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YoHoHo Events & News

The 9th Philippine Hobie Challenge - LUZVIMINDA CHALLENGE Philippine Hobie Challenge


Inclusive Dates: 16 - 23 February 2008
 

The Challenge is the country’s premier extreme sailing event, and each year a different route is chosen to challenge competitors and show them the multitude of beautiful islands that is the Philippines.

The event comprises of two separate race series. The inshore series consists of 5 short races of approximately one hour around turning marks anchored close inshore. The first 2 races are at the beginning of the week and the final 3 conclude events afloat at the end of the week.

Being staged in a small area near the shore these races provide beach spectators with the best view of the thrills and spills on the water. The series standings are decided on a points scoring system where each team is awarded points equal to their position. The team with the lowest score at the end wins.

Running from Monday through to Friday the premier Challenge Series is what makes the event special. This year competitors will sail over 258 nautical miles, 488 kilometres, in a 5 daily passage races along a route selected by the organizers several months previously. The course runs through pristine blue and coral fringed seas taking them from island to island for overnight camping. More akin to a car rally than mainstream sailing overall places for the Challenge Series are dependent not upon the daily position, but on accumulative sailing time for the 5 offshore legs.

The team with the lowest elapsed time from the start to the finish will at the end of the week fly home with the Philippine Challenge Trophy.

Typically, the competitors will spend between 24 and 40 hours sailing, depending on their skills, the sea conditions and the prevailing wind, during the 5 days. If the lack of wind prevents a fast passage, sometimes racing will continue after sunset.

Gubat Bay, Sorsogon will be the venue for the first two races of the inshore series. Sorsogon is well know for the number of whale sharks that can be seen and many competitors will be hoping to see or to swim with these enormous fish. This will also be the start point of the Challenge Series route which passes through the strong tidal waters of the St Bernadino Straits. The first day’s route will take competitors through the Straits, past the Capal Island Lighthouse and the through the Samar Sea to the deserted Sambuan Island 70 miles away. The Challenge visited this island in 2003, when the route took the boats from Donsol to Allegre Beach Resort in Cebu.

The second day sees the boats heading for San Juanico Straits, past Bilirian Island to a deserted beach on Bacsal Island which is situated at the Northern end of the Strait. San Juanico Strait is a narrow strip of water varying from 2 miles to a few hundred metres wide that divides Samar from Leyte and is cross by the San Juanico Strait bridge, just north of Tacloban.

The third day sailing through the Straits will be tactically challenging as the sailors pick their way between the islands, rocks and reefs to find the best wind and tide. The day will end with a reach across the northern end of the Leyte Gulf to a beach resort among the limestone cliffs and deep clear waters of the Marabut Peninsular.

On the fourth day the boats continue East across the Leyte Gulf heading for the Pacific Ocean and the tiny island of Suluan which is some 15 miles off the southern tip of Eastern Samar. Here on a beautiful golden sand spit of land jutting out into the ocean the sailors will be fed on freshly caught fish grilled to perfection by the accompanying chefs and provided by the local community.

The fifth and last day of the inter-island phase of the Challenge has the competitors sailing 65 miles south down the Pacific Ocean swells and with a following wind, to the surfing paradise island of Siargao on the Northern tip of Mindanao. This will be a challenging day and at the end the sailors will sail through a gap in the reef that features the best breaking wave in the Philippines, Cloud Nine, into the sheltered waters off the town of General Luna.

This will be a chance for everyone to enjoy the luxury of a shower, spa and first class resort facilities. The following day there will be a further 3 inshore races to decide the winner of the Inshore series that started with 2 races at the beginning of the week.

Saturday night takes the entourage of nearly 100 sailors and members of the race management and safety teams, chefs, nurses and admin personnel to a Department of Tourism sponsored beach party on a nearby palm decorated island.

According to Philippine Hobie Challenge Foundation Chairman Mark Andrew Haswell, this years event will be limited to a maximum of 20 teams. The reason for this is that the event will be truly an extreme sailing event with sailors having to contend with strong currents and tides ocean swells and strong winds. The Race Management and Safety Team have to keep track of all competitors in these conditions which will probably involve sailing at night.

Competitors have already indicated their interest in entering from Thailand, Hong Kong, the USA, Australia, Italy, Germany, Papua New Guinea and the Northern Marianas Islands. Top local sailors mainly based at the Taal Lake Yacht Club and with the Philippine Sailing Association will also enter.

Principal Race Officer for the 8th year, Jeremy Rollin, has taken on the additional responsibility as Chairman of The Organizing Committee. He says that this will be one of the most challenging routes they have undertaken and he is looking forward to getting out on the water and enjoying the beautiful scenery and waters while managing the event.

The organizing committee is once again working with the Department of Tourism in promoting the Philippines as a safe and interesting destination for tourists. The Department is sponsoring the production of a film of the Challenge to be shown on the cable networks. The film will also featuring the whale sharks of Sorgogon, the island paradise of Calicoan Island and the surfing capital of Siargao and all the beautiful islands in between.

Two Series of races will take place. The premier event will be the Philippine Hobie Challenge Series, which consists of five point to point races. Thesecond event will be the Philippine Hobie Challenge Inshore Series, which will consist of 5 inshore races.

The route will start from Gubat, Sorsogon and end in Siargao Isand, Mindanao, a total distance in the region of 252 nm with legs of between 30nm and 70 nm per day.

Schedule:
Friday 15 February
2030 Challenge participants gathering at a Hotel to be decided. Everyone is welcome to join the party.

Saturday 16 February
0600 Flight to Legaspi and then by road to Veramaris Hotel in Gubat
1100 - 1600 Registration at the Veramaris Race Office
1300 - 1700 Scrutineering and Safety Inspection.
1700 Compulsory Competitors Briefing at Race Control
1900 Welcome Party

Sunday 17 February
1100 Practice Race
12:30 Lunch at the resort
1400 Inshore Series Races 1 and 2 (back to back)

Monday 18 February
0800 Challenge Leg 1 – Gubat to Sambuyan Island

Tuesday 19 February
0800 Challenge Leg 2 - Sambuyan Island to Bacsal Island

Wednesday 20 February
0800 Challenge Leg 3 - Bacsal Island to Marabut

Thursday 21 February
0800 Challenge Leg 4 - Marabut to Suluan Island

Friday 22 February
0700 Challenge Leg 5 - Suluan Island to ‘Patricks on the Beach’, Siargao

Saturday 23 February
1000 Inshore Series Races 3, 4 and 5 (back to back)
1900 Grand Awards Night & Entertainment sponsored by the Philippine Dept.of Tourism

Sunday 24 February
06:00 Ferry collecting passenger from the resort
10:00 Asian Spirit flight from Surigao arriving Manila 11:00 Hrs



Created on 02/04/2008 12:49 AM by admin
Updated on 03/15/2008 10:21 PM by admin
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