SUBIC BAY – Around 13 local and international sailing teams will take part in the 2nd Standard Insurance Subic Bay around Verde Island Passage Race (SBVIP) and the Subic Bay Cup Regatta slated Feb. 23 to March 2.
Fielding teams in the six-day sailing Grand Prix organized by Subic Sailing Team and held under the auspices of the Philippine Sailing Association the Asian Yachting Grand Prix are Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.
Besides the grueling off-shore racing, there will also be a lot of in-shore racing that will happen in Subic Bay which is part of the Subic Bay Cup Regatta, according to Zed Avecilla, Executive Director of the Subic Sailing Club.
“One of the most exciting parts of the series is the Far East 28R One-Design Match Racing and Fleet Racing which will be part of the 30th SEA Games this November in Clark, Pampanga,” Avecilla said.
“This will be a practice race for our Filipino athletes who will be competing in the SEAG,” he added.
Centennial III, skippered by Judes Echauz, the co-recipient of the Executive of the Year award from the Philippine Sportswriters Association during its annual PSA Awards Night last year, is once again favored to rule the 200 nautical-mile SBVIP event.
Out to spoil Centennial III’s bid is last year’s inaugural race champion Geoff Hill’s Smith 72 Antipodes.
It won the event last year after clocking 22 hours, 54 minutes and 9 seconds, just two minutes ahead of Centennial. Ray Ordeveza’s Excel 53 Karakoa placed third.
Other Centennial III challengers include Albert Altura’s Hurricane Hunter, Mills 43 Custom Misty Mountain of George Hacket, veteran local campaigner Selma Star of Jun Avecilla, Germany’s Emocean I helmed by Michael Raueber, another local entry Sabad of Bobby Benares, and Karakoa.