picture contributed by Ediloi Seklii

Sailing across 1700 miles of open ocean, braving the rough weather in a 40-footer catamaran sail boat, Ms. Ediloi Seklii, the sole young female crew on board a racing yacht, created new records for herself and for Palauan women.  Her team, Team Palau on Minnie, did very well coming in 3rd out of the 8 racing yachts participating in the Japan-Palau Friendship Yacht Race.

Ediloi said that the farthest she had sailed before was to Hatohobei. This was the farthest distance that she had sail and a first time being on a yacht.  She said enjoyed her experience very much and would do it again if given a chance.

“I first thought that the race will take a long time but the duties that we were given on the yacht made the time fly by fast,” stated Ms. Seklii in an interview with Island Times. Some of the tasks assigned to her include handling the ropes of the sails and assisting with autopilot functions of the sail boat.

Asked how she got into the race in the first place, Ms. Seklii said she was asked by Co-Skipper Beches Singeo to join them in the race.

According to Ms. Seklii, they worked in teams and in shifts to make sure that the yacht stays on track.  Each team had 3 people and the they took turns with navigation while others take their rest.

On living arrangement on sail boat, Miss Seklii said that she was treated very kindly by her teammates and that they gave her a room of her own to sleep in.

During the first few days of the trip, Miss Seklii said that the weather was a bit rough. There was heavy rainfall and the waves would be so big that it got onto the yacht. She felt a little scared, but she did not stray away from what she needed to do. “All I thought of was what should I do next” she said.

Even though there were rough times on the boat, the crew had their fair share of good times. Miss Seklii enjoyed having days where they can fish for their food. She went on to say that when they were in the lead for two days, they ate and celebrated at the yacht.

Miss Seklii said she was awakened by one of the crew members when they reached Palau and she immediately got excited that they finally reached their destination. Throughout this whole experience she truly learned the value of teamwork and communication. Additionally, she said that she would not mind participating again and she urges women that are interested in sailing to come prepared with what you need.

Ms. EdiloiSeklii, is a 27-year old Palauan student at the Ritsumeikan University in Japan majoring in Policy Science.

The award ceremony for the Japan-Palau Friendship YachtRace will be tomorrow, January 15th. (Telbakes Yano)