Quality verses Quantity in Subic Boracay Race
By AsianYachting MultiMedia
28:02:2014 Subic Bay, Philippines: When the high noon starting signal sounds for the 200 nautical mile, Subic Bay to Boracay Race, 14 yachts in 3 classes will brace themselves for a challenging and tactical race, out of Subic Bay, through the Verde Island Passage, round the notorious tricky Dumali Point and then a downwind sleigh ride all the way to Boracay. Renown for the windy conditions, most the dedicated top Asian racing yachts have come together and enjoy testing the crew skills, in pursuit of an elusive victory. This also has its downside where a lot of racer/cruisers would rather sit this one out for fear of major breakages. Never the less the tropical destination of Boracay remains the lure for sailors where action on and off the water is guaranteed.
Topping the scales is Frank Pong’s Reichel/Pugh 76 Jelik and Geoff Hill’s Smith 72 Antipodes fighting it out for line honours. Last year, with speeds in excess of 20 knots, Pong’s Jelik shaved 2 hours 45 minutes 35 seconds of the previous race record, they set in the Inaugural Race back in 2011, and established the new benchmark time at 20 hours, 52 minutes, 32 seconds for the 200nm course.
While the big boats battle over line honours, the overall glory comes in the handicap stakes. Three TP 52’s, Ernesto Echauz Standard Insurance Centennial, Sam Chan’s Freefire returns after dismasting last year and Troy Yaw’s newly acquired Ulumulu (Frank Pong’s ex Mui Mui) are all in with a chance for the top spot on the podium. Over the last two years, Ray Ordoveza’s forever faithful Excel 53 Karakoa has thrived in the heavy going and claimed the overall honours both times, which they are gunning for again.
Although the smaller boats are in the IRC Cruiser/Racer Class, they also have a chance for overall race victory as well as the class title. Martin Tanco’s Sydney 46 Centennial II handled the tough conditions the best last year and scored the daily double in this class for their efforts.
Jun Avecilla’s Beneteau First 36.7 Selma Star have fared well during recent events and intend getting the better of Bobby Benares much bigger Beneteau First 44.7 Sabad and Simon Carpenter’s Elan 310 Giant Cod, as well as Tanco’s Centennial II, in a full on battle to claim local bragging rights for the rest of the year.
A battle of the heavyweights looms between the four yachts in the PY Class. Micheal Reauber’s Celestial 49 China Rose tops the scales, while down from Hong Kong, Chui Shing Kin’s Beneteau Oceanis 45 Liannet, will have to overcome Juergen Kirstein’s German registered Caroff 40 Pongolana and Danny Batac’s 12.7m Serenity 1 before the overall placing’s can be determined.
Most of Asia’s top racing teams consider windy Boracay as the holly grail of racing venues and we are proud that the combined Subic Boracay Race and Boracay Cup are the 8th Five Star point scoring event on the annual AsianYachting Grand Prix (AYGP), which places competitors in the running for the AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year awards. The latest AYGP standings can be browsed by Skipper – Yacht and Regatta.
Overall winners in each class of the combined events will take home the impressive hand crafted solid brass trophy replicas by Ferdinand R. Cacnio, a multi-awarded visual Filipino artist, officially commissioned by the Provincial Government of Aklan to design and make the prestigious Perpetual Trophy.
The races are organized by the Saturday Afternoon Gentleman’s Sailing (SAGS) of Subic Bay, under the auspices of the Philippine Sailing Association and in conjunction with Watercraft Ventures, Inc., the Lighthouse Marina Resort, the provincial government of Aklan, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Philippine Coast Guard and the Subic Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC).
Spectators are expected to line the Boardwalk beach in Subic Bay to watch the starting spectacle, and the finish from the beach in Boracay.
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