PGYC News February 2022

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Chinese New Year Race 2022

Chinese New Year Race 2022

Tuesday, February 1, 2022, saw 11 entries signed up for the PGYC’s two-day Chinese New Year Regatta (CNYR 2022), which also incorporated the delayed Christmas Regatta, but with only nine crossing the start line on Day 1. These were Tayana Lady, Karis, Columbus, Seahawk, Cape North, Irresistible, Dany II, Rags and Sandoway.

This was the first PGYC race to use the new Gang Start format recently adopted by the PGYC Sailing Committee. The fleet got away in two waves at 11am and 11.10am with following Easterly winds blowing at 20 -25 knots, rounding the mouth of the Manila Channel to reach across the Verde lsland Passage to Chicken Feather before heading back to the finish line off Haligi Beach. Rough seas and a strong current didn’t impede a swift crossing for most of the fleet and Karis took line honours with a corrected time of 2.24.54. Sandoway was close behind with a time of 2.29.45, followed by Columbus at 2.30.36.

Day 2* saw the fleet reduced to six yachts due to gear and crew issues with Sandoway and Rags consolidating their crew onto Rags. The fleet set off to the single virtual waypoint off the northern tip of Verde Island into gusting Easterlies, occasionally swinging to the Northeast, at 8 to 18 knots. Current and winds proved something of a challenge, but Karis once again was more than up to it finishing in 2.45.26 with Columbus hot on their heels finishing at 2.46.54 and Rags close behind at 2.56.43, setting the line-up for the overall results with karis taking first overall and the PGYC’s CNYR Trophy, Columbus second overall and Rags in third place overall

Overall Winner Karis

It was wonderful couple of days and it was great to see the Club ‘jovially buzzing’ each day. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and appreciated the relatively informal nature of the new ‘fun’ format. Many thanks to the sponsors, Bill Lutt, Colin Mclean and Tricom, who enabled the Club to host this regatta at virtually no direct cost to the members.

* The second day of the CNY also heralded the first race in the new ‘6-Pack Racing Series’ consisting of six monthly races, the remaining five to be held on the afternoon of the first Saturday of each new month. Please see following article ‘6-Pack Racing Series’.

6-Pack Racing Series

This exciting new series was launched as part of the Chinese New Year Race 2022, with Day 2 of the CNYR 2022 constituting the first race of that new series. The races will be held monthly for a total of six races and at the end of the series each yacht owner selects their four best races for inclusion in the overall rankings. This also allows participating boat owners to skip a race or two if they have conflicts of schedules.

For each monthly race, a free six-pack of beer will be provided to each participating yacht, with place prizes and overall winner trophy at the end of each series.

Mindoro Four Islands Race

Four Islands Race

The PGYC Sailing Committee plans to add a third premier racing event to PGYC’s annual regatta calendar. The Sailing Committee is presently in the process of doing advanced market and feasibility study for a race that would circumnavigate Mindoro Island, rounding the four outlying islands of Marinduque, Tablas, the Busuanga Group and Lubang, with the Start and Finish in Puerto Galera.

The current plan is to launch this premier non-stop race in 2023 at a date to be decided, subject to market feasibility, final Board approval and COVID protocols at that time.

This event would target the serious sail-racing communities in the Philippines and Southeast Asia and promises to provide a challenging 500 nautical mile race for experienced racing crews. The various Coast Guard stations along-route would also be engaged for their assistance during the race and it is also planned to have a power yacht or Coast Guard vessel to accompany the race as safety and rescue boat.

A separate event for cruising yachts to be held at the same time is also currently in the early planning stages. Watch this space for further updates!

Setting Deep Marks

Due to relatively deep waters surrounding Puerto Galera regatta courses, notably for the racing class, have been somewhat restricted to round specific Islands and shore-sides where shallow water can be found to set marks.

That does not always enable the classic ‘3-points of sailing’ for all courses to be set. To correct this, the Sailing Committee is looking to purchase a deep-water winch system (to enable the setting of deep marks of 100 meters plus, so that more traditional and flexible racing courses can be facilitated, subject to Club funding and/or sponsorship.

Fun Sail Group

PGYC Fun Sail Group logo

The Fun Sail Group has been organising weekly sailing excursions to surrounding beaches and islands over the past 12 months. Originally an attempt to relieve the boredom of Pandemic Lockdown and provide a COVID-19 safe activity for members, family and friends, as well as get the boats off their mornings and shake the folds out of the sails, these weekly excursions have proved to be very popular with as many of our local yachts participating on a regular basis.

Activities have included mini overnight rallies to Mariciban Island and Anilao, ‘Mother and Children’ days on the water, swimming, snorkelling, paddle-boarding, Beach BBQ’s and diving expeditions aboard Columbus and coordinated by the Tamaraw Resort’s EACY Dive Shop to Maricaban and Verde lslands, as well as off-shore raft-ups and onboard BBQ’s.

Members and non-members alike are welcome to join in these weekly activities with a view to promoting the PGYC outside of the current membership base. Thank you, John and Colin for planning and organising this new fun and popular Club activity.

