©The Cruising Yacht Club
of the Philippines
March 2008
Windsurfing: Wet, Windy and
Wonderful
Sailing A Blade
Windsurfing: Wet, Windy and
Wonderful
Sailing A Blade
Broadwater marine ocean kayaks for sale
Commodore’s Letter
PGYC Board of Directors
Commodore: Peter Stevens
Vice Com: Jurgen Langemeier
Treasurer: Geoffrey Cannell
Directors: Carl Broqvist,
William Moore, Peter Stansbury ,
Owen Stull, Jonathan Thorp
-----------------
Secretary: Carlos Garcia
PGYC
March 2008
3
Philippine Copyright © 2003 - 08 by The
Puerto Galera Yacht Club, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Contents
Commodore’s Letter 3
Seen on the Moorings 5
Nature Notes: Albatrosses and Eagles 6
A Kayak on the Mekong Part 2 8
Sailing A Blade 13
Windsurfing: Wet, Windy and
Wonderful 17
Small Boat Program News 23
Manila Moves Closer to Subic Bay 27
Production
Sales & Distribution: DeBe Enterprise &
Service (+63 917 846 3388)
Design: Terry Duckham/Asiapix Studios
Layout: Aira Fernando/Asiapix Studios
Hong Kong
Front Cover: Bernadette Willes
Special Thanks: Martyn Willes
Cruiser News is published by
Puerto Galera Yacht Club Inc.,
P.O.Box 30450 Sto Niño,
Puerto Galera, Mindoro, Philippines
Tel / Fax : 63 (043) 442-0136
Email: info@pgyc.org
www.pgyc.org
The views expressed in Cruiser News are those of the
authors and not PGYC. No responsibility for any loss is
accepted by the authors or by PGYC
Welcome to the Spring edition of Cruiser News, the first of 2008. The front is
certainly eye-catching and cries out to be picked up and read. When you do you’ll be
brought up to date with who’s recently passed through the club en route to, or from,
some exotic place. Then I pay another visit to the Ponderosa golf course to try to find an
albatross or two in Nature Notes. After that it’s down the Mekong River by kayak with
Marc Paillefer on the final leg of his trip.
We’re then transported to Iloilo and the racing paraws that also grace the front
cover. Then closer to home with the windsurfing championship and dinghy news . . .
don’t they look fantastic with the spinnakers flying? Thanks to our sponsors for helping
us brighten up the bay.
Finally, the good news that the drive from Manila to Subic (and vice versa) is now
so much easier . . .it’s one that I hope to be using myself if I can find time to make it up
there for the President’s Cup after our Easter Regatta.
We’ve had a busy time at the club since the AGM; we have a new Board of
Directors, with Peter Stansbury and Jonathan Thorpe coming aboard. Unfortunately
Mike Tucker has since dropped out but will continue to oversee the moorings’ upkeep
and inspections. Many thanks to Mike for all the hard work over many years. It’s my
honour to serve you all again for another year as Commodore and I hope to continue
the momentum that we’ve got going, as well as addressing the issues that came out of
the AGM, one of which was to appoint a club manager. This we have done and Steve
Lada, from the Oasis group in Angeles and Subic, started in this position last month.
He’s already made his mark and we look forward to improved services for members and
visitors.
In this respect we have a number of initiatives in the pipeline: first, is to continue
with the construction of road-access from the main highway; we are working closely with
the new Mayor to resolve the long-running mooring dispute, with the aim of agreeing a
management arrangement over the mooring area; we also hope to improve the docking
facilities for dinghies; and, maybe get a fresh-water supply out to the yachts. We already
have hot water in the showers at the club and are constructing a petanque arena next to
the BBQ area to entice our French friends over to play. This will be the only facility of
its kind in the town and promises to be very popular. We have roofed over the balcony
extension and opened up the view of the bay from the restaurant. There are plans for a
pool table and to rearrange the bar to make it more user-friendly.
Ski, our sailing instructor, has recently left us and has been replaced by Eralyn – a
graduate of our scholarship program, who has represented the club in the President’s
Cup and Puerto Princessa regattas. She will also be in Subic for this year’s PCR as part of
the organising body, giving her invaluable race management experience and a stepping
stone to a career in the sport. None of the improvements we have planned for year can be
achieved without support from our members, and another priority for me this year is to
increase our membership numbers. If you want to be a part of one of the best small yacht
clubs in the region come and join us and help us to succeed.
Finally, the ACTION DIVERS’ EASTER REGATTA AND LINDEMANS CUP
took place on 21st – 23rd March, and I hope you’re reading this on the balcony of the
club, enjoying an ice-cold beer and the improved view of the bay, after having had a hot
shower and a game of petanque. If not, why not?
Best wishes and fair winds,
Pete
Commodore
Puerto Galera Yacht Club
PGYC
March 2008
5
This is Fowey Harbour, Cornwall in the South West of
England.
