Kota Kinabalu: The “Sail Malaysia Passage to the East” 2022 Yacht Rally is scheduled to sail across the waters of Sabah next month, with the participation of about 20 boats. With Kota Kinabalu as the starting point, the rally billed as one of Asia’s most anticipated sailing events is slated to begin from July 17-August 27 with the final destination being Tawau.
On Wednesday, Sail Malaysia Managing Director Sazli Kamal Basha and SM Yachting Eastern Sabah Rally Director Wong Ming Rui met with Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister cum Sabah Tourism Board (STB) Chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, to brief about the event.
Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, France, Thailand, Sweden and the US will be among the 10 countries represented by yachts during the “Sail Malaysia Passage to the East”, which returns to Sabah this year.
“This particular annual event has been going on since 2008 and has attracted 400 sailboats to Sabah from over 30 countries,” said Sazli.
“For this year’s event, the number of participants is slightly less than usual because our border just opened on April 1. So, getting boats ready can take some time for some people.”
Meanwhile, Joniston expressed hope that the yacht rally event would be the start of an uptick in maritime arrivals to Sabah.
“This is a niche adventure tourism and a unique way to explore Sabah. Being able to witness international participation in our seas shows that Sabah is a safe place for sailors.
“I see this as encouraging for us to market Sabah as a sailing vacation destination.
“I believe this will undoubtedly excite the…