NEWS AROUND SUBIC BAY

2018 Commodore’s Cup Regatta

Posted 4 years ago

Subic Bay Freeport Zone

I have been lucky enough to be invited to observe the 11th Commodores Cup Sailing Regatta being run here in Subic Freeport Zone, by Subic Sailing and the Lighthouse Resort. Both these groups have been working hard to turn Subic Bay into the number one spot for sailing and related activities in the Philippine’s, and form what I have seen they are well on the way to succeeding with that goal.

Competitive sailing is one of the fastest growing sectors in any area of water-based sports, the sport has much to offer, both in terms of fun and confidence building in the youth of the Philippines and provides an exciting platform for spectators and competitors alike and the additional positive aspects found in the sport of sailing. The Commodore’s Cup Regatta has been attracting hundreds of top notch sailors from all over the globe as they converge in this extreme sailing action from the yacht racing capital of the Philippines.

It is one of the most anticipated races in Subic Bay. It comes after the Hong Kong’s famous Rolex China Sea Race which finishes in Subic every even year and the San Fernando Race that finishes in San Fernando, La Union every year with an odd number. Sailing enthusiasts and most especially, grand prix race boats have been attracted to the obstacles that this race brings. The shifting winds in Subic Bay cause headaches for the unwary, opportunities for the observant and hard work for the crews.

I have been extremely impressed with the level of organizing and the variety of different activities that have been presented over the 4 days of the event, in short, the vent has been truly world class. The organizers of the event have refined a formula for success that they tweak every year to further enhance the experience not just of the competitors but the spectators as well.

The Subic Sailing Club is the organizer of this premier international yacht racing event that has helped put the Philippines on the sailing map in the local and international sailing community for more than a decade.

The 11th Commodores’ Cup Regatta on April 2 to 7, 2018 is part of the 2018 Asian Yachting Grand Prix Circuit involving 12 events across 6 countries with 75 inshore races and 3 offshore races. It is participated by 245 yachts from across the globe.

Subic Bay Freeport Zone has become the premier destination for yacht racing. As a sailing haven, regular regattas are held in Subic Bay to enhance yachtsmanship for international competitions and foster camaraderie among sailors. It has become a playground for grand prix keelboats from various countries as they compete in the prestigious international regattas hosted here. Of course, there are many hotels, restaurants and bars for entertaining –indeed many of the daily awarding parties of the Commodore’s Cup will be held in different hotels or bars in the vicinity. However, the Welcoming Party and the Awarding Ceremony will be held at The Lighthouse Marina Resort.

The Commodore’s Cup Regatta this year will hold special events at the RACE VILLAGE including workshops with the most accomplished sailors in the sport to help participants become better sailors, seminars on the Philippine Maritime Heritage, Watersports Exhibition, and other fun activities for spectators and participants. There is an art exhibition by local artists depicting a maritime and oceans theme with paintings available for purchase, a water sports display by Networx that includes the use of ‘Hover Boots’, activities for the kids like face painting and henna tattoo’s, food and drink stalls and much more.

The event is not just about racing, but also the future of sailing in the Philippines, young people play an integral part of the event with kids as young as 8 years old sailing in races especially geared for kids. The organizers want young people to realize their heritage and history with the sea, and want to promote sailing as a sport for people from all backgrounds, just as one might promote Basketball. It is through these young people that awareness of the environment, a love of the oceans and the future of sailing will be ensured for generations to come.

The highlight for me, apart from the sailing is the arrival of the historic sailing vessels the ‘Balangay’. The Balangay (formerly synonymous with Butuan boat) is a plank boat adjoined by a carved-out plank edged through pins and dowels. It was first mentioned in the 16th Century in the Chronicles of Pigafetta and is known as the oldest watercraft found in the Philippines. In 2009, the Kaya ng Pinoy Inc. that conquered Mt. Everest in 2006 announced plans to re-construct the Balangay boat, with the help of Badjao and other tribal members. The Balangay was sailed, tracing the routes of the Filipino Ancestors during the waves of Austronesian settlement through Maritime Southeast Asia and the Pacific. The special wood for construction came from the established traditional source in southern Philippines, specifically Tawi-Tawi. The team have pinpointed Badjao master boat builders, whose predecessors actually built such boats, and used traditional tools during the construction. The Balangay was constructed at Manila Bay, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex and will be here in Subic bay at the Lighthouse Resort for members of the public to see and even experience a sail on these historic craft.

Stephen Whiting
MoreFun.Ph

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