The chief of facilities and promotional affairs at NTT office of tourism and creative economy, Bonavontura M Rumat, stated that five - of the 78 yachts on the route - were seen entering the waters around Semau island in Kupang at 10 am on Monday.

"There will be a welcoming ceremony for rally participants at Kupang, from where they will sail on to Alor, Lembata, Ende and Riung," Rumat said, adding that a total of 132 yachts from 22 countries were participating in the Sail Morotai 2012 rally.

He noted that the yacht rally officially began at Cullen Bay Dock in Darwin, with a salvo of gunfire from the deck of "Spirit of Darwin" ship.

Rumat added that the yachts were flagged off by Sail Morotai central committee chairman Syahrin Abdurrahman, who was also the Director General of Marine and Fisheries Resources Surveillance.

Meanwhile, Syahrin said in a statement to ANTARA on Monday that among the 132 yachts, 47 were from Australia, 20 from the US, nine from Canada, eight from New Zealand, seven from the Netherlands, and six from England.

He noted that the rally participants in Darwin were divided into two teams, which would take two different routes to Indonesia. The eastern route would pass through Saumlaki, Banda, Buru, Ternate, Wakatobi and Takabonerate, while the western route would be through Kupang, Alor, Lembata, Ende, and Riung.