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Western Solomons prepares for the 2001 Brisbane to Gizo race

by Rob Kothe on 7 Mar 2001
The magical entrance to Gizo harbour Murray Hallam
Ruben Lilo, Premier of the Western Solomons, met at the waterfront Gizo hotel on Ghizo Island in the Western Solomon Islands.. with community leaders met and Race officials Dayle Smith and Murray Hallam

When discussing the Brisbane to Gizo Race, which starts on June 2nd, Premier Lilo explained 'The current travel advisory warning from the Australian Foreign affairs department seems very harsh. It covers the whole 992 islands of the Solomon Islands Group a chain of almost 1700 kilometres in length, because of isolated problems which have mostly occurred on just one island, Guadalcanal.

Because there has been few problems in the Western Solomons, we have expressed our concern to the Australian Government that travelers might get the wrong impression and asked them to modify the advisory and we expect that will eventually happen. . However we have very little power to speed them up. We are a tiny baby kicking against a giant.

Even those incidents, which occurred quite a long time ago now, were between Islanders.

The Western Solomons are an adventure tourism destination, with some of the finest lagoons, protected reefs and beaches in the world. The fishing is great, as can be seen in the waterfront fish markets and our diving sites of both reefs and wrecks are amongst the best in the world. '

The 1178 mile Brisbane to Gizo yacht race has become a major event for the Western Solomons.

This years race is being sponsored by Solomon Airlines, the Gizo Hotel, Telekom Solomons and by Sail-World.com

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.

Premier Lilo, who is Australian educated College lecturer by profession, has recognised that for the Western Solomons the future lies in tourism. He 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. '

The Notice of Race and Entry form for the 2001 Brisbane to Gizo Race are available from the Events Page of www.Sail-World.com

There is more detailed information at www.OceanRacing.net

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