14th Philippine Hobie Challenge Puts the Spotlight Back in the Visayas

written on April 25, 2014, under News and Updates

The Philippine Hobie Challenge has once again tested top international and local sailors in its recently concluded 14th edition, held in Cebu, Negros, Guimaras and Iloilo. It was a grueling five days of inter-island races, and two days of inshore races for 20 two-person teams on Hobie 16 catamarans.

At the top surfaced the tandem of Bob Engwirda and Brad Wilson, who added the 14th PHC to their long list of previous PHC Championships. Engwirda and Wilson won all of the five offshore legs as well as the inshore races to beat fellow Australians Bruce Tardrew and Sarah Turnbull, who came in second. Fiji’s Grahame Southwick and Sharon Rayner finished third.

Rayomarine’s Monchu Garcia and his daughter Bianca emerged as the top Filipino team at fourth place, followed by Cherry Mobile’s Mike Ngu and Lindo Pahayahay at fifth place.

Blood Red Inshore Races

The Challenge warmed up with inshore races off the coasts of Malapascua and Bantayan Islands. After two separate days of racing hosted by official outfitter Blood Red, the team of Bob Engwirda, Carla Kramer, and Brad Wilson grabbed first place while the Australian-Filipino tandem of Andrew Locke and Eric Tomacruz got second place. Mike Ngu and Lindo Pahayahay got third place.

AboitizPower Leg- Malapascua to Bantayan Islands

The first island-crossing race was blessed with beautiful weather, and enabled Engwirda and Wilson to be the first team to be welcomed by Santa Fe, Bantayan’s sandy-bottom aquamarine beach. They were followed by the close race between Tardrew and Southwick, who finished second and third respectively.

Nautica Leg- Bantayan to Gigantes Islands

Bruce Tardrew chased Bob Engwirda again in the race to Gigantes Islands in Northern Iloilo. Engwirda pulled away by several minutes to win first place, as Tardrew arrived second, with Andrew Locke following him at third.

Regatta Leg- Gigantes Islands to Lakawon Island, Negros

Averaging eight hours of sailing south from Gigantes to Lakawon Island just off Cadiz City, the Regatta Leg is the longest leg in the Challenge. The podium finishers line-up changed slightly as Monchu Garcia clocked in at 8:00:09 to snag third place, with Botswana sailors Andrew and Sue Walker beating them by a hairline at 8:00:06 to win second place. Bob Engwirda arrived ahead of the pack at 7:29:09 to remain at first place.

Potato Corner Leg- Lakawon to Inampulugan Island, Guimaras

The next day had the sailors racing down Guimaras strait’s ten-foot waves. Mike Ngu and Grahame Southwicke raced closely and arrived only a couple of minutes after the other to snag third place and second place respectively. Engwirda beat Southwick by six minutes and twenty-six seconds, remaining unmoved at first place.

Hobie Australasia and Rayomarine Leg- Guimaras to Oton, Iloilo

The fleet had to travel south of Guimaras Island and back up to Iloilo in harsh conditions—up to 35-knot winds—for the big finish. Engwirda and Wilson wrapped up their winning streak with a big red bow as they arrive first on the safety of shore in Iloilo. Andrew Locke recovered from boat damage in the previous leg to come in at second. Albert Altura and Philippine Sailing Team’s Joel Mejarito posted their best time in the series to sneak in at third.

Competitors from the Netherlands, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Spain, Portugal, the UK, New Zealand, Australia and the Philippines all also proved triumphant in finishing the extreme course, which was tracked online by GPS provider WRU.ph.

In addition to battling the winds and waves, PHC sailors also got the chance to explore some of the best islands of the country and conduct outreach programs in Yolanda-stricken seaside communities. The PHC organizers, and partners Stiftung Solarenergie and REEF donated solar lamps, educational and medical supplies to selected schools and communities in the various pit stops.

The Philippine Hobie Challenge is the flagship event of the Philippine Inter-Island Sailing Foundation (PHINSAF), a non-profit dedicated to the promotion of sailing for sports and tourism. The Philippine Hobie Challenge is sponsored by sponsored Aboitiz Power, Nautica, Regatta, Potato Corner, Hobie Australasia, Rayomarine, Blood Red, Toyota Pasig, Taal Lake Yacht Club, Health Care Advantage Training Institute, WRU, Stiftung Solarenergie, REEF and Headware.

Philippine Hobie Challenge 14 Outreach for Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda Victims

written on November 14, 2013, under News and Updates

Super Typhoon Haiyan struck the path of the Philippine Hobie Challenge route last Friday. Malapascua, Bantayan Island, Gigantes Islands, Lakawon Island, Guimaras, and Iloilo were all in her path. Many people have lost almost everything. It is because of this that the PHC organizers have  decided to push through with the event as planned, following its original route.

We believe that the direct business, outreach, and promotion that the event will bring to the local communities will greatly benefit the people of the islands as they recover from losing practically everything they own. Our partner resorts assure us that they will be fully operational by March 2014, and the event will greatly help their business.

The Outreach Program of the Challenge, which has been a special part of the race for several years, will have the unique opportunity to reach the remote islands where aid is hard to reach. We will be distributing solar power lamps, educational, and medical supplies.

If you would like to donate to the Outreach Program, you may follow this link, http://www.hobiechallenge.ph/14/outreach/ and click on the PayPal DONATE button. If you are joining the race you may also wish to bring your own relief goods with you for distribution. Bear in mind these communities will need a lot of help as the initial aid they may have received may have dwindled by then. Please donate generously and spread the word to friends.

Let’s make a difference firsthand in the areas that were wiped out in the storm.


The Organizing Committee,
14th Philippine Hobie Challenge

PHC13 Documentary will be on Living Asia Channel!

written on July 12, 2013, under News and Updates

The PHC13 Documentary, shot by Go Yachting, will be aired by Living Asia Channel

on Sundays 8pm, beginning Sept. 29.

Click here to watch the teaser: PHC13 Teaser on Living Asia

PHC 13 Video

written on July 12, 2013, under News and Updates

As we invite sailors to the Philippine Hobie Challenge 2014, we would like to share this short film on the PHC 13! Just please note that no two PHCs are the same, and next year is poised to be even more adventurous as you sail to islands that are still relatively undiscovered by tourists!

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