All eyes were on reigning overall champion Centennial III as the eighth Standard Insurance Subic Bay to Boracay Race and the Boracay Cup Regatta flagged off in the waters off the world-class Subic Sailing Club Saturday (Feb 18).
Skippered by Philippine Sailing Association president Judes Echauz, the 52-foot Centennial III is out to make it three in a row as the event’s overall champion.
|The Subic Centennial III sails off from Subic Bay|
But Centennial III, a first-generation TP52-class yacht that was built in 2002, is expected to be crowded at the top by perennial rival Jelik of Hong Kong magnate Frank Pong, and Scallywag, the highly fancied 100-footer of Malaysian-born billionaire Seng Huang Leng.
Scallywag is the former Ragamuffin 100, the same boat that holds the record in the Subic Bay to Boracay Race in 14 hours, 23 minutes, 17 seconds set in 2015.
|Sailboats over the waters of Subic Bay|
While Scallywag is tipped to break the existing record, Centennial III is expected to finish not too far behind. Last year, Centennial III finished second to Jelik in the SBBR but held on in Boracay by winning three of the six races.
The three top finishes in the famous island paradise and a decision by the jury to overturn a late protest by Freefire enabled Centennial III to retain the overall crown.
“I hope we can do it again. It will be three straight if ever,” said the 69-year-old Echauz.
Around 15 yachts from Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines will see action in this annual event beginning today and ending on Feb. 24 in Boracay.
The event is fully supported by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Watercraft Venture Corp., the Lighthouse Marina Resort and Subic Sailing Club. (Abac Cordero, Philippine Star)
More photos courtesy of SAGS Subic Sailing
|Opening party on the eve of the Regatta at the Subic Lighthouse Marina|