Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Subic Centennial to defend title in President's Cup

President's Cup preview
Boracay is a fantastic tropical island getaway surrounded by crystal clear blue water with a breath-taking stretch of powdery white sandy beach to enjoy all forms of water sports, including the President’s Cup which gets underway, Thursday February 19.

Race headquarters is at the spacious Sea Wind Resort which has a bar and pool fronting onto the main beach and caters for exquisite groups of people.

Two days ago a wedding was conducted on the beach, with the reception held in a marquee specially erected for the occasion. Anything can be organised here, as resort staff seem to take pleasing everyone in their stride.

Favourites racing for the 17th President's Cup include Neil Pryde's Welbourn 52 Hi Fi. The crew has been in devastating form lately and is joining the racing class in Borocay, further bolstering the 50ft plus racers. They will set the precedent for others to gauge themselves by.

After disruptions to the usually strong weather pattern, things are starting to return to normal. This will also become a determining factor in the results – will it suit the big boats or will it become a small boat regatta?

Courses are a mixture of passage races around neighboring islands, and windward/leeward races that will be chosen each day, according to wind conditions.

After winning the Boracay Race, Bill Bremner and Andy Cocks’ TP52 Foxy Lady IV are riding on cloud nine and hope to carry on their success into the President's Cup.

Frank Pong's R/P75 Jelik won here last time quite convincingly, when the breeze consistently stayed around the 20 knot mark. If light conditions prevail, Ray Ordoveza expects his Excel 53 Karakoa to be in the thick of things, and defending President's Cup champion, Ernesto Echauz's Sydney 46 Subic Centennial, cannot be discounted.

The Cruiser/Racer class has Peter Killip's chartered BH36 Sandaway, Alan Burrell's Farr 1104 Rags and after missing the Boracay Race, Roland Buser's Sydney 38 Stella joining in, to make it a solid 12 entrants competing this year.

George Hackett's J-35 Team Windshear Rudy Project is the defending champion from Subic Bay. Hackett will have to adopt a new strategy to hold onto his title if the wind picks up.

After being left at the cab rank during the Boracay race, Jun Avecilla with his Beneteau First 36.7, Selma Star, are looking to rebound over the short courses where performance takes precedent over luck.

Some boats chose to join the racing class during the Boracay race, but as they drop down to the racer/cruiser class for the Cup, they have ruled themselves out of the combined class trophy.

Having the benefit of racing here last time Jonathan Mahony's Mumm 30 Happy Endings from Singapore is back by popular demand and will be one to watch. Most boats in this class fall within the 35 to 40 foot range and exceptionally close racing is expected with several past President's Cup and Boracay Race champions amongst the entry list.

At 45ft, Martin Tranco's X 452 Challenge is the exception, and after winning the Boracay race is on a roll. Second placed Paul Bankowski's Kerr 11.3, Jaywalker, is down from Hong Kong and capable of a big performance.

The PY class is losing Slalom Blade, but gaining David Wheeler's Freewheeler from the UK, and Jelle Mann's Saipin into the fold. They will have to get up to speed quickly, as David Mc Kenna's Sun Odyssey 42, Raparee XXX, and Capt Rainer Blum's Celestial 49, China Rose, have had the benefit of racing in light winds for the last sixty four hours.

Further information: http://asianyachting.com/news/BoracayPC09/4.htm

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