At the annual regatta the Falmouth Oyster Catchers race
in the bay - a beautiful sight with their long bowsprits, gaff rig
and colourful topsails. These traditional working boats are still
the only vessels allowed to work the deep water oyster beds in
the River Fal. In the winter months and under sail they tow the
heavy dredge bringing up their delicious haul of local oysters, a
creature that takes 5 years to reach its legal (eatable) size.
In Puerto Galera we have restarted our monthly ‘fun’ race
- simply a day to have fun and to get as many yachts on the
water as possible. In January we had 5 yachts out and fi nished
up at the clubhouse for beverages.
Plans for the annual mooring inspection are going ahead
and boxes of chain, shackles and swivels will be arriving soon so
that work can be completed before the typhoon season.
All our moorings gear is given a through ‘out-of-water’
inspection and replacements fitted as necessary.
Yachts seen recently on our Muelle Bay moorings include:
Bewitched a 42ft Catalina from Hong Kong with British
owner Ross Lyons from Hong Kong to Kota Kinabalu.
Samba a Delta 46 with German owner G.V. Reden and
skipper S. Rubsamen from Coran on the way to Koror, Palau.
Marikit a First 27.7 with owner R. Bulbong and skipper
Toto Cedullo.
Amber Nectar a Peter Nolin designed 34ft with Dutch
owner Karin Stubbs and Tony Stubbs from Hong Kong to
Malaysia.
Liv a traditional Colin Archer 40ft with Sture & Gundel
Pattersson from Finland, on the way from Ishigaki, Japan to
Balabac.
Avolare 40ft with Australian owner Lindsay Walkley
from Hong Kong to Kudat, Malaysia.
Dora Mac a Diesel Duck returned, for Randal & Ruth
Johnson to spent Christmas day at the celebrated Harbour
Point lunch.
Zephyr 2 a 43ft Halberg Rassy with skipper Ng Man Jun
from Hong Kong.
Rapparee a 42ft Jeanneau, with member David
McKenna to join us for the club AGM.
Shanelle a 43ft cutter with owner Adrian Davis on the
way from Tacloban to Hong Kong.
Silver Lining a 35ft Dutch built Cumulant with
German owner Berthold Theelen from Dumaguete. q
Passing through? Need a place to leave your yacht?
We are in one of the ‘Most Beautiful Bays of the World’
Naturally protected harbour;
Moorings which are checked every year;
Clubhouse with all facilities
Town for stores within walking distance
Ring us, e-mail us or just call on VHF 68
Words and Photos by: Mike Tucker
Seen on the Moorings
The wet and windy weather has continued in Mindoro so I decided a
picture of another harbour might cheer up an unpleasant week..
Yacht Charter Philippines Puerto Galera
Anybody who’s ever played a round or two up at the
PONDEROSA golf course here in Puerto Galera will know
that birdies are hard to come by, let alone eagles and albatrosses
(for the golf-ignorant out there a BIRDIE is one shot less than
the normal for a hole, an EAGLE minus 2 and an ALBATROSS
minus 3). Anybody who’s ever seen me play
will know that birdies rarely feature in my
golf game, and that while the caddies are
in the jungle looking for yet another errant
ball, I’ve plenty of time in which to keep
an eye and ear open for birds of the more
traditional and avian varieties. Here are a few
that you might see yourselves while waiting
to tee off or striding from hole to hole.
Some of the most obvious are the
swiftlets, which can be seen even as you
enjoy your pre-golf coffee in the club-house.
They’ll be swooping acrobatically after
insects along the ridge. The most common
by far is the Glossy Swiftlet, which is just under 4’’ long and
has blue-black upperparts and a whitish belly, sometimes with
an indistinct pale rump. If you see one in the flock that is
definitely smaller, with a clean white rump then you’ve found
the endemic Pygmy Swiftlet too. At the other end of the scale
is the grand-daddy of all swifts - the ginourmous
Purple Needletail. These boys are nearly 10’’ long
and have a clear white horse-shoe shape under the
tail. These are the fastest birds in straight flight in
the World and make a distinct ‘whoosh’ sound as
they streak past close overhead.
Out on the course itself one of the most
active and noisy birds will be the Philippine
Bulbul (which has featured in previous Nature
Notes). Another endemic, these are noisy and
conspicuous around the middle to upper storeys
of the trees. Look for plain brown birds, about
9’’ long, in small groups, making a variety of
musical noises. Talking of musical, if you hear
PGYC
March 2008
6
NATURE NOTES
ALBATROSSES
AND EAGLES?
BIRDS ON THE
GOLF COURSE.
Words and Photos by Peter Stevens
sabang beach floating bar big apple dive resort
PGYC
March 2008
7
a distinctive,
loud double
call and see a
flash of bright
yellow and black
swooping from
the top of one
tree to another,
then you’ve
just crossed
paths with the beautiful Black Naped Oriole. These are fairly
common down around the town too and often act as my
alarm clock in the morning.
Another bird that you are likely to hear before you see it
is the Crested Serpent Eagle. These have a distinctive, plaintive
and far-carrying lazy 3 or 4 note call, described as seee-ap
weep weep. Look up and you’ll probably see a pair circling
slowly overhead (or even below
you in the valley). A good view will
show you the distinctive white and
black band along the underside
trailing edge of the broad wings.
