Darwin Dili 1973

The Inaugural Darwin Dili Yacht Race left Darwin at 1100 hours on 18 August 1973 for the 425 nm voyage to Timor across the Timor Sea.  6 competitors took 4-5 days to reach Dili, but they arrived well in time for the Presentation Night on 25 August, where the Governor of Portuguese Timor, Colonel Alrea Aldeia presented magnificent trophies to all competitors.  

Indeed, the Race created a number of firsts:  

  • The first Australian yacht race to a foreign country
  • The first overseas yacht race catering for multi and mono-hulls, and commencing in Australia and
  • The first time that the people of Darwin and the people of Timor actively collaborated in a sporting event that was to result in friendly co-operation, good will and mutual respect.

The people of Timor had a longstanding affinity with Australians, beginning with the Australian soldiers trapped on the island during the war and who, with the help of the Portuguese and the Timorese, became such a thorn in the side of the Japanese occupation force. It was fitting therefore that the Inaugural Darwin Dili Yacht Race coincided with the survivors of “Sparrow Force” conducting their first reunion in Timor since World War II. It was a time to renew many old friendships from harder times and to establish many new friendships from better times.   Again the words of the Organising Committee were prophetic “This is the beginning of the race.  The future will be a very interesting one.”

 Darwin Organising Committee  Dili Organising Committee
 President: Colin Blair  Luis Franco Ricardo
 Secretary: Dr Bob Lee  Commander Manuel Arsenio Velko Pacheco De Madeiros 
 Treasurer: Terry Howard  Major Souto Pires
 Technical Officer: Bill Jelly  Jose Luis De Chagas Henriques De Jesus
 Safety Officers: Art Duffield & Kim Nicholls  
 Publicity Officer: Murray Jones  


 Official Sponsors
 Albert Albany
 Wilkens, Klemm & Morrison
 Seafleet Marine
 VB Perkins
 Burns Philp
 The Jewel Box
 Jim Berry Pharmacies
 Fergusons Travel Agency
 Abbotts Laboratories

 Trophy Donors  
 Mr C J Araujo, Portuguese Consul Darwin
 Seaview Motel
 Territorian Hotel
 Gutheries and Co.