talk to us if you need crew, we will keep a list, we aren’t matchmakers but will put people in touch with one another!

Team Approach

All participants will be asked to help in making the rally enjoyable for all. You may be asked to help carrying some of the gear, help run a canoe race, take the locals fishing for the BBQ or clean up the beach early “the morning after”. Please let the rally organizers know if you have any particular skills or strengths you would like to offer for the rally.

Support Vessel

SanctuarySanctuary will be providing support for the rally. Sanctuary, a Crowther Design 85 is a 52’ (16 metre) sailing catamaran which has previously been sailed to PNG, Thailand and the Solomons. Sisterships have completed circumnavigations. Sanctuary has had an extensive refit in 2006-2011, including new motors, sails, rigging and hull extensions to improve seaworthiness and speed. She has HF radio and satellite communications, an onboard office, AC generator, full galley and watermaker. She is well suited to provide rally support. Sanctuary was used for the first four Rallies and the planning trip to the Louisiades in 2007.

Rally Organiser

Atewa Owa - You have my heartThe Rally organiser is Guy Chester. Guy has been sailing for over 40 years, he has raced and cruised extensively in Australia, South-east Asia and the Pacific. Over twenty years ago Guy did his first overseas trip in his own yacht as part of the Darwin to Ambon yacht race, in 1991 Guy sailed in (and won!) the Coral Sea Classic (Townsville-Cairns-Port Moresby). Guy has been Commodore of Half Moon Bay Yacht Club, currently Guy is Deputy Chair of North Queensland Sailing and a Director of Yachting.



We will endeavour to make arrangements for clearing customs from Yorkeys Knob. We will make arrangements to bring out a Customs officer to Bwagoia. They will clear all yachts in and out from PNG. When yachts return to Australia (or go on to any other country) they will need to clear into a port of entry and clear customs and quarantine. We will attempt to have customs and quarantine give us a briefing prior to leaving Australia so that you are aware of what you can and cannot bring into Australia.

Australian Registration

To travel overseas a yacht must have national registration (ships papers), for example, if Australian, be an Australian Registered Ship.

Customs and Quarantine

The Rally assists yachts with the formalities of departures and entry. There is currently no port of entry in the Louisiades. The rally arranged clearance of vessels into and out of PNG at Misima. We fly in the officials and have special arrangements at Misima for clearance of vessels.
What we do:
1. Give you information on how to obtain your PNG Visa.
2. Organise Australian Customs and Quarantine to deliver a briefing to us all on their procedures;
3. Arrange Customs clearance at Yorkeys Knob for departure (including the TRS GST refund scheme);
4. Fly the PNG Customs officer to Misima and have special arrangements for customs, immigration and quarantine;
5. Provide the notification to Australian Customs of your departure from PNG and pending arrival back in OZ.
What you do:
1. Obtain you PNG Visas;
2. Have your Australian Registered Ship (or other nationality) papers, all crew and passports for Australian outwards clearance at Yorkeys Knob;
3. Be on board your vessel in Misima without going ashore first on 7th October 2011 for quarantine clearance.  Pay the quarantine fee.
4. Attend the Misima customs clearance as per Rally arrangements with all crew and ships papers.
5. Arrive back into Australia at a port of entry clearing customs and quarantine yourself (you will need to pay Oz Quarantine their exorbitant fee!).

Quarantine Matters

Both PNG and Australia have strict quarantine laws with heavy penalties for non-disclosure. The Rally laisies with both PNG and Australian officials and provides general advice on what provisions and artefacts will pass quarantine.

See the AQIS website for more details on returning to Australia, in general:
• You may not be able to bring Australian frozen or packaged meat back into the country.
• Cheeses in sealed packets from Australia can be brought back in. Other cheeses may be taken off you.
• All handicrafts are inspected.  Take Baygon and large heavy duty garbage bags so you can pre-treat items.
• Quarantine also look for biofouling on the boat, it is best to have on board recent receipts for slipping/antifouling the vessel in OZ. We also give the boat and skin fittings a really good scrub just prior to sailing home.

Making it happen
Dont dream about it… make it happen!

March 7, 2014

We ran a very successful ten day sailau trip onboard Hex in October 2013. The Hex crew are keen to go again and the Brooker Island community and others from the Calvodos Chain are keen to see the mo… Read More…

March 7, 2014

Unfortunately are not running the Louisiades Yacht Rally for 2014. We may run it in future years, and are looking for partners or others to step in help run the event!
If you are wishing to go to th… Read More…

March 5, 2014

We are seeking expression of interest from folks wanting to assist to run the Louisiades Yacht Rally. Have a yacht and want to so something useful? Then get involved!
The Rally has in past years… Read More…