race is underway...
19:02:2011 When the starting signal sounded at 11:00 this morning, 17 local and International yachts, in three classes created history when they set off on the inaugural 200 mile Subic to Boracay offshore race. Depending on the yachts size and speed, they are expected to take between 20 and 48 hours to reach Boracay. The course presents an interesting tactical challenge to navigators, as they can choose to pass either side of the very large Mindoro Island. The Eastern route up the Verde Island passage, is renowned for its wind against tide conditions and the often windless area around Dumali Point. The Western option will avoid these but Mindoro Island has a 2,500m high mountain range and this could provide a large wind shadow behind the island and windward conditions on the last stretch to Boracay.
Being the biggest boat in the fleet, Frank Pong's 75ft Reichel/Pugh Jelik II will be leading the charge and expected to set the inaugural race record, which could be under 17 hours if conditions suite. However having the biggest boat does not guarantee victory as three highly fancied TP 52's, Sam Chan's Ffreefire, Geoff Hill's Strewth and Tiffany Koo skippering Pong's Jelik V will be formidable opposition. The overall winner comes after handicaps are applied to the finish times, which gives well sailed smaller boats a chance. Ernesto Echauz's Sydney 46 Centennial knows a thing or two about this situation having come from behind on many occasions to triumph in the face of adversity.
Seven boats in the IRC Cruiser/Racer Class are closely matched in size and speed. Being a little bit bigger than the rest, Martin Tanco's X452 Challenge may have an advantage in the Line Honours stakes but has his work cut out in the overall Handicap Honours. Claudio Altura's J35 Vivaldi, Jesus Avecilla's Beneteau First 36.7 Selma Star, Harry Taylor's S&S 36 Irresistible and Ernst Schulze's Sydney 36 Sandoway are regulars on the Philippine racing scene and relish the chance of racing each other on a long passage race. Relative newcomers Bobby Benares Salona 37 Lethal Weapon and Austen Chamberlain's Irwin 37 Sorcerer can never be discounted as anything can happen and usually does in the tricky Philippine waters.
Three completely different yacht designs make up the PY Class. Having won many regattas in the past, David Mc Kenna's Sun Odyssey 42 and Philippine crew on Raparee XXX must start out as odds on favourite. Micheal Reauber's Celestial 49 China Rose has also been on the top step of the podium and looking to repeat the performance. On a smaller scale Goran Rudelius' Contessa 35 Slalom Blade are making their debut on long distance racing, which should not deter them from taking a pot shot at the bigger counterparts.
The two events are organized by SAGS (Saturday Afternoon Gentlemen Sailors) and supported by Subic Bay Yacht Club and the Lighthouse Marina under the auspices of the Philippine Sailing Association. The organizing committee is headed by its chairman, former congressman and Commodore Ricky Sandoval of the Subic Bay Yacht Club and president of Watercraft Ventures Inc., co-chairman Jun Avecilla, president of the Lighthouse Marina Resort; and renowned International Race Officer Jerry Rollin is in charge of race management. The Philippine Inter Island Sailing Foundation, which also organizes the Hobie Cat events will be providing the Race Management Team for both events.
The Subic Race is followed by the Boracay Cup - four days of Inshore Windward/leeward and long distance races scheduled from February 22-25. Gov. Carlito Marquez, Vice Gov. Billie Calizo and Cong. Joeben Miraflores of the Province of Aklan have extended their full support for the races and have donated the Perpetual Trophy for the first Subic to Boracay Race and Boracay Cup.
More details on the Subic Sailing Website http://www.subicsailing.com/index.html
The Subic Boracay Race & Boracay Cup - AY Race Reports are kindly bought to you by the following supporters