Swedish sailor Jack Koert-Gilek owner of the 71 foot Cruiser Gloria and veteran of 21 Round Gotland races, was recently in Gizo talking to the organisers of the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht race in Gizo.
In Gizo with his wife Elizabeth and children, he was keen to hear about the 1250 mile Brisbane to Gizo yacht race. He has competed in many long races and has sailed through northern Europe and across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. The Round Gotland race is sailing often in very light conditions. Candles are often used, the flame providing clues about the direction of the lightest wafts of breeze.
The long down wind spinnaker run to Gizo provides conditions that many European sailors only dream about.
The Swedish family had chosen the West Solomons as an adventure holiday destination, because of its World Heritage listed coral reefs, its pristine beaches, and its fine fishing and unspoiled environment.
His wife Elizabeth researched the destination carefully, talking to Australian authorities, travel agents and following news from the Solomons. The mother of four explained that she was happy with travel conditions in the Western Solomons. The family including children Daniel, Nicole and Jacob had spent 4 nights at Marovo Lagoon on Uepi Island. They were spending 5 days at Koburutavia Lodge on the Gizo waterfront, diving every day with Danny and Kerrie Kennedy of Adventure Sports Gizo and were then going onto a number of Village stays.
The Swedish family was fascinated to hear that Gizo declares a public holiday on the Prize Presentation Day to welcome the visiting sailors and there is a major cultural festival, which brings in Islanders to Gizo from all around the Western Solomons.
The Western Solomons are keen to encourage visits from the sailing fraternity. Australian educated, Ruben Lilo, Premier of the Western Solomons, has recognised that for the Western Solomons the future lies in tourism. He recently explained 'In our schools we are instilling pride into the children about their unique environment so that it can be maintained for people all around the world to share with us.
The sight of 600 of our children on the sailing boats in Gizo Harbour during the Sail Past is very enjoyable, they talk about it all year and we are again looking forward to the 2001 race arriving here in mid-June. '
This year's race is being sponsored by Solomon Airlines, the Gizo Explorer Hotel, Solomons Telekom and by Sail-World.com.
The Notice of Race and Entry form, detailed charts and Event Newsletter for the 2001 Brisbane to Gizo Race are available from the Brisbane to Gizo mini-site on www.Sail-World.com