PGYC News April 2022

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PGYC Easter Regatta 2022

images by Terry Duckham and Maricar ‘Girlie’ Cervantes

Easter Regatta 2022

(L to R) Papaya II, Bellatrix, Karakoa

The longest running sailing event in the Philippines has just finished in Puerto Galera. With 14 yachts participating this made for the largest yacht racing fleet since the start of the COVID pandemic and with them brought hope that the safety and travel protocols, that we have all endured for more than two years, may finally be behind us.

Of particular note was the participation of yachts from Subic Bay and Punta Fuego in the IRC racing-class. These were Bellatrix, Hurricane Hunter, Karakoa and Selma Star.

New courses and a new race-start format were one feature of this year’s event. Gang-starts became the norm for IRC and Cruiser-Racer divisions, while Cruiser and Multihull divisions retained the time-honored staggered, pursuit racing start format.

Bellatrix, Hurricane Hunter, Karakoa, Selma Star

gang starts: (L to R) Karakoa, Selma Star, Hurricane Hunter, Bellatrix (foreground)

The participation of the race management staff, led by Jerry Rollins, from the Philippine Sailing Association added a new dimension to the on-water race organization for the IRC and Cruiser Racer divisions.

Thanks to typhoon Malakas – moving North and away from the Philippine’s East coast – the first race-day saw an unusual anomaly for the IRC and Cruiser Racing divisions insomuch as the breeze along the Verde Passage was from the West, instead of the usual more favorable easterly winds. Thus, the start / finish line for the IRC and Cruiser Racing divisions could not be moved because it was somewhat set in stone by the published Sailing Instructions, so the racers were started westward, towards Talipanan Beach, for the windward-leeward races. The Cruiser and Multihull divisions were unaffected by the change and happily started as usual within Puerto Galera Bay, off Lane’s Pier.

In the IRC division fierce competition between Jun Villanueva’s Bellatrix and Ray Ordoveza’s Karakoa was evident, with Karakoa intent on overcoming their defeat (by seconds it should be noted) during the Punta Fuego Regatta in March. Jun Avecilla’s Selma Star, the actual star of the Punta Fuego regatta, was there to mix up the second and third places after Karakoa showed her true colors (and knowledge of the tidal flows) and won both the windward-leeward races of the day.

fierce competition Bellatrix, Karakoa

Bellatrix chasing Karakoa

Alan Burrell’s Farr 1104 Rags, in the Cruiser Racer division, showed she still had the winning edge and outperformed the newer yachts in the experienced and skillful hands of owners Alan and Suzie Burrell.

Farr 1104 Rags

Farr 1104 Rags leading in the Cruiser Racer division

The Cruiser and Multihull divisions had a challenging day negotiating the wind shadow behind Maricaban Island, but still managed to perform above expectations in the relatively light breezes. Mark Amdal’s Seahawk, the newly renovated Cal 30, impressed with her dedication to the task.

Day two, with the traditional easterly breezes in evidence, was more of a stretch for the IRC and Cruiser Racer division yachts with a rounding of Verde Island and, in particular, the avoidance of the rocky outcrop on the East end of the island. The wind on the day favored the back of the fleet and saw Selma Star take first place followed by Bellatrix in second place. Albert Altura’s Hurricane Hunter, offered an entertaining spinnaker run to the finish, but could only achieve third place after the ratings were applied.

Selma Star Beneteau 36.7

Day 2 IRC 1st Place Selma Star

The final day saw the IRC and Cruiser Racers heading for the eastern tip of Verde Island again, but with a run down to Small Tabinay Beach before the finish. The wind and tidal flows favored a direct beat to Verde Island and Karakoa stretched her legs and was about four minutes clear (corrected time) at the mark. However, on the run to Small Tabinay the wind lightened at the front of the fleet and increased at the rear with both Selma Star and Bellatrix closing the gap.

The weather gods then intervened and two thunderstorms, one over Batangas Bay and the other over Calapan, changed the state of the play and caused the winds to swing to the North. Karakoa had tacked well out into the Verde Island Passage and was able to slip around Escarceo Point in a timely fashion while the remainder of the fleet was compelled to tack backwards and out towards Calapan. This resulted in an convincing win for Karakoa well in front of Selma Star and Bellatrix who finished in that order, with Rags once again take the honors in the Racing Cruiser class. The PGYC’s venerable, but sleek, 94-year-old 8-metre yacht Anthea consistently took second place on all three days with Irresistible and Papaya II mixing it up for third place.

Of particular note in Cruiser division was the performance of the Cal 30, Seahawk. Seahawk rounded the Small Tabinay mark just seconds ahead of Karakoa then followed her line to Escarceo Point and, despite her diminutive size (30 vs 53 feet, and ever shorter waterline length), managed to finish the race only 35 minutes behind the winner. If Seahawk ever applied for IRC rating certification she could probably cream the big boats in every race.

Seahawk Cal 30

Seahawk leads Karakoa rounding Small Tabinay Mark

The real entertainment however, remained the final turn and the run along Long Beach to the finish off Haligi Beach. Karakoa finally mastered the predictable gusts out of the Manila Channel and finished with full spinnaker. Hurricane Hunter and Michael Raueber’s Emocean I both demonstrated the need for additional crew training when handling an out of control spinnaker – at one point it looked as though Hurricane Hunter may T-bone the finish-line boat but opted for a very wet spinnaker instead – while Rags and Selma Star showed that caution before the wind was more important than seconds gained in the final moments.

