26th April 2019, Subic Bay, Philippines: As most national sailing organisations go about expanding their footprint, the Philippine Sailing Association have joined forces with big boat regattas, to give sailors an opportunity to experience a full blown event, in their quest to develop a new generation of sailors. In late November the SEA Games will be held in Subic Bay and the newly christened Chairman's Cup (Ex Commodores' Cup) to honour the Chairperson and Administrator of SBMA, Atty. Wilma "Amy" Eisma, is the perfect venue for recreational water sports activities. Despite the recent earthquake activity, reducing International participation the Optimist, Streaker and Oz Gooze Dinghies plus Windsurfing classes, will be joining Keel Boat divisions IRC 1 and Cruising Classes. Another highlight will be the 7 FarEast 28R One-Design Class that has attracted teams from China, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong, taking on the three talented Philippine teams. There is a Sail Village set up at the Lighthouse Marina Resort beachfront, for the public to experience sailing for FREE and other forms of marine entertainment.
Proceedings have already kicked off with five Optimists, five locally made Streakers, eight Oz Gooze Dinghies and eleven Windsurfers competing in separate classes, plus six Kayaks and twenty SUP Fun Races, scheduled over the coming days. Amongst them is the Philippine Sailing squad members, from local champions to youngsters displaying their amazing skills on the water. They are the future of Philippine Sailing.
The Chairman's Cup Regatta aims to raise the standard of sailing in the country by providing a platform for competitive racing and as the Filipinos naturally belong on the sea, take this opportunity for a week-long sailing festival.
A mixed bunch of yachts are lining up in the IRC Keelboat Class. After the HK to Puerto Galera drift-a-thon, Noel Chan's HH42 Rampage II remains behind to take on Philippine champions Ray Ordoveza's Excel 53 Karakoa, George Hackett's Mills 43 custom Misty Mountain. and Jun Villanueva's Ice 52 Bellatrix. Sure to be in the mix are Albert Altura's Beneteau First 40 Hurricane Hunter and Jun Avecilla's Beneteau First 36.7 Selma Star.
The crew on Ernesto Echauz's Standard Insurance Centennial are taking to the highly competitive one-design FarEast 28 class. Emerson Villena skippering Standard Insurance - PSA2 clean sweeped the China Cup last year but faces Centennial helmsman Ridgely Balladares on Standard Insurance - PSA1that was victorious at last months Subic Bay Cup. Yukie Ikawa returns with Team Turquise Japan, while Maria Vidoeira - Hagedorn is helming Subic Sailing Club and are having another shot at the title. Newbies this time around are China's Ren Fei on Team China Cup, Richard Lin's Team Taiwan Keelboat Ass. (TKBA) and Alein Chois Team RHYC Hong Kong could spring some surprises.
In the Cruising Class, Peter Capotosto is in charge of the Beneteau First 31.7 Selma and may have to contend with Bogo Bogo and Serenity I.
This is the tenth point scoring regatta on the annual 2018-19 AsianYachting Grand Prix (AYGP), where all Skippers and Yachts are awarded points based on their overall placing's at the end of the regatta and the last chance for East Asian competitors to improve their rankings on home waters, towards being crowned with the 2018-19 AYGP Skipper and Yacht of the Year titles.
Being ringed by hilly terrain, Subic Bay is large enough to develop its own microclimate, that cycles between local land and sea breezes. Often described as 'Good wind, flat water with advantageous wind shifts, is a perfect location for tactical racing' The weather prediction for the week looks good in the morning but very tricky in the afternoon, that could have a bearing on the overall outcome.
For now, everyone is looking forward to the Welcome Party tonight, held at the Subic Bay Yacht Club.
The Chairman’s Cup is organized by Subic Sailing Club, under the auspices of the Philippine Sailing Association, in cooperation with The Lighthouse Marina Resort, Watercraft Ventures and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.