In the springtime, there are often
large groups of migrating birds of
prey moving along the coast, high
overhead. A good pair of binos is
needed to identify them but I’ve
seen dozens of Chinese Goshawks,
Grey-faced Buzzards and the occasional Peregrine Falcon.
If a smallish dark green/brown pigeon-like thing streaks
low across the fairway in straight, purposeful flight, it’s
probably a Common Emerald Dove. If you’ve sharp eyes you
might even catch the double black and white banding across
its’ lower back. You’ll need
some luck and even sharper
eyes to get a look at the
common, but secretive,
Philippine Coucal. This is a
large (18’’) long tailed, black
and brown relative of the
cuckoos and its’ distinctive,
loud, repetitive boop boop
boop call is a feature of the
course.
Finally, around the
tilapia pond next to the 6th tee, or the water hazard on the
2nd hole, you might get a glimpse of one of the two species
of kingfisher which inhabit the course. The first is the very
common White-collared variety that can be
seen and heard all over the place, especially
around the yacht club. Basically blue/green
and white and very active. The other is the
less obvious, but slightly larger (10’’) White-
throated Kingfisher, which has a dark chestnut
body, bright blue back, wings and tail and
distinctive white throat and wing patches (in
flight). The bill (beak) is red. It often perches
prominently and can sometimes be seen on
overhead wires.
So, there you have it. If birdies, eagles and albatrosses are
hard to find at the Ponderosa, just enjoy the view and look for
something special.q
PGYC
March 2008
8
A KAYAK ON THE MEKONG
PART TWO
Words & photos by Marc Paillefer
A “tuk tuk” driver, by the name BounPone, was at first
curious and then encouraging in my venture and helped me
immensely, buying fuel and provisions. On my last morning
in Huay Xai I sent a final email, to
let people know when they may
expect to hear from me again, and
BounPone appeared on cue; we
lashed my boat to the roof of his
“tuk tuk”. A year in the planning,
and finally it was really going to
happen.
BounPone drove me a
little out of town – to avoid any
unnecessary attention at the
customs dock – to a wide, lazy
stretch of river.
The first couple of hours were sheer bliss: the sun
was warm; the river, refreshingly cool; and, I was paddling
“downhill” with the current . . . the way it was meant to be.
My GPS showed I was making
between 5 and 6-miles per hour
without too much effort and the
boat was like an old friend. Then:
the first fast-water.
From what I’d seen on
the trip up I was less concerned
about the river as I was about
river-traffic. Large boats work
Huay Xai, its market full of Thai goods from across the river and
foreign tourists travelling the Mekong to Luang Prabang, is the most
significant town on the Lao edge of the opium-producing “Golden
Triangle”. The Mekong River runs through the middle of the Triangle.
Top: The river twisted, turned, narrowed .
. .and picked up speed;
Left:The author - Marc Paillefer
PGYC
March 2008
9
this part of the Mekong and when travelling downstream
they are at full-power to give them as much steering helm as
possible. They don’t have the maneuverability or the room to
avoid a kayaker and it was up to me to stay out of their way.
“Rapids” might not be the right word to describe what
I was approaching but the river twisted, turned, narrowed
to about 20-metres, and picked up speed. I could hear an
engine over the sound of the water and pulled over into a
back-eddy, just short of the first shoot. A large river boat
appeared from around the bend, something told me that it
wasn’t alone so I waited and a second boat appeared. As soon
as they passed, I paddled hard for mid-channel only to get a
blast from a horn . . . there was a third
boat. The last thing I saw before I was
dumped was a tourist taking a photo
from entirely too close a vantage point.
It was a half kilometer or so
before the river let me get back on
my kayak, the only damage done was
to my pride. I discovered what was
waterproof and what wasn’t, and what
was suitably secure . . . luckily no gear
lost. A lesson learned.
My first day had exhausted me,
my head still being caught up in the world I came from. I
had made 40-km and camped on white-sand left behind by
the Mekong’s flood; the night was surprisingly cool.
As expected, over the next few days my head slowed
down. I got better at handling my boat and reading the
river. I would paddle from 10am, after the morning mist
burned off, until about 4pm and then camp in yet another
idyllic spot. I passed several villages everyday and there was
enough traffic on the river that I never felt alone. The people
I would pass (fishing or bathing or doing laundry) along the
riverbank were sometimes surprised, sometimes encouraging,
but always friendly.
I learned early not to camp near
a village – that attracted far too much
attention. But regardless of how isolated
my camp might seem, someone would
always wander in to check out the white-
guy and his flash gear. The men were
always interested in my boat, the woman
more curious about the tent and stove.