Verde Island Dive Expedition

Verde Island Dive Expedition February 2022

The Tamaraw Resort’s EACY Dive Shop took command of Columbus once again recently for a fabulous day of diving across at Verde Island, compete with BBQ aboard. The weather gods were kind with champagne conditions.

Columbus‘ full time boat crew, Tabo & Jerick, ran the boat with Stephan, the dive shop’s owner and instructor, his wife Karl, Divemaster, Louren, Divemaster, Freeda, Advanced-diver and past commodore Jurgen’s wife and Cherry aboard for the diving. They enjoyed two dives in the day with the usual Verde challenges of lots of current and down-currents.

Turtle Verde Island Dive Expedition February 2022

Incidentally, Tabo, Jerick, Louren and Freeda coming back to from collecting the dive gear from the dive shop at Tamaraw Resort aboard Columbus the afternoon before, received and urgent call from assistance from Cape North. They had significant water ingress from a probable stuffing box and/or cutlass bearing failure with water nearly up to the floorboards. Jurgen and a friend had been struggling to contain the water for more than three hours, and at the same time trying to get the boat back to its mooring from Balatero.

Columbus found them at the entrance to the Manila Channel and was able to stand by while organising her service-rescue tender and the Club’s Service Boat to assist by push-pulling Cape North back into port and to her mooring. It all ended well, and of course we all will render aid-assistance and help one another out on the high seas…but also a reminder to us all to ensure the seaworthy condition of vessel, solid communications, with good gear and kit aboard (ditch & hull-breach kits etc) and safeties in order (flares and signalling mirrors etc).

The Mangrove Walk

The Municipality have now completed the 300-meter concrete walkway that follows the protected mangrove ecosystem located either side of the PGYC jetty as part of the renovation and upgrade of the Muelle Pier and local tourist attractions. It also enables direct access to the Club from the pier by ways of a short walk to where the Mangrove Walk crosses the Club jetty, by day or night. This makes the Club much more accessible for members and visitors alike…. Thank you, Mayor Rocky!

New Wine list and More

Greetings from the Puerto Galera Yacht Club Restaurant. 2022 unveils a new wine list, food and drinks menus. The new Board has decided to give the Club a newer, “snappy casual” look for the dining area, a revitalization of the food menu and upgrades to the wine list while maintaining our popular favourite dishes and house reds and whites.

We will also be providing comfortable seating in the lounge and TV area, an expanded sports TV programme, non-evasive background music and special promotions including “Twenty Percent Tuesdays” and “Sports Saturday and Sunday”. Further details to be unveiled following the February Board meeting. Stay Tuned!

Small Boat Program

The PGYC is gearing up to re-launch its very successful Small Boat Program (SBP) as soon as the Level 3 alert is lifted. The first stage will be to get vaccinated over 12-year-olds back on the water.

The SBP is focused on training the local youth to learn to sail and become competitive professional sailors should they chose to follow that career path. Youth groups and schools from Manila and Hong Kong have also regularly participated in special SBP tailored for their particular needs pre-COVID. The program will be 18 years old this year and more than 400 youngsters have participated in the SBP to date with the best of our young sailors competing in regattas in Subic Bay, Puerto Princesa and Manila, including the National Games. Two SBP graduates sailed with the Philippines National Team in Malaysia and PGYC SBP crews participated and placed in the World’s Mirror Championships in Ireland and Australia.

The Club is seeking a Principal SBP Sponsor* to support the program with a donation of PhP1M over the next five years and a Sailing Coach ASAP. If a Principal Sponsor steps forward the Club would also be looking to hire a qualified full-time Instructor.

Interested Parties please contact Peter Stevens at

* Special thanks to Hyde Sails for continued sail sponsorship, The Hong Kong Round Table for financial support and the various individual SBP individual sponsors.

Book Review: The Tale of Bill, The Butterfly Fish

Bill The Butterfly Fish book review

A delightfully written and illustrated children’s book self-published and written by Puerto Galera’s own 14-year-old Dexter Enriquez. It tells the story of Bill the butterfly fish, a marine resident of Puerto Galera, who learned many valuable lessons about life and his watery world.

The book will inspire the young as well as the young at heart to become stewards of the marine environment and of the delicate world we live in. This piece of work is overflowing with both imagination and science, and is an exemplary contribution towards empowering our next generation.

Dexter is the winner of First Place in both the Science Odyssey of the Mind and Science Word Factory and Third Place in the Science Journalism categories of the National Children’s Science Congress 2016. His book has been added to the Puerto Galera Department of Education as reference material for the teaching of Science and Dexter has received a Certificate of Recognition for his work. He was also invited to speak at the USC Department of Biology Alumni Webinar Series in 2021.

This is a wonderful and educational gift of for young kids and features a glowing foreword by Miguel D. Fortes, PhD, Professor at the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (Ret.).

It is available from Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback editions:
The Tale of Bill, The Butterfly Fish on Amazon