Sometime late 1999, a small group of international Hobie 16 catamaran sailors envisioned an extreme sailing event that will take them to different islands in the Philippines; six days in the open seas and camping in rustic areas. Thus, the Philippine Hobie Challenge had its relatively modest start in March 2000 with five (5) regional teams making the 190 nautical-mile passage from Lucena, Quezon down to Boracay. Michael Scantlebury, who was in the group that conceptualized the event, eventually took the honours of winning the first Challenge.
Dreaming the Impossible
The highly successful inaugural event proved the concept of long distance racing in Hobie 16 catamarans to be workable and the Challenge had its repeat in March 2001. This time, entries had more than doubled to twelve (12), including teams flying in from HK, Australia and Europe. Using experience gained during the first event, the organizers scheduled a 5-race inshore series and the Challenge series with 5 consecutive daily passages, taking the teams 154 nautical miles from the Batangas resort of Maya-Maya down to Maricaban Bay in Northern Palawan. The team from Down Under, Andrew Keag and Naomi Angwin, bested the rest of the fleet to win the 2nd Philippine Hobie Challenge. In 2001, the Challenge went Northwest, taking fifteen (15) teams from Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur down to Subic Bay, Zambales. Blood Red, the team of Chris Steilberg, Dave Harris and Krishan George took honors in this 230 nautical mile race.
In 2003 the offshore Challenge series started from the whale shark capital of the Philippines, Donsol, and ended down in Cebu. Peter Davies, with David Harris, finished first, and with 1 win at Donsol and 2 in Alegre, Haswell and Heider made up for their relatively poor offshore performance by garnering a first in the Inshore series
2004 marked the 5th Hobie Challenge one of the best challenges ever, taking the sailors from the icing sugar sands of Boracay all the way across to Palawan. This marked the largest fleet of Hobies yet - 27 teams from all over the globe. This trip included a visit to Amanpulo and even an African style safari on Calauit Island.
A great success
cemented into the Hobie Sailing schedules, organizers of The Philippine
Challenge are pointing their sails towards a route from Malapascua,
and ending at historic Cebu. Set on promoting sailing as a means to see
and adventure tourism destination that is the Philippines, they can only
another superb event.
Indeed, the Philippine Hobie Challenge is fast growing to be one of the most exciting and anticipated sailing events in Southeast Asia.
Philippine Hobie Challenge Foundation
The Philippine Hobie Challenge Foundation (PHCF) is a non-stock, non-profit corporation ran by a group of catamaran sailors, all bound by their love of the sport of sailing.