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Another successful Regatta!


Whether racing on a big boat, dinghy sailing, munching on a burger, shooting the bull, or drinking a cold one, everyone at this year’s PGYC Easter Regatta had a fantastic time.  Sailing conditions for all three events was glorious with blue sunny skies, pristine water and plenty of fair winds. To enhance the competitive spirit, this year’s events were divided into two sailing classes, Cruiser and Cruiser/Racer.  The three events were spread over three days with the Cruiser/Racer class boats having to complete a longer leg to reach the finish line.  This certainly challenged all the mariners and evened the playing field to ensure some very exciting finishes.  Twelve boats participated in all three days events with the first day of official racing kicking off with a roust around Chicken Feather and finishing at Haligi Beach.   Tony Strubb, on his boat “Little Swan” captured first place honors in the Cruiser Class while Neil Antrum, skippering “West Wind”, crossed the line first in the Cruiser/Racer Class.

Second day activities were even more exciting as the winds increased more than 5 knots from the previous day and required crews to carefully develop a strategy to deal with the changing conditions.  The race would put both classes on a path from Muelle Bay to the infamous Verde Island Resort and returning to Haligi Beach for the cruisers, and an extra run down and back to Talipanan for the racers.  Apparently Gundulf Ahrens, captain of the largest boat in the race “Aragon”, took this challenge to heart, as he and his crew significantly enhanced their finish placement from number 4 on the first day’s event to number 1 in the second day’s event in the Cruiser Class.  TonVon Hierden, with his Dutch crew aboard “Cocobolo”, maintained their edge by capturing 2nd Place on the first days event and placing 1st on the second day in the Cruiser/Racer class.

Third day activities were no less exciting, as fair winds once again set the pace for yet another great day of regatta activities.  This time the contestants were challenged with beating up to the lighthouse at Sinandigan and then sailing directly south to Bulabod Beach. There they rounded the mark and reached/ran back past Sabang, with spinnakers for the adventurous, to the normal finish at Haligi.  Once again Tony Strubb rose to the occasion aboard “Little Swan” and gained momentum toward a win in the overall in class award by capturing 1st place in the third day’s event in the Cruiser class.  Not to be outdone by Tony Strubb, TonVon Hierden again displayed his mastery of sailing skills by capturing 1st place on the third day’s event in the Cruiser/Racer class.

Special mention and many thanks to David and Christina Judd from FOUR YEARS, for taking onboard a whole troop of youngsters from the dinghy sailing program for the last 2 days of the regatta. For many of the youngsters it was their first experience of ‘big boat’ sailing and what better way to do it on than the beautiful classic schooner. They can’t wait for next year.

Much to our dismay, regatta activities had to end and so we did so with a wonderful evening at the club under the infamous “Mango Tree”.   The evening’s activities were highlighted with the announcement of this year’s Easter Regatta Combined Overall Winners.   Coming in first place with two 1st place and one 2nd place finish was TonVon Hierden and the crew from “Cocobolo”.  Tony Strubb aboard “Little Swan” swept 2nd place honors with two 1st place wins and a 2nd place finish.  While Neil Antrum,  of “West Wind” won 3rd place with a 1st and 2nd place finish in the Cruiser/Racer class.   Congratulations goes out to all of the participants and observers as well, as all of you are winners in our book for just sharing your time, experiences, and most of your diverse and warm personalities from around the world.

DINGHY Regatta news.

The traditional Easter dinghy regatta was held on the Thursday preceeding, and the Friday of, the main event. This was done to allow the youngsters to experience the last two days of the main regatta with the big boys on Saturday and Sunday.

The small boats were divided into 4 classes, LAWIN NOVICE & OPEN, OPTIMIST NOVICE & OPEN. With over 40 sailors signing up for the event, including a dozen from Stairways Foundation, trying to squeeze into 10 Lawins and 10 Optimist dinghies, it was going to be a busy, probably chaotic, couple of days.

So it proved. Each class sailed 5 races a day, with one discard. That comes to a total of 40 races in 2 days. Tough on crews and committee. The big boys only do 3 in 3 days!  I suspect that their beer consumption per boat equals our race totals! Not sure that they have any beer discards either.

The word ‘NOVICE’ was put into perspective when, on Thursday, I asked one of the parents how long her daughter had been in the program. ‘Since Monday’ was the reply. Brilliant.

After 2 hard days on the water the results were in, well, sort of. With some kids swapping boats and crews at random, keeping track of who had won what required some interesting and creative scoring.  At the end of the day, and with the help of some random chicken entrails, it was no surprise to find that our National Team member, DJ Cabarles, took the OPPI OPEN CLASS, followed very closely by his younger brother, KING and stalwart BREN.

DJ wasn’t so unbeatable in the LAWIN OPEN, and was relegated to 3rd place by arch-rivals ANTHONY & JP in 1st place (with an amazing score of six 1sts and two 2nd places), and LIMMUEL & JIMSON not far behind in 2nd.

The NOVICE classes were great fun, with some crews having sailed for only a couple of weeks (or days).  The total scores ranged between 12 and 61 points for 8 races in the LAWIN class, with KYLE (Bren’s younger brother) and RALF, squeezing out JOMAR & KUTZ by one point to take 1st place, and JR and JAMES in 3rd. KYLE is amazing, about 3’ tall and 50lbs when wet, he’s a very promising young sailor (if not blowing 20kts!).

In the OPPI class, JOMAR got his revenge by squeezing KYLE by just the one point, to take 1st, with newbie WILLIAM POULTER, taking 3rd. A great result for him, to go with his 6th place in the LAWIN. His younger brother, ETHAN, came 9th in the OPPIES. Their dad, Barry, does for local youth football, what Peter does for dinghy sailing.

With 4 local schools represented by the top 8 sailors, the next Inter School Regatta in May is going to be very competitive.

Special thanks to Round Table 10 in Hong Kong,  John Quirk, Jerry Withers, the crew of COCOBOLO, John Risdell, Pete Loder , Lars from the Stairways, and all who sponsored the program, trophies, shirts, medals and the meals for the kids. They truly appreciate it. Here’s to the next time.

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