WITH top notch sailors and boats coming in from Hong Kong, excitement is building up on the Standard Insurance 8th Subic Bay to Boracay Race.
Organizers led by Ernesto Echauz and Jun Avecilla said this as around 18 boats and more than 200 crack sailors from all the globe come over to take part in this extreme sailing action.
Participants will head down south to one of the country’s famous tropical paradise, Boracay.
“This will be a part of the Asian Yachting Circuit that determines the Skipper of the Year and Yacht of the Year,” said Avecilla during yesterday’s press briefing at the Kamayan Restaurant in Padre Faura, Manila.
The event is also part of the Philippine Sailing Grand Prix, which is a series of popular racing events in the country that put Subic in the compass of the international sailing community.
The SBBR is just the start. It will be followed by the Boracay Cup Regatta on Monday, Feb. 20.
Then, the 10th Commodore’s Cup Regatta will be on tap from April 19 to 23, also in Subic Bay.
All of these are part of the 2017 Asian Yachting Grand Prix Circuit organized by Asian Yachting.com.
“The coming race is going to be very exciting. Because, we are going to see the top boats from Hongkong coming over,” added Echauz, who is also the president of the Philipine Sailing Association.
Syd Fisher’s Dubois 90 Ragamuffin, skippered by David Witt, recorded the fastest time of 14 hours, 23 minutes and 17 seconds that last time around.
This time, a bigger boat Scallywag, which is the former Ragamuffin 100, will be there to beat the record under new owner Seng Huang Lee.
Last year’s Frank Pong’s Custom Dibley 75 Jelik navigated through the Bataan and Batangas Mountain Range, and cleared the notoriously tricky Verde Passage with ease.
Jelik went on to claim the handicap honors by two hours over defending IRC Cruising Class 1 champion TP52 Standard Insurance-Centennial III, which belongs to Echauz.
This year’s Echauz’s boat will go head on again against Ray Ordoveza’s Excel 53 Karakoa, which lost by a point to Standard Insurance-Centennial III last year.
Also in contention in the IRC Racing Class 2 event is Nick Burns’ Sydney GTS43 Mandrake, which took the class handicap plum. (Peter Atencio, Manila Standard Sports)
Top contender Jelik, skippered by Hongkong’s Frank Pong, drew first blood as the foreign entries dominated the 7th Standard Insurance Subic Bay to Boracay Race last year.