Astonishingly, while Australia is the largest continental island there is to sail around, it is a spectacular feat that has not been organized since 1988. It is hard to believe that over 20 years has passed since the last fleet of yachts completed the challenge.
Western Australia company Ocean Events is reviving the race-set to take place in 2011 and titled Around Australia Ocean Race and Rally. The race has a unique and convenient twist, allowing participants to select one of 10 designated ports as their start and finish point, a true convenience for sailors on the opposite side of the large island.
The decision to provide 10 designated ports was a strategic move to ensure a healthy turnout of fleets, fearing those on the other side of the country would choose not to race. To ensure that everyone was in agreement with the proposal, the company conducted a global online survey prior to making the decision, wherein a majority of both Australian and overseas sailors were in favor of the proposal.
Australian yachtsmen & women simply select one of the 10 available ports closest to home to serve as their start and finish port, and overseas participants have the same freedom to select the port of their choice. So far, it is know that yachts in Fremantle West Australia will start first. There is a limit of 200 sailors for the 7,500-mile race.
Every detail was addressed in the planning of the event, and it is aligned with the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, the Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week, and the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, to ensure participants do not have to forgo another event to race in the Around Australia Ocean Race.