Emocean I Swan 61

Michael Raueber’s Emocean I closing on the finish line

Overall a fantastic three days of racing for the IRC and Cruiser Racers, with Karakoa and Rags establishing their dominance. Seahawk was the victor in the minute Cruiser division as was Kareem Magill’s Soniya in the similarly minute Multihull division. Special mention should also be made of the diminutive 7.92m DIY Wharram-design Magayon II, built and sailed by the Gummert family, for their perseverance and a consistence second place in the multi-hull division.

Wharram 26 Magayan II

Wharram 26 Magayon II competes with Kareem Magill’s Soniya

A Special Thank You to the event sponsors for their continued support: Royal Cargo, Broadwater Marine, Tricom Projects, Semper Green Energy and Wisdom . . . and all of the people who make the regattas in Puerto Galera so much more fun.

If the pandemic remains in abatement then the prospects are very good for the Philippine’s largest yachting event at the end of October – the All Souls Regatta, also in Puerto Galera; mark your calendars for October 30, 2022 !!

A Special Thank You to the Maritime Police and ‘Lost in Asia’

PHP Maritime Police power boat

The PNP Maritime Division team based in Puerto Galera provided their two highspeed pursuit craft for dual use as safety and photography boats. A very special thank you to the crews and team leaders who enabled such excellent cover of the race from the water.

The same team recently answered a mayday call from one of the PGYC yachts. Dany II had lost its engine and was battling a particular aggressive combination of Verde Island Passage winds and currents in five metre seas, which was forcing them steadily west towards Lubang Island. After a long and exhausting overnight struggle during which Dany II had been in radio contact with the yacht club via Colin McLean on Karis a call was put into the Coast Guard and the PNP Maritime team mobilised. They located Dany II at the western entrance to the Verde Island Passage and brought them safely home after a four-hour tow. It is good to know that Puerto Galera now has the facilities for such search and rescue assistance and well done PNP Maritime Division.

Lost In Asia as Committee Boat

Lost In Asia as Race Committee Boat

Another special ‘thankyou’ goes to Peter Baird who generously provided his power yacht ‘Lost in Asia’ to act as the Philippine Sailing Association/PGYC Committee Boat,

Deep-water Marks

deep water marks for yacht racing

The club’s new deep-water marks were used for the first time during the Easter Regatta to enable to IRC and Racer Cruisier windward and leeward races to take place.

In the past the regattas with PGYC regatta courses have been constrained and restricted by our ability to set marks, given the quickly deepening water around Puerto Galera and the Verde Island Passage. Because of this, courses were set around islands and marks were set close to the beaches. This was not always optimal for wind angles or for formal racing formats such as conventional windward-leeward courses.

In preparation for the PGYC Easter Regatta 2022 (PGYC in collaboration with PSA), four deep-water marks were designed and purchased to PGYC and PSA specifications. These were tested by PGYC staff and Racing Committee members in the week prior to the regatta and then further setting training provided by PSA and Jerry Rollin. They were then set out each day and monitored using the ocean RIB sponsored and owned by Royal Cargo. This enabled the regatta to accommodate the IRC racing class division for the first time in the almost 30-year history of PGYC regattas, and also accommodate four different race divisions operating two different courses, start and finish lines. The IRC yachts have raced in the PGYC regattas previously but only in the PGYC pursuit racing format and not as a IRC division. Without the deep-water setting marks this could not have been possible and marks are now able to be set to a depth of 200 metres.

The deep-water setting mark systems were generously sponsored by Tricom Projects Inc., and manufactured by long-standing PGYC regatta sponsor Broadwater Marine Inc.

Six-Pack Series Race #3

Another glorious day out on the water for Race #3 of the Six-Pack Race Series on April 09. After the Skipper’s Briefing and lunch at the Clubhouse … well, more the odd chat from the barstools about the afternoon’s racing, Cape North, Irresistible, Camille and Columbus headed off in staggered-pursuit formation. Apologies from Seahawk due to the celebration of a wedding anniversary that day (forgotten or overlooked perhaps?).

The sun shining with 16-18knts of breeze, gusting up to 22knts (apparent) at one point, and the seas were calm. It was a great afternoon’s sailing and a very useful shake-down for the Easter Regatta the following week. Everyone was back to the clubhouse in time for BBQ night, which enjoyed a solid turnout.
Columbus took line honors and first place exactly one minute ahead of Irresistible.
Unfortunately, Cape North and Camille ventured out into the Verde Island Passage’s tidal current and opted for a DNF.

Race #4 of the ‘Six-Pack Race Series’ scheduled for Saturday, 7th May 2022.

Six Pack Race 4 course

Mindoro Four Islands Race 2023 UPDATE

Four Islands Race Philippines

The feedback from the survey among the recent PGYC Easter Regatta participants for the ‘Four Islands Race 2023’ was very positive. A number of boats suggesting that a two-three day stopover in Boracay for inshore racing should be included in the race program to provide an R&R respite from what will be a gruelling 600 nautical mile race if raced non-stop, and provide publicity and PR opportunities for media and sponsors.

The Club’s New Menu

PGYC Club Menu

We wrote about the new Clubhouse Menu in the last edition of the PGYC News, but a lot of thought, work and taste testing has gone into fine turning it. Coming to you in early May.


Last year the club subscribed to the Oriental Mindoro Emergency Services (ORMEMS) paramedic and ambulance services based in Puerto Galera. Founded and operated by Klaus Huber an ex-Austrian military paramedic residing in Puerto Galera ORMEMS provides emergency medical care and transport to Puerto Galera subscribers and now to PGYC members who need assistance while on the premises or engaged in club activities. ORMEMS staff are on standby at the club for every major event and regatta.