Exploring Equator-Asia


Sail BIMP-EAGA has been adopted by the BIMP-EAGA Tourism Council and the Joint Tourism Development Cluster (government and private sector) as a key element in the Strategic Plan for tourism development in BIMP-EAGA.

The cruises present local tourism authorities, tour associations and operators with the opportunity to introduce their natural and cultural attractions to the international cruising yacht community.

The cruises present yacht owners with the opportunity to explore new places, encounter unique lifestyles, experience beautiful anchorages, and truly benefit from the self-sufficient capabilities and independent lifestyle of yacht ownership.  



Sail BIMP-EAGA is created, organised and managed from the Bandar Seri Begawan offices of Intrepid Management Service Sdn, Bhd, a Brunei based company, and licensed tour operator.

The concept for Sail BIMP-EAGA arose during the BIMP-EAGA Business Council's Oct/Nov 2008 conference on poverty alleviation through sustainable Community-based Ecotourism, held in Manado, Indonesia. Allan Riches, - the Managing Director of Intrepid Management Services Sdn Bhd - proposed cruising yachts as a means to bring visitors to communities and attractions in BIMP-EAGA, without the expense or delay of waiting for shore infrastructure developments, such as  accommodation, water treatment plants, electricity systems, communication services etc.

This concept was subsequently endorsed by the BIMP-EAGA Business Council and the BIMP-EAGA Tourism Council. Establishment of the events was confirmed as a principle target for BIMP-EAGA tourism marketing in 2010/11 at the BIMP-EAGA Joint Tourism Development (ie: private and government sectors) Strategic Planning meetings in November 2009, at Kota Kinabalu.

The Equator Asia cruise has been assigned Signature Event status for BIMP-EAGA tourism, because it includes travel in each of the four BIMP-EAGA nations.


Planning and local resources:

Sail BIMP-EAGA is supported by the knowledge, resources and organisational capabilities of local tourism related SME's, tour associations and government agencies. For example:

  • The BIMP-EAGA Tourism Council representatives in the four BIMP-EAGA territories help provide private and public sector contacts, information and support to facilitate the Sail BIMP-EAGA routes. 

  • Customs, Immigration, Quarantine and Security officials who are part of the BIMP-EAGA CIQS Task Force provide advice and formality  support compatible with their goals to streamline and harmonise formalities in BIMP-EAGA.

  • Local tourism associations, such as the Mindanao Tourism Council, the Palawan Tourism Council, and the Sarawak Travel Association. Their knowledge of venues, local operators, community based SME developments, wildlife preservation and cultural heritage projects helps create variations to the annual cruise routes.

  • Government tourism officials who participate in the BIMP-EAGA JTD (Joint Tourism Development - ie: private and public sector) Cluster planning and co-ordination roles and who assist the private sector to implement Sail BIMP-EAGA.

  • Individual tour operators, venue owners, community based ecotour operators, resorts, marinas, event managers etc along the rally routes who provide local services, activities and support for the yachts.


The capability to operate Sail BIMP-EAGA is based upon three existing business activities of Intrepid Management Services Sdn Bhd. Combining their relevant capabilities creates the organisational framework, the technical expertise and the operational co-ordination for Sail BIMP-EAGA.

  • BRUNEI BAY RADIO provides low-cost HF/SSB radio email and voice services for yachts and other small craft throughout the region. This reliable communications capability gives the ability to manage Sail BIMP-EAGA operations, respond to questions from participating yachts, distribute local information updates, plus receive position reports and updates.

  • INTREPIDYACHTING incorporates over thirty years experience with sailing and boating activities. This includes owning and operating yachts, support services in Brunei for visiting yachts and superyachts, and conducting Yachtmaster scheme training. This experience is applied to the development of routes and their timing in relation to prevailing winds information. It also underpins information passed to local venues and organisers for main stops and anchorages along the route; so local people can prepare for the yachts' requirements.   

  • INTREPIDTOURS is the activity and ecotour business established in Brunei  at the suggestion of the Director of Tourism - Sheikh Jamaluddin - to develop more activity based tour products in Brunei, to train local guides, and assist local SMEs establish tour operations.  Experience operating Intrepid Tours is applied to the operation of Sail BIMP-EAGA.