Top: I was able to buy bottled water from river
traders;
Left:The people were sometimes surprised
Portofino Beach resort small lalagunabeach puerto galera
One young guy
happened by one morning
while I was boiling up some
noodles. I offered him some;
he quickly turned his nose
up and patted his basket of
sticky rice instead. He was
on his way up the hill for a
day of slashing and burning;
I pondered that his 3-kg
of sticky rice (thousands of
calories) was poor exchange
for what meager return that
hillside would produce, then
it occurred to me that a kilo of opium could buy a lot of
sticky rice.
Eight days and 300-km brought me to Luang Prabang,
justifiably a UNESCO World Heritage site. This former
capital of Lao has recently become a very fashionable
destination, for more then just back-packers. Budget airlines
fly them in from Bangkok for a couple of days of Wats,
monks and French Cuisine, before whisking them off to
Siam Reap for a taste of Angkor. For me it was a welcome
PGYC
Cruiser News,
September 2006
10
rest, especially for my skin,
which had seen enough UV for
a while.
The next stretch of River
posed a problem. It was less
than 200-km to Pak Lai, but
this was the one section of
Mekong I had been unable to
review. I had read of a kayaker
who had paddled from Luang
Prabang to Vientiane and there
were large, cargo riverboats in
Luang Prabang that must have
come from downstream at some
point in time. A local boatman just pointed upstream, then
down, shrugged and said “same same”. So after a four-day
rest, I put in again. How difficult could it be?
The first two-days threw up no surprises, although the
river traffic dwindled to only local dugouts. On the third
day: a narrow shoot, maybe 20-metres wide, followed by a
sharp bend to the right – a lot of Mekong on the move and
making a lot of noise. I got myself lined up, committed and
rode it through. Just when I thought I was in the clear, a boil
The people were always friendly
apartelle de francesca resort white beach puerto galera
PGYC
March 2008
11
The next few days were less pleasant. On the right
bank was the province of Sainyabuli. Seldom visited by
tourists and heavily logged, it did little to raise my spirits.
The smoke from the dry season burn-off seemed heavier and
river traffic dwindled to almost nothing . . . that I did not
worry about being run over added an element of loneliness. I
needed a drink.
While I was setting up my camp one evening I heard
the sound of drums coming from downstream. Investigating,
I came upon a Kamu village in full celebration. The drums
stopped and jaws dropped as the white-guy walked out of
the bush. It took only a few minutes to establish that there
was not a single thread of common
language and that that was not going
to slow down this event. Ushered to
the front table, the drums flashed up
and out came the “Lao Lao” – the
local hooch, a clear spirit of varying
quality. Proceedings went on well
into the night, as we all appeared to
become progressively more intelligent.
Sometime in the next morning I woke
up in my tent and I never did learn
what the celebration was all about.
I arrived in Pak Lai refreshed &
fortified. I was now on a stretch of river
with a daily service to Vientiane. Ahead
lay a beautiful six day run and this
horse was starting to smell the barn.
This is where the Mekong leaves
turned into a whirlpool and I was in the wrong spot; in an
instant the kayak rolled and I was in. The whirlpool had me
but spat my boat out into the current. My PFD was going to
keep me afloat but watching my boat ramble on downstream
without me was a horrible vision – everything was in the
boat, I had nothing . . . not even shoes.
With no other choice I committed myself to the
current in my PFD; an hour of floating down the river and
still no boat. What madness had brought me to this place?
Eventually she came into site, spinning lazily in a side
pool. I cursed myself for becoming complacent with the
river: the vacation feeling was gone.
Below: The early morning sun burned off
the overnight mist; Right:The people were
sometimes encouraging
power boats for sale philippines technautique asiacraft
PGYC
Cruiser News,
September 2006
12
PGYC
March 2008
the mountains of northwest Laos and spills out onto the
broad, hot basin of Western Thailand; where it meanders
first east and then south for the Cambodian border. For a
few hundred kilometres she is a much different animal.
Vientiane! I had been paddling for 21-days and the trip
was now in its 6th week. Somewhere I had read that Huay
Xai to Vientiane was 678-km, but my GPS was reading
942. I had been alone for long enough and I was talking
too much to both my kayak and the Mekong. I packed my
gear, then my kayak and dropped it at the front door of the
hotel I’d stayed at a year before. Despite my appearance, the
manager recognised me, “Where are you coming from? . . .
Huay Xai?” His look said it all. That was enough.
Paddler’s Notes: the first leg
of the journey, from Hauy Xai to
Luang Prabang, is a very feasible
trip for anybody reasonably fit,
possessing a bit of gear and few
outdoor skills. It’s an eight-day
paddle, with a very posh lodge
conveniently situated at the half
way point. You can enter Laos
from Thailand at Hauy Xai and
get a 30-day visa. Nights are
cool (this said by a Canadian)
and mosquitoes, non-existent.
Although I wouldn’t do this kind
of trip without it, I never actually broke out
my water-purification gear – I was able to buy
enough bottled water from river traders. Be very
careful of the mud on the riverbank – Buffalo
sometimes disappear in it. Don’t get bitten by a
snake – guaranteed to ruin your day. I can’t say
enough about the people of Laos – I never once
felt threaten and no gear went missing. UV and
dehydration were my main concerns. This trip
was accomplished at low water (Jan/Feb; the dry
season) – under no circumstances should it be
attempted at high water.
