The Commodore’s Cup Regatta 2018 (CCR) was held in Subic Bay at the Beachfront of the Lighthouse Marina Resort last April 3-7 with a total of 18 keel boats participating in four (4) divisions; the IRC Racing Class 1, IRC Racing Class 2, Cruising Class and the FarEast 28R One-Design Class.
The Commodore’s Cup Regatta (CCR) has been attracting hundreds of top-notch sailors from all over the globe as they converge in the premier yacht racing destination of the Philippines, Subic Bay. “This year we welcome the participants of the biennial regatta, the Rolex China Sea Race (RCSR), a 565 nautical mile race which starts in Hong Kong Harbour and finishing in Subic Bay, Philippines. Some of the boats of the RCSR joined the CCR including the 1st and 2nd overall winners namely Mandrake III and Sea Wolf II respectively.” said Jun Avecilla, Chairman of the Subic Sailing Club, the main organizer of the CCR.
The event starts with a Dinghy Regatta, a competition for young sailors (ages 7 to 18) from the Philippine Sailing Association (PSA). It is truly remarkable to watch these young sailors work their way on the water. “When you are driving the boat you feel happy. It is just like playing.” said Princess Angara, a 10 year old sailor described how she feels when she is on the boat.
The Philippine Sailing Association (PSA) has been constantly making outstanding sailors in the past several years. In fact, most of the foreign boats participating in the RCSR had Filipino crews on board. “I have worked with Filipino sailors and seamen all over South East Asia and they are absolutely the best i have worked with.” said John Jensen, FarEast 28R Skipper and Profesional Seafarer from California, USA.
Furthermore, the Standard Insurance Centennial III, skippered and owned by Judes Echauz, Chairman of the Philippine Sailing Association and Group Chairman of Standard Insurance Inc, won the top class IRC 0 division composed of an all-Filipino crew all trained by the PSA. “The Subic Sailing Club hopes to continue to spread the love of boating as well as breed a new generation of Filipino sailors that will give pride to our country and give honor to the countless Filipino seafarers around the world as we continue our legacy as a maritime nation.” said Zed Avecilla.
The Commodore’s Cup Regatta (CCR) aims to raise the standards of competitive yacht racing in the country by providing a platform that provides professional and highly-competitive regattas that will attract foreign teams to compete with our Filipino sailors. “Subic Bay is the ideal place to hold the competition and a word of warning to other competing nations - better bring your best sailors, as the Philippine sailors are ready to take you on, in their home waters.” said Captain Martin Rijkuris.
On its 11th year, the Commodore’s Cup Regatta (CCR) has evolved not just to become the paragon of the development of sailing in the country but also aims to raise the level of awareness and consciousness of every Filipino on our maritime wealth and heritage. “We hope that the CCR will become a platform that will not only produce a new generation of Filipino sailors but also to honor our rich maritime heritage.” said Zed Avecilla, Event Director. “We want every Filipino to know our maritime roots and appreciate our maritime domain. We want more people to learn to sail or go boating.”he added.
To further discuss the preservation of our maritime heritage, a maritime forum was also held at the Lighthouse Marina Resort, Admiral Hall. It tackled maritime laws and policies, environmental issues and also careers at sea. This public forum was hosted by the National Coast Watch Council Secretariat to provide a venue for deliberation of the current National Marine Policy which involves particularly coastal development and tourism. “The National Marine Policy is pivotal to achieving economic and social progress because the Philippines has more water than land, thus, development strategy must shift from land-based to marine development.” said Jesse Pascasio, Director for Strategic Planning and Communications, National Coast Watch Council Secretariat.
One of the highlights of this regatta was the visit of the two Balangay replicas, an 800-year-old wooden boat that was excavated in the Southern part of the Philippines which proves that early Filipinos were people of the sea, living in coastal villages or near rivers. The Balangay sailed with the modern sailboats during the last day of the regatta and provided a rare opportunity for its passengers to experience history and heritage onboard with these majestic boats.
“The whole exercise of riding the Balangay was to steer the maritime consciousness of our people. It is a reflection of us, Filipinos, a link to our maritime tradition. Sailing is in our DNA.” said Art Valdez, Expedition leader of the Balangay during the Maritime Forum.
Another new attraction to the CCR, as part of the continuous improvement of the occasion, is the Sail Village where visitors get to learn and even experience how it is to go sailing or just be on a boat. Free sailing lessons and kayak rides were offered during the week-long event. Moreover, the Sail Village allowed people to mingle with the sailors at the same time learn and see the development of sailing through an audio visual presentations presented by the Subic Sailing Club played back at a 9x12ft LED screen all throughout the day.
In addition, the Sail Village also featured special performances from Networx Jetsports with their Flyboarding exhibition as well as the PNP Maritime Group Dragon Boat team doing a mock race with the Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragon Boat Federation National Team. “The organisers must be congratulated for making a Sailing Festival out of the regatta and encouraging the general public to get involved and give them a rare opportunity to get out on the water.” said Captain Martin Rijkuris, Director of Asian Yachting.
The final night awarding was held at the beachfront of the Lighthouse Marina Resort. Overall winners are Nick Burns and Fred Kinmonth’s GTS 43 Mandrake III for IRC 1, George Hackett's J35 Jo De Ros for IRC 2, Emerson Villena’s Standard Insurance - PSA for the FarEast 28R One -Design Class, and Li Jian's Advance 80 Apsaras for the Cruising Class. “I’ve been joining this regatta for the last 11 years and every time i’ve been here it just keeps better and better and is not one of the best regatta in Asia.” said Nick Burns skipper of the Mandrake III, one of the few boats who completes the entire circuit of the Asian Yachting Grand Prix. “We are honored to be part of the CCR. Activities like this should be sustained. It is a way of maintaining our maritime consciousness” said Art Valdez. He also ended his speech with a quote from Jose Rizal “Only when the Philippines can rediscover its maritime roots can we be totally free and prosper as nation.
This event is organized by the Subic Sailing Clum and co-presented by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and Department of Tourism in Partnership with the National Coast Watch Council Secretariat, the Philippine Coast Guard, Lighthouse Marina Resort, Watercraft Ventures and Standard Insurance.
This event is also supported by following organizations: Philippine National Police Maritime Group (PNP MG), Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary (PCGA), Subic Bay Hotels, Attractions, And Tourism Stakeholders Visitors Board (SBHATSVB), Subic Bay Freeport Chamber Of Commerce (SBFCC), Province Of Zambales, Municipality Of Olongapo, Tourism Infrastructure And Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), Tourism Promotions Board Philippines (TPB), Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA), Puerto Galera Yacht Club (PGYC), Philippine Inter-Island Sailing Federation (PHINSAF), Taal Yacht Club (TYC), Reef Check Philippines and Oceana Philippines.
Sponsors include Pldt Subictel, Nanofixit, Air Juan, Tanduay Rum, Jellychip, Broadwater Marine, Bangka Pro, Ayala Harbor Point Mall, Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary, Anvaya Cove Environmental Foundation, Le Charme Suites Subic, Best Western Plus Hotel Subic, Networx Jetsports Sti Education Systems Holdings, and Go Pro.