ENVIRONMENTAL concerns have compelled Subic to Boracay regatta organizers to come up with a different race route this year.
Instead of a race to Boracay Island, they will instead hold the Standard Insurance Subic Bay Around Verde Island Passage Race from Feb. 24 to March 2.
It will be a 200-mile race, the same distance as the Subic-Boracay event in the past.
This time, participants will start from Subic Bay and go southeast to the Verde Passage in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro and then back to Subic Bay on the same day.
“It’s unfortunate that this happened to Boracay. It may be a gain for Subic. But nonetheless, the concern for the environment is important for us,” said organizing committee chairman Jun Avecilla.
Boracay is currently fixing its drainage and sewerage systems in reaction to President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat of shutting down the island he called a “cesspool.”
Organizers have expressed concern over the situation in Boracay over untreated waste water and sewage in the island as one of the reasons why they changed routes this year.
Avecilla talked about the race during a press conference at Kamayan-Padre Faura, Manila with Standard Insurance’s Judes Echauz and race director Jerry Rollins.
There will be around 20 local and international boats joining the IRC1 race, including Karakoa, Antipodes and Freefire of Hong Kong and Standard Insurance-Centennial 3.
The IRC2 Class Race will have Hong Kong entry Mandrake III pitted against local boats Sabad, German entry Emocean, Selma Star, Bella Uno, Misty Mountain and Bella Trix.
Hong Kong boats Asia Pacific Sailing and Asparas are entered in the cruising class.
In the new class known as the Far East 28s, there’s Centennial II, Standard Insurance-PSA, Japan, SMU-Sailing Singapore, Taiwan and the Subic Sailing team.
The route of the race is considered as one of the busiest sea lanes in the Philippines because this is one of the main shipping routes between the Port of Manila, and the Visayas and Mindanao in the south.
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.