Taal Lake, Sunday, 26 February, 2023

Eight of Puerto Galera’s most talented sailing students entered the Oz Goose National Championships 2023 at the weekend at the Taal Lake Yacht Club, Talisay, Batangas. They competed with more than 25 others in three of the four Divisions and took home trophies in all three, including the coveted Overall trophy.

The Oz Goose is a relatively new boat design, unique to the Philippines. Designed by Australian, Michael Storer, for the Philippine Home Boatbuilders Yacht Club, it has become popular with sailing clubs and individuals around the country because it offers a low-cost option for enthusiastic participation in the sport for the less-wealthy . . . as the advertising goes: “an Oz Goose costs less than a new iPhone”. The Oz Goose is designed to be sailed by one or two adults with up to two children – it can be viewed as a “family sailing boat”. During the Championship 2023, the participants were either, one or, two to a boat.

Long-time Puerto Galera resident Peter Stevens, who has been instrumental in building the “Small Boat Program” sailing school at the Puerto Galera Yacht Club since 2004, selected a team that comprised the Club’s best overall sailors and the best of the 2022-graduate sailors to represent Puerto Galera at the Taal Lake event. The selected boys and girls were entered in the “Ladies Division” (for Lady’s-helm or all Ladies) the “B Division” (for those who have not competed in regattas before) and the Overall Championship.

Most significant was that none of the team had ever sailed an Oz Goose before (for most of them they had never traveled beyond Mindoro before); their training had been in Optimist and Mirror dinghies. Recognizing this rather significant disadvantage Peter arranged for the team to arrive in Taal Lake in time to have one day of practice before the actual Championship commenced.

After two days of racing Team Puerto Galera amazed the assembled competitors by taking five of the nine trophies that were presented, including two 1st place trophies – for the Ladies Division and for the Overall.

Congratulations to Team Puerto Galera!!

This is just one example of the quality of sailing training offered by the Puerto Galera Yacht Club Small Boat Program sailing school over the years. It is training that gives the country’s youth opportunities to excel in the sport of sailing and, for those with the passion, a stepping stone to a career in international sailing competition.

None of this would be possible without PGYC Members & Friends and the Municipality of Puerto Galera who gave their financial support to cover the expenses of travel, accommodation and food for the Team during the Oz Goose National Championships 2023 at Taal Lake, Batangas. So, to all above we say a huge THANK YOU!