THE Saturday Afternoon Gentlemen Sailing (SAGS) Club will stage the 8th Commodores’ Cup Regatta from April 7 to 9 in cooperation with The Lighthouse Marina Resort and Philippine Sailing Association (PSA).
Hong Kong’s defending IRC Racing champion Jelik of Frank Pong and IRC Cruiser B winner Selma skippered by Ricky Sandoval are set to fight for honors in the two-day sailing event, according to PSA vice chairman Jun Avecill.
However, IRC Cruiser A winner Red Kite II skippered by Anthony Root will not participate this year.
The inshore races are organized by the SAGS Club in conjunction with the Asian Yachting Grand Prix and in cooperation with The Lighthouse Marina Resort, Watercraft Ventures, Inc., Standard Insurance and the Department of Tourism.
Every year, since 1962, international yachtsmen and women have faced the cold rough seas off Hong Kong at the start of the race, and the languid, sun-drenched slope of the windless days off the coast of the Philippines.
This year, the race from Hong Kong will finish in San Fernando, La Union (480 nautical miles).
Avecilla said the Commodore’s Cup will have several races of different kinds of training boats - the Optimists, Flying 15, 420s and Streakers.
“Blessed with one of the best race management teams in Asia, safe marina facilities and the wide expanse of Subic Bay, the Commodore's Cup Regatta makes for an exceptional racing experience and is also renowned for good close racing on spectacular Subic Bay and hard partying back onshore,” Avecilla said.
He said this year marks the expansion of the PSA sailing program in Subic Bay which is spearheaded by Judes Echauz, PSA chairman. PSA sailing coach Medy Fidel, who is aiming for Olympic qualifier, will be the head of the expansion training this summer.
Pong’s crews are mostly Filipinos coming from Cebu, Bacolod and Manila. They have been sailing and competing for more than 20 years.
Pong, Asia's top sailor and Asian Yachting Grand Prix Skipper of the Year, is one of the leading supporters of sailing in the Philippines. His donation of new sails for the training boats of the SAGS Sailing School in partnership with the PSA has helped jumpstart the sailing program in Subic.
“Whenever I can, we help out here and there. Oftentimes, youngsters have a limited budget and the people helping them also needs assistance,” said Pong.