07 February 2012

Subic-Boracay sea race slated

MANILA - Sam Chan’s TP52 Free Fire seeks to defend its double-championship as it leads entries in the Subic Bay-to-Boracay race and the Boracay Cup this month.

The twin event, held under the auspices of the Philippine Sailing Association and supported by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and the provincial government of Aklan, officially starts Feb. 24 with the awards rites set March 2.

“The Subic Bay to Boracay Race is one of the most challenging and tactical races that I enjoy and Boracay is the Mecca of sailing in Asia and is a must for all serious sailors,” said former Asian Grand Prix yachtsman winner Frank Pong.

The second Subic Bay-to-Boracay race is the successor to the discontinued Manila-Boracay Race and, with its inaugural success together with the holding of the Boracay Cup Regatta 2011, has got its place in the Asian Yachting Grand Prix Circuit.

The race is a 200-mile ISAF Cat 3 offshore race, and the starting signal will sound Feb. 25 off the Lighthouse Marina Resort, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales.

Depending on the size of the boat, the race takes between 20-40 hours.

This will be followed by four days of windward-leeward races and races around the beautiful and pristine island of Boracay.

The races, known collectively as Boracay Cup Regatta, will be held Feb. 28-March 2.

Over 30 grand prix race yachts and 300-400 local and foreign-based top notch sailors will vie for the prestigious Asian Yachtsman-of-the-Year and Yacht titles.

The twin event is organized by the Saturday Afternoon Gentlemen’s Sailing (SAGS) Club, in cooperation with the Subic Bay Yacht Club, Watercraft Ventures, Inc. and The Lighthouse Marina Resort.

Sponsors include Cebu Pacific, San Miguel Brewery, Petron, PLDT, Resort World Philippines, Tanduay, Nigi Nigi Resort Boracay, Crafts of Boracay, Philippine Coast Guard and Philippine Tourism Authority.

Subic Bay will also host two of the 12 prestigious regattas of the Asian Yachting Grand Prix Championship.

The races determine the Asian Yachting Skipper and Yacht of the Year.

Following the Rolex China Sea Race, Subic Bay will host the Commodores Cup Regatta in April.

Competitive sailing in the Asian Yachting Grand Prix Championship started last year with the China Coast Regatta, Hongkong-Vietnam Race, Rajah Muda Selangor in November and the Phuket King’s Cup in December.

The Royal Langkawi International Regatta and the Singapore Straits Regatta were held just recently.

The Top of the Gulf Regatta and Coronation Cup and the Sawadee.com Regatta Samui are the last two events to be contested between the months of May and July 2012. (The Philippine Star)