The Sail BIMP-EAGA organising team in the Bandar Seri Begawan office is lead by Allan Riches, an Australian, and resident of Bandar Seri Begawan since 1993, when he was invited to Brunei to establish their Outward Bound centre. A qualified educator (B.Ed., M.Ed.Admin) and Member of the Australian College of Education, Allan's work has focused on adventure based experiential education. As a Churchill Fellow, he visited  Outward Bound and related experiential education and adventure travel organisations in the UK/Europe and North America.  He directed operations and helped expand Outward Bound Australia into the largest Outward Bound centre in the world, prior to coming to Brunei. A sailor since the age of 11, yacht owner since 1991, and a Yachting Australia certified Yachtmaster Instructor, his combination of skills and experience underpins the design and operation of Sail BIMP-EAGA.

Cruise Co-ordination:

By design, Sail BIMP-EAGA routes encompass areas that are remote from  marinas, cities, commercialised areas, and normal communication facilities. The routes focus on regions which have retained much of the natural and cultural heritage. This makes them unique and of interest to the adventurous spirit of many cruising yacht owners. 

Communications to co-ordinate and manage each Sail BIMP-EAGA cruise, for communication between participating yachts, and between yachts and Sail BIMP-EAGA staff in our Brunei office, will be provided by HF/SSB radio and HF/SSB radio email.

All participating yachts will require a functional HF/SSB radio and SailMail service, so they can obtain weather information, contact other yachts in the fleet for information or advice, and  maintain email communication with Sail BIMP-EAGA staff. 

Participating yachts will receive a free subscription to BRUNEI BAY RADIO's extended HF/SSB email service. This service works using the same software/hardware as SailMail, and from within the same copy of the on-board software that creates, send/receives and displays SailMail messages. The BBRemail subscription provides additional daily connection time, and the ability to send/receive attachments (eg: pdf files, jpg photos etc). Sending a small photo of a damaged/broken part can make a big difference to getting the right item sent; first time. 

This additional HF/SSB radio email capacity provided by the BBRemail subscription will ensure a prompt flow of communication between participants and the Sail BIMP-EAGA office. This extended email communication capability provides access to information, advice, parts orders and other support to help overcome numerous practical issues of short-handed yacht cruising in isolated areas. 

BBRemail will also enable yachts to update their blogs and websites on route, or from a tranquil anchorage, so participants can assist the tourism promotion efforts of the BIMP-EAGA Tourism Council.

Government and private sector organisations in BIMP-EAGA support
Sail BIMP-EAGA because it is seen as a means to facilitate the protection and preservation of the traditional knowledge, culture and environment by creating tourism based income to replace income from practices that degrade or damage these assets. We need your help to inform others and encourage them to also explore and enjoy Equator Asia - The Heart of Biodiversity.

So please bring your camera, creative writing skills, photo editing software, and list of websites, yacht clubs, yachting magazines and boating newsletter email addresses! 

Direct written communications between individual yachts and Sail BIMP-EAGA staff will minimise the risk of confused communications, and should eliminate incorrect or incomplete transfer of messages which can lead to wasted effort and unnecessary concern. It also avoids one or two yachts being burdened with the task of message relay and distribution for the fleet.

A reliable HF/SSB radio installation, and the low-cost radio email services it supports, help make the amazing places in
BIMP-EAGA accessible to those cruisers with children doing distance learning and also those cruisers who need to maintain contact with the business or investments that fund your cruising. There is so much more to see, try, learn and enjoy in BIMP-EAGA than just what can be experienced when constrained by the need to cruise from one Wi-Fi equipped marina, anchorage or yacht club, to the next.  

If you need to arrange a SailMail or BBRemail subscription, or fit a new HF/SSB radio, or buy a Pactor modem before the rally starts, please contact the regional Pactor modem distributor - Marc Robinson, in Sydney:   - . Marc is expert at making new HF/SSB radio email systems work with the minimum of fuss. He's also great at troubleshooting existing systems.

If you would like to add your contact details to our database to be updated with rally information, please email us for inquiries ....   


Back to top