Image courtesy Asiapix
Ever since the Puerto Galera Yacht Club was founded, in 1991, there has been an Easter Regatta held every year whereas the America’s Cup is only held once the current America’s Cup holder has deigned to offer it up for competition.
The PGYC Easter Regatta is unique in that it actually extols the virtues of the sport of sailing and leaves hundreds of sailors and as many spectators wishing the America’s Cup could be so friendly and civilised. Unlike the America’s Cup, where every recent event has featured lengthy and costly court cases, the Puerto Galera Yacht Club Easter Regatta in 2010 will be no different from last year except it will mark the event’s 20th anniversary,making it even more fun.
Also unlike the America’s Cup (where 3-foot waves can cause races to be canceled), in Puerto Galera the waves can be any size and the only criteria for the wind is that it is not zero or typhoon strength – if typhoon strength the Philippine Coast Guard will not let the races start. The PGYC Easter Regatta is real sailboat racing, across real waves, with real men & women having real fun in the sun, on the water and especially at the post-race parties.
Typical wind for an Easter Regatta: 8 – 18 knots – there has never been a zero-knots day and there has never been a typhoon. Typical weather for the Easter Regatta: mostly clear skies, with a little afternoon cloud build-up and the occasional refreshing shower overnight.
The PGYC Easter Regatta differs from the America’s Cup in another significant way. The Puerto Galera Yacht Club Easter Regatta has always allowed multi-hulls to join in the fun. What started as a racing event for cruising sailboats has now turned into and event for all cruising and racing sailboats (mono-hulls and multi-hulls), each competing for the overall trophy but with daily sponsored competitions, plus sailboat racing-class distinctions, so that almost every sailboat can usually win a prize for something . . . even if it is an ad-hoc prize for most consistent in last place or for the yacht with the most bikinis aboard or whatever the race committee observes most noteworthy on the day.
Finally, whereas aggression & passion runs high at the start of each America’s Cup race, with protests fluttering at every opportunity, raising red flags & red faces before the sailboats have even crossed the race start-line, the start of a PGYC Easter Regatta is awfully civilised. Each sailboat is provided a staggered-start-time calculated to bring it together with all of the other competing sailboats for a dramatic finish, thus usually avoiding all but the most ardent protester’s determination to defeat the fun by fiat. To illustrate the point, the photograph that accompanies this news item was taken in Puerto Galera, in 2009, after 17-miles of racing, just 300 meters from the finish line. Perhaps the greatest advantage Puerto Galera Yacht Club have found from using their unique staggered-start-time system is that almost all the sailboats arrive back together, so the after-race party can start earlier and go on much later.
If you are interested in the sport of sailing and want to rub shoulders with like minded people or if you want to enter you sailboat to race or if you just want to be crew, then come to Puerto Galera 2nd – 4th April, 2010 and attend the skipper’s briefing at 08.00 each morning at the Puerto Galera Yacht Club.
Puerto Galera Yacht Club racing events are like the America’s Cup without the delays or the legal costs.
Note: the Puerto Galera Yacht Club is very close to the ferry landing in Muelle Bay; if you choose a ferry to Sabang Beach or White Beach then you will have a 20-minute tricycle ride to reach the Puerto Galera Yacht Club.
Muelle Bay Puerto Galera webcam