There was enough traffic that I never felt alone
PGYC
March 2008
13
only slightly slower Category A boats (up to 16 feet waterline
length) have a crew of three or four. Each racing paraw is
passionately prepared each year and sailed to Iloilo, from
islands throughout the Visayan region, for this annual festival
of speed and spray.
A significant attraction for spectators at the regatta is the
oft-times dramatic artwork, applied to the sails of each paraw
by local art-students. The students toil throughout the night
by flashlight and candle to create fantastic vistas and idealised
figures, drawing on both ancient and modern subject matter
and theme. Each sail is judged for special merit and prizes
awarded accordingly; paraws that excel on the water and also
excel in artistic sails receive cash bonuses.
Total prize money of more than Php500,000 helps to
maintain the popularity of the regatta amongst the paraw
owners but the cash can’t compensate for the hours of toil
that go into preparation, training and the tuning of each craft
during the months leading up to the event. Sadly perhaps, as
the cash prizes awarded for sailing performance have increased
in recent years, the desire to adorn sails with exotic art (and
therefore relatively heavy paint) has declined. This year a large
SAILING
A
BLADE
Words and Photos by
Bernadette Willes
Inclement weather could not dampen
the spirits of the hundreds of participants
and thousands of spectators at arguably
the largest spectacle of sail-power in the
Philippines. No less than 62 racing paraws
set out to cut their way through the waves,
during the 36th annual Iloilo Paraw
Regatta (16th & 17th February).
Iloilo City, on the southern shores of the island of Panay,
has been the undisputed home of paraw racing since the fi rst
such craft arrived from Borneo in 1212 AD – when Datu Puti
and nine other chieftains fled with their families from the
clutches of the despotic Sultan Makarunaw.
The modern racing paraw has only a passing
resemblance to the original 13th century design and is today
the epitome of outrigger-craftsmanship-for-speed. The larger
Category B boats (up to 22 feet waterline length) reach speeds
in excess of 15-knots in a good breeze with a crew of fi ve; the
Above: Idealised figures, ancient and modern subject matter;
Front Cover: Annual festival of speed and spray; 2008 sail-art winner
number of sails had the bare minimum of qualifying art in
order to improve boat-speed.
Race management at the event is “different” from
the international standard most of us are used to and the
occasional owner is prevented from competing in a given race
because he or she happened to be in the wrong place at the
wrong time when registration was happening. But there are
few complaints once the race start is announced.
Where
there are rule
infractions, it
seems the Gods
of wind and sea
have their own
way of dispatching
justice. During
one race, on
Saturday,
many owners
complained that
one paraw was
proposing to use a
larger, outside-the-
regatta-rules, sail
because the winds
had softened. The
judges allowed
that the boat could
sail with the larger sail if the owner wanted to take the risk;
half-way down the course the wind momentarily strengthened
causing a dramatic capsize and the erstwhile complainants
cheered as the boat was towed ashore in two pieces.
So what is it like to ride aboard a racing paraw? Mr. Paul
Measures, of the Iloilo Sailing Club, provides some insight
after stepping ashore from his first ever paraw race.
“First of all it is nothing like sailing a dinghy. . . it is fast
. . . very fast . . . like a sailing a blade cutting the waves” Paul
enthuses, “For maximum speed the crew balance the boat to
keep the hull in the water and the outriggers just dipping the
surface.
“But the paraw
is difficult to turn.”
Sounds a
bit like a Hobie?
“Worse” asserts Paul,
“it is like doing a
three point turn in a
car . . . you turn up
into the wind and
pretty much stop .
. . back the jib, fall
backwards and away
. . . then if you got
that right you can
complete the turn
forward onto the
new course.
Another
challenge is the size of each crew member. Paul explains, “the
boom is so low and when you tack there is little time to get
from one outrigger to the other so being small and nimble is a
huge advantage.”
PGYC
March 2008
14
Left: Reaching speeds in excess of 15-knots;
Above: The students toil by flashlight and candle;
Below: Bare minimum of qualifying art to
improve boat-speed
badladz resort puerto galera
Each race
features a beach start:
the boats are pushed
out into the water
sails unfurled; then
the heavy rudder
is lashed in place;
the crew balances
the boat and off she
speeds, hopefully
avoiding all the
others.
“The rudder
is lashed to one side
which makes steering
light on one tack and
heavy on the other.
“But it is great fun.”
The City of Iloilo and the
Department of Tourism (“DoT”)
encourages tourists from around
the globe to attend the regatta by
making it not only a sailing event
but a celebration of everything
colourful about the Philippines
PGYC
March 2008
15
and especially that which is
identifiably Iloilo.
There was food and
dancing, beauty contests &
pageants every day during
the week long build-up
to the two main race days
(Saturday and Sunday).
This year, DoT Region
VI Director, Mr. Edwin
Trompeta, was happy to
announce the introduction
of a Samba competition
to the anthology of Ilongo
passion, and a brilliant
fireworks display, which had
the power to momentarily
disperse the clouds.
