Taking the theme, “Step to the New Era of Pacific Regional Economy,” Sail Morotai is anticipated to not only put Morotai back on the tourist map, but moreover improve the economy of the region and its population.
This year’s Sail Indonesia regatta, which will take place from June through September 2012, will highlight the island of Morotai in North Maluku, site of the Battle of Morotai waged under Allied Commander General Douglas MacArthur.
The highlight of Sail Morotai 2012 will be on September 14 held at the historic Daruba Bay, which will be attended by President Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Almost to the day – back in 1944 on September 15 at the height of World War II – Allied Forces from the United States and Australia under Supreme Commander General Douglas MacArthur landed on Morotai and defeated the small Japanese troop remaining stationed there.
Although the Japanese had landed on Morotai earlier and began constructing an airfield here, they abandoned the airfield to set up base on the larger neighboring island of Halmahera, leaving only a small batallion on Morotai.
From that day until the end of World War II, Morotai became the base of the Allied Forces where a large air and naval base of the Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific was built to free the Philippines from Japanese occupation. For a more detailed description of Morotai and the strategic position of Morotai in World War II, see Destination Morotai.
More than 120 yachts are expected to participate, not only arriving from Darwin in Australia but also from Davao in the Philippines and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia. In all, Sail Morotai is estimated to attract around 5,000 visitors from Australia, the United States, Japan, and others.
Also organized are a sailboat rally, seminars, nautical sports, cultural festival, and an exhibition of products produced by small- and medium-scale enterprises.
Since there are only few simple hotels on Morotai, the government plans to operate ships to berth at Daruba harbor to serve as accommodation for visitors.
Yachters from the Philippines wishing to participate in Sail Morotai 2012 can click the following websites: