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Published on September 8, 2014

The annual maritime event, Sandeq Festival will be held again this year at the Bahari Beach, Polewali Mandar, in the province of West Sulawesi from 12th to 17th September 2014. The festival is presented by the Polewali Mandar Regency to commemorate the anniversary of West Sulawesi Province on 22nd September 2014.

The festival is centered around the sandeq boat, which is the unique traditional boat of the Mandar ethnic group of Sulawesi. This year, the festival will again feature the thrilling sandeq race as the main highlight which will take the route from Makassar to Mamuju. Recognized by Asian Yachting as the world’s fastest, longest and hardest race for traditional fishing vessels, the annual Sandeq race.covers no less than 300 nautical miles in 6 legs.

Aside from the race, the festival will also feature sandeq expo, art and cultural performances, lepa-lepa completion, katinting competition, Mandar Culinary festival, Mandar’s hand woven sarongs fashion shows, sandeq workshop, regional products exhibitions, and more.

The Opening ceremony will take place on Friday, 12 September with and exhibition of local products and a fashion show of modern and traditional wear using the fine Mandar woven silk textiles. On 13 September spectators will watch the arrival of sandeq race participants. There will also be rope pulling fights on boats. While on 14 September a tripartite race will be held between the sandeq boats and the lepa-lepa outrigger boats.

Don’t miss the flag off of the Polewali-Majene stage of the sandeq race and a race of mini sandeq boats on 15 September. Another race of katinting canoes will also be held on 16 September. During the Festival cultural performances will be held every evening for all to enjoy and participate. On 17 September is the closing ceremony.

Designated as the tourism icon of West Sulawesi, the sandeq is the traditional Mandar’s fishing boat which is also frequently used for transportation.

Adopting the zigzag techniques against the wind, sandeq boats can reach to 15-29 knot in speed; for this reason, the boat is also claimed as the fastest sailing boat in the world. Its slender shape with width ranging from 1.5 to 2 meters enables it to maneuver swiftly through the waves.

German researcher Horst H.Liebner explained that the sandeq is a tough boat that has the agility to face strong winds and currents in the open seas. Sandeq has been chosen to represent Indonesia in the spectacular Les Tonnerres de Brest Festival 2012 in Bretagne, France joining 2500 sail boats from around the world on 13 – 19 July 2012.

Sandeq is a recognized national asset and is displayed at the d’Histoire Naturelle Museum in Paris, France, with the name: “The Spirit of Mandar”. The boat’s design is estimated to be about 3,000 years old and in nautical history has become an inspiration for modern boats and ships. This is especially seen in the Trimaran ship of Denmark, as also the Catamara boats of the Polynesians.