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18 January 2005, 09:29 am
Challenge Launches in Malapascua
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Philippine Hobie 16 Challenge 6
Philippines

Unspoiled divers' destination Malapascua Island at the Northern tip of Cebu will serve as the kick-off point for 'the country's extreme sailing event,' as the 6th Smart Infinity Philippine Hobie Challenge unfolds from January 23 to 29, 2005.
The Hobie Challenge is a week-long inter-island regatta involving the Hobie 16, one of the world's most popular catamaran designs. Different routes are chosen every year, in line with the objective of organizer Philippine Hobie Challenge Foundation's objective to promote sailing within the country's different island destinations.

From Malapascua, competing teams will then proceed to the following islands within the week: Calangaman Island at the Camotes Seas, Cuatro Island just off the Western Leyte coast, Anda Beach on the southeast corner of Bohol, Camiguin Island in Mindanao and then finally, to breathtaking Panglao. All in all, an estimated distance of 215 nautical miles of open sea racing is expected to be covered in the regatta.

According to Philippine Hobie