With northeast winds ranging from 20 to 35 knots and a record of 45 entries in six classes, the 13th Punta Fuego Regatta held at Club Punta Fuego, Nasugbu last January 24-25, proved challenging despite the omission of its traditional Fortune Island Race due to safety reasons.
The Punta Fuego regatta is the first major regatta in the Philippine sailing calendar, preceding the Subic-Boracay Race and the Boracay Cup, and one of its much-awaited parts is the said 14 nm Fortune Island race.
Due to the record number of 17 Hobie 16s and Getaways that signed up for the race alongside 17 Dinghies and 11 Keelboats and Multihulls, International Race Officer Jerry Rollin instead sent the fleet to race the same distance north and south along the picturesque Batangas coast rounding several islands for the morning race.
A lunch prepared at Terrazas de Punta Fuego, a seaside beach destination 3 nautical miles away from the Punta Fuego Yacht Club, revitalised the sailors from the morning’s draining race. A windward leeward for some and a race back to PFYC completed the racing for the first day.
Jude Echauz’s TP’52, Centennial 3 and Martin Tanco’s Sydney 46, Centennial 2 battled to take the top two positions respectively in the keel boat class, while Mike Ngu and Boyet Magsanay took the top position in the Hobie 16 class despite capsizing several times to win the gruelling first race.
The second day of racing saw the winds drop 10 knots to a respectable 20 knots and after a difficult race the previous day, a combination of windward leewards and island passage races completed the perfect weekend of racing for all classes.
Highlight of the regatta was the first time participation of 5 ocean catamarans between 40ft-50ft with most reaching record speeds for their skippers.
Robin Wyatt’s Lagoon 500, Double Trouble, took home 3 bullets to win the multihull class. As is the first day, Ernesto Echauz continued with a perfect score to win the keel boat class with Mike Ngu and Boyet Magsanay taking the Hobie 16 class win, both adding their names on the perpetual trophy of the13th edition of the Punta Fuego Regatta.
1. Ernesto Echauz- Centennial 3
2. Martin Tanco- Centennial 2
3. David Wheeler- Freewheeler
1. Mike Ngu / Boyet Magsanay
2. Maria Hagedorn / Joey Hagedorn
3. Denise Cruz / Arnel Ornales
1. Eddie Legarda / Edwin Lucero
2. Jojo Silverio / Santi Picornell
3. Philip Hagedorn / Cons Castaneda
1. Harry Kim Lumapas- Laser
2. Roel Batlagan- Laser
3. Edgar Villapana / Jeanson Lumapas- 420
1. John Parales
2. Morris Madlos
3. Daven Balanque