The Philippine Hobie Challenge was first conceived in 1999 when a small group of international sailors envisioned an extreme sailing event that would take them to the many beautiful islands dotting the Philippine archipelago. They planned a 5 day rally in which teams would sail a Hobie16 beach catamaran accross the open sea by day and camp in rustic, often uninhabited islands by nightfall. Thus the Challenge had its modest start in March 2000 with only 5 regional teams making the 200nautical mile (400km) passage from Lucena, Quezon to Boracay. Michael Scantlebury, one of the conceptualizers of the event took the honors of winning the very first Philippine Hobie Challenge. The successful inaugural event proved the notion that the Hobie16 was rugged enough to survive long distance racing through long straights and passages that are normally traversed only by bigger boats.
Now on its 12th year, the Philippine Hobie Challenge has seen action all around Luzon, Palawan, the Visayas and Mindanao. It has traversed the San Bernardino Straight, Calavite Passage, the Bohol Sea and the Sulu Sea. The Philippine Hobie Challenge is organized by the Philippine Inter-island Sailing Foundation or PHINSAF which is a non-profit organization composed of local and international sailors who want to promote the sport of sailing and establish the Philippines firmly in the Asian sailing calendar. We believe the Philippines is a unique sailing destination because of its beautiful islands and beaches, interesting topography and rich bio-diversity. We aim to spotlight these attributes to Filipinos and the world by sailing to ever more distant and challenging destinations and sharing our stories.