Subic Bay—Around 13 local and international sailing teams will take part in the 2nd Standard Insurance Subic Bay around Verde Island Passage Race and the Subic Bay Cup Regatta slated Feb. 23 to March 2.
Germany, Australia, Hong Kong and the Philippines will be showcasing teams in the six-day sailing Grand Prix, organized by the Subic Sailing Team and held under the auspices of the Philippine Sailing Association and the Asian Yachting Grand Prix.
Besides the grueling off-shore racing, there will also be a lot of in-shore racing that will happen in Subic Bay, which is part of the Subic Bay Cup Regatta, said Zed Avecilla, Executive Director of the Subic Sailing Club.
“One of the most exciting part of the series is the Far East 28R One-Design Match Racing and Fleet Racing which will be part of the 30th SEA Games this November in Clark, Pampanga,” Avecilla said. “This will be a practice race for our Filipino athletes who will be competing in the SEAG.”
In this year’s regatta event, the racing classes I and II (IRC I and II) will be competing together in the 200 nautical-mile SBVIP, led by veteran campaigner 75-footer and powerhouse Centennial III, skippered by Judes Echauz, the co-recipient of the Executive of the Year award from the Philippine Sportswriters Association during its annual PSA Awards Night last year.
Centennial III will again encounter last year’s SBVIP inaugural race champion Geoff Hill’s Smith 72 Antipodes. Centennial came second over the line two minutes later in corrected time, while Ray Ordeveza’s Excel 53 Karakoa placed third.
Other Centennial III challengers include Albert Altura’s Hurricane Hunter, Mills 43 Custom Misty Mountain of George Hacket, veteran local campaigner Selma Star of Jun Avecilla, Germany’s Emocean I helmed by Michael Raueber, another local entry Sabad of Bobby Benares, and Karakoa.
For two consecutive years, Centennial III’s perennial rival in the Subic Bay to Boracay Regatta Race, Hong Kong’s Jelik of steel magnate Frank Pong, failed again to participate this year for unknown reasons.
Avecilla explained that Standard Insurance, the title sponsor of this event, is the number one supporter of sailing in the Philippines.
“Their commitment to sailing goes beyond developing top sailor athletes and coaches. Protecting the environment is also at the heart and soul of the company,” said Avecilla.
All protagonists will still need to negotiate a 200-mile race, the same distance of the Subic Bay to Boracay tilt, sailing off from Subic Bay down to Verde Island Passage in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro and back to Subic Bay on the same day.
The Verde Island Passage is a strait that separates the islands of Luzon and Mindoro, connecting the South China Sea with the Tayabas Bay in Quezon province and the Sibuyan Sea in Romblon.
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