There is also a game
fishing competition that
starts on Saturday with
the boats motoring out
from Iloilo, to return the
following day with their
catch for the weight-in. But
the sailing is the dominant
theme and racing courses
are specifically laid along
the beaches and in front
of the piers and wharfs, so
that the largest number of
spectators can enjoy the
sight and splendor of one
of the World’s truly unique
sailing events.
If you want to get
involved in the 37th
Iloilo Paraw Regatta, in
2009, then you should
contact the City of Iloilo
or the Iloilo Sailing Club,
and date-mark the third
weekend of February in
your diary. Whether you
want to sail or simply want
to enjoy the side shows and
other feasts of a Visayan
celebration then make sure
you book your flight and
hotel accommodation well
in advance. q
Top: For maximum speed, outriggers just
dip the surface;
Right: “It is nothing like sailing a dinghy”
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March 2008
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W
indsurfing:
W
et, W
indy & W
onderful
Words by Martyn Willes
Photos by Terry Duckham
Saturday &
Sunday (16th – 17th
February) saw stiff
competition and
huge support for
a festival of board
sailing in Puerto
Galera – perhaps
the most beautiful
windsurfing bay in
the world.
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March 2008
18
Applauded by the rustle of the breeze through lush
mangroves and empowered by the brilliant sparkle off
the crystal clear waters of Puerto Galera’s inner bays, the
International Windsurfing Cup in Puerto Galera defines
the second leg on the five-venue, Philippine championship
circuit. The first leg -- the Funboard Cup -- was held in
Boracay, in January; the next leg will be in Anilao (Batangas)
in March, followed by events in Subic Bay (July) and Lake
Caliraya (November?).
Boracay may have its following but Puerto Galera wins
out for safety, facilities and spectacle. In this, its third year,
the Puerto Galera International Windsurfing Cup increased its
fleet to more than 50 competitive boards and challenged the
wind & rain patches for the accolade of the best windsurfing
venue in the Philippines.
Young and old battled the sometimes fluky breeze
while some rued their choice of board and sail. Though
determination and muscle power had their place in the
proceedings, in the end it was local knowledge and experience
that won the day.
Ashore, between events, the lawns of the Sandbar Resort
& Windsurfing School were strewn with the fabric, like so
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March 2008
19
many discarded butterfly wings, of various sail technologies; as
if a pod of Orcas had invaded, dorsal fins standing virile and
erect from the sand, boards of sleek design by-the-score lay
in wait for the chance of imminent conquest. Board and sail
covers, flimsy and padded too, occasionally wriggled free from
their tethers to tumble in the gusts between the hundreds of
spectators, offering games of chase for clusters of children.
During the evening, between the days of competition,
the cool, moisture-speckled breeze encouraged the donning of
sweaters & windbreakers but so too the warmth of rekindled
friendships enlivened the throng, sparkling to a climax in the
dazzling, choreographed fireworks display.
On the day there were too many heroes and
disappointments to make worthy a record in these few
paragraphs but one tussle perhaps gives example to all. From
the deck of M/Y Heather Louise, long time supporter of the
sport of sailing in the Philippines, Tony Bradley cheered on
his wife, Ari Araneta, against the obviously more experienced,
lithe thighs of Puerto Galera resident Lyn Morrison. After
trading first and second places throughout the event, Lyn
Continued on page 21
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March 2008
21
Windsurfing...continued from page 19
finally clinched the decisive first place and so
proved herself no longer a novice. Tony, bitterly
disappointed for his wife, decided he could not
watch the closing rounds and instead investigated
the nearby Puerto Galera Yacht Club in the hope
of finding alternate distraction, instead he found a cheerful
group of sailors, planning to travel to the Sandbar for the final
awards presentation.
Next year, it is planned that there will be a new schedule
for the Philippine championship circuit: it is proposed that
the Puerto Galera event will
be twinned back-to-back
with the Funboard Cup in
Boracay. This twinning will
encourage more international
surfers to spend more time
in the country and share
more of their expertise with
burgeoning local talent. New
sponsors are on the horizon
too, to enable greater media
coverage for the sport of
windsurfing, so that the
Philippines can identify and
coach more virgin talent, to
win more than just silver and
bronze on the international
stage.
If you want to get into
the sport of windsurfing with an xperienced instructor or simply
rent some equipment, then contact the Sandbar Resort and
Windsurfing School in Puerto Galera . . . According to school
owner, Carmelo Garcia, they will have you sailing within a day
and racing within a week. q
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March 2008
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Since the end of December we’ve had six visitors
complete the full 3-day course, with eight others renting
dinghies for casual sailing. We’ve sold three of the Generation
I dinghies and our Sail Training and Events Manager, Eric
Lumia, has put together an attractive package for schools to
come down and learn to sail as part of a scheduled activity.
Here are some of the highlights of the past few weeks.
The Inter-Schools Regatta was a blast. Well, that’s how
it felt, with winds topping 18-knots. We spent the early part
of the day trucking the fleet of new boats on the back of the
town garbage truck over to the Plaza Illuminada on the other
side of town, where the wind had nothing between it and
Words by Peter Stevens
Photos by Eric Lumia
Calapan to divert it. Any thoughts I might have entertained
of getting the spinnakers out were quickly consigned to the
“let’s be sensible” bin. And unlike our nice sheltered waters off
Boquete, there were waves - lots of them, with foaming white
tops. We launched all ten boats, representing five local schools,
through the surf and they bashed out towards the start-fi nish
line. The fact that half of them capsized before they even got
there very nearly ended proceedings then and there.
The wind eased a tad, the youngsters got used to the
conditions and soon looked like they were having fun. It was
a fantastic site, the green and white seas, the colourful blues
and yellow of the new boats and the pristine white of the
Small Boat
Program
News
Since the last edition of the Cruiser News the Small Boat Programme
(“SBP”) has been busy. First we celebrated the town fiesta on December 8th by
organising an inter-school regatta. Then we started to introduce the youngsters to the art of
spinnaker sailing, followed by several exciting Wet Wednesdays where we ventured further afield.
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new sails, with the Round Table logo bold and proud. The
dramatic heeling brought appreciative squeals from some of
the schoolgirls in the crowd, and perhaps similar exclamations
from some of the crews.
The first two races were simple windward/leeward
and the normal cast of characters were showing the way,
especially DJ Cabarles from the Prince of Peace College,
who is one of our President’s Cup 2007 heroes. In fact all
of the young sailors who were in Subic last year were out
on the water but spread evenly between all the schools.
The 3rd race was a triangle, with a gybing mark close to
the spectators. It was this that sorted the boys out from
the boys and saw some pretty wild maneouvres. The
photographs tell the story.
After the mayhem was sorted out it was the The
National High School (NHS) that took the inter-school
honours, with the Prince of Peace College (PPC) and
Minolo Elementary (ME) 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The individual crew awards went to students from the
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NHS, PPC and NHS, in that order. Mayor, Dr. Hubbert
Christopher Dolor, was on hand to award the prizes and the
youngsters then retired to the PGYC for a well deserved lunch
and more carbo-loading. They had all pushed the envelope of
previous experience out further than ever before and should
now be confident to handle the boat in almost any conditions,
anywhere.
Recent Wet Wednesdays (when anybody can turn up
at the PGYC and get an afternoon’s sailing in the bay with
likeminded folk) have been developed (weather permitting)
into full days; one with a circumnavigation of Medio Island,
followed by a beach BBQ, and the other with a bit of sailing
around in Sabang and lunch at the Big Apple, followed by a
nice sail all the way back to the yacht club pier. This is a trend
that we hope to continue, with a mixture of fun racing and
socialising. The pictures tell the story. Come by and join us
anytime. Eric can be contacted on sailtraining@pgyc.org for all
your dinghy sailing needs.
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March 2008
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From April this year Manila’s water sports
enthusiasts will be able to drive from Quezon
City to the clean & safe waters of Subic
Bay as quickly as they can drive to Manila’s
Baywalk. The all-new, Subic-Clark-Tarlac
Expressway (SCTEx) will cut journey times
from Metro Manila to Subic to around 90
minutes. Simply drive onto the North Luzon
Expressway at Balintawak, exit at Mabalacat’s
newest exit called Spur/NLE Exit and you will
be delivered into a rainforest-fringed-paradise
beside a glistening sea in no time at all.
MANILA MOVES CLOSER
TO SUBIC BAY
As a regular traveler to Subic Bay from Manila I can
confirm that, even though the distance will be slightly greater
(compared with taking the traditional San Fernando exit off
the North Luzon Expressway), the actual cost of travel will be
noticeably reduced because it will be possible to: minimize fuel
consumption (select your desired cruising speed and keep to
it); and, dramatically reduce vehicle wear-and-tear (no more
bumps, lumps and crumbled concrete). Reduced driver stress
and time savings will more than pay for the toll fees.
Confirmed at the turn of the century, the SCTEx is the
long awaited high-speed, commerce-motivated road-link that
will coincidentally, finally empower Subic Bay as northern
Luzon’s premiere water sports destination. And not only for
those traveling from Manila: it will open the whole of the
North to the wonders of recreating on the water.
BCDA President and CEO Narciso Abaya says that
the new tollway is expected to serve as the new economic
SCTEx Tipo Toll Plaza SBMA Ahead
Words by John Smart
SCTEx Photography by Alex T. Solomon
PGYC
March 2008
28
backbone for growth areas north of Metro Manila. The four-
lane divided toll road not only connects two of the country’s
most important economic zones in Central Luzon – the Subic
Bay Freeport in Zambales and the Clark Freeport Zone in
Pampanga – but also provides a very convenient access to the
emerging economic centers further
north in Tarlac and up to La Union
province.
“In the medium to long-term
projection, the Subic-Clark corridor
will allow the country to leapfrog into
the mainstream of global trade and
industry, attracting more investors
resulting to more jobs for the
Filipinos,” Abaya notes.
“To access the SCTEx from
Manila, motorists are advised to take
the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) from Balintawak. Once
in the NLEX, look for the Spur/NLE Exit located after the
Dau Exit. The Spur/NLE exit road will lead you to the SCTEx
toll booth. After
that, enjoy the
road side view.
You will reach
Subic in only 40
minutes or less.”
The
expressway’s
primary purpose
is to empower
manufacturing
businesses in
central, northern
Luzon, by
providing cost-
effective, high-
speed access to
the new container
terminal in the
Subic Bay Freeport Zone. For businesses operating in the
burgeoning special economic and export zones of Pampanga
and Tarlac, the expressway will provide a continuous, tariff-
free road-link that will dramatically reduce the paperwork
and hassle of shipping-in raw materials and shipping-out
finished products, further increasing
the Philippines’ manufacturing
competitiveness, compared to its rivals
around Asia.
“The SCTEx is primarily geared
towards achieving economy of scale
by combining the strategic values
of the Clark Freeport Zone, with its
sprawling airfields and manufacturing
grounds, with those of Subic to create
a competitive international service hub,
and by providing connections to smaller
but strategically important special economic zones in Tarlac
and Bataan in Central Luzon and La Union in Northern
Luzon,” Abaya says.
But, the
expressway’s by-
product -- the one I
am most interested
in -- is easier access
to one of the World’s
most famous and
safest bays for every
kind of water sport:
Top Left: Fishing by
Kayak near Vasco’s
Maritime Museum;
Top Right: Towards Sliced
Mt. Jalung Subic Bound;
Center: The new
container terminal in the
Subic Bay;
Left:Speed-demons can
rent a jet ski
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March 2008
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from yachting and windsurfing, to fishing and scuba, plus
kayaking and jet ski.
If you have not been to Subic Bay recently then you
need to know that . . .
Vasco’s Maritime Museum at Magellan’s Landing is the
must-see for everyone interested in ancient artifacts recovered
from the deep, including the famous Chinese “dragon jars”
that were retrieved from a shipwreck, discovered by Vasco’s
owner, Brian Homan, in Puerto Galera.
You can spend the afternoon fishing peacefully with
friends or, you can hire a motor launch and test your mettle,
deep-sea fishing out beyond Grande Island.
Visit the Subic Bay Yacht Club, which is open to non-
members. Here you can not only learn-to-sail or rent a boat
but its lavish facilities include a choice of elegant dining, in
air-conditioned comfort, with a view over the marina and
some of the water-toys owned by country’s rich and famous.
Most weekends the enthusiastic Subic Sailing Club will be
found here in competitive mood, extending
a warm welcome to everyone who wants to
get wet with them.
Speed-demons amongst you can hop
aboard a jet ski along the Boardwalk or
scuba dive on some historic shipwrecks,
including the armoured cruiser, USS New
York, and the “Hell Ship”, Oryoku Maru.
Subic Bay is steeped in history. Since
it was first identified by the Spanish as a
useful typhoon shelter in the 19th century
many battles have been fought and many lives lost to protect
this unique expanse of water and the majestic mountains that
surround it.
And what better place to view the whole of the bay than
Continued on page 31
Left: Spur Road From NLEx Connecting to SCTEx
at Clark;
Below: The Yacht Club: elegant air-conditioned
dining with a view over the marina
sctex
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March 2008
31
from the upper deck of the 720 bar, located near the top of
Subic Bay’s latest maritime landmark: The Lighthouse Marina
Resort. The Lighthouse is owned by one of the Philippine’s
most active and internationally competitive yachtsmen, so you
can be sure that everything water sports is catered for here.
As with any great improvement (and the SCTEx is one
of the greatest so far this century) there are some who may
feel bypassed, overlooked and forgotten as a result of the
advancement. For posterity then, lest we forget: adieu to the
Double Happiness travel-stop & restaurant, our stomachs will
no longer be tempted by your greasy burgers; goodbye (home
of the President) Lubao town, you can keep your market-
crossroad that so frequently causes five-kilometer tailbacks
in both directions; adios Dinalupihan -- the three-wheeled-
transport capital of the Universe and home of the Rolly
padyak -- please continue your insolent traffic-snarling ways.
To these and all the selfish bus and jeepney drivers, swerving
tricycles, pondering pedestrians, careering carabao, careless
children and oblivious cats & dogs, one or more of which I
have loudly condemned on every journey over the past decade,
I bid you farewell and good fortune in your newly peaceful
lives.
For me there is now only one sure, safe and speedy
way to Subic Bay -- the water sports playground of northern
Luzon. Take my advice, take the SCTEx, it will open by end-
April and discover how much closer the world of water sports
has come.
Manila moves closer...continued from page 29
Above: Babes and Dudes can hop aboard a jet ski;
Left: The Lighthouse Marina Resort
Bottom: Toll Plaza at Clark Logistics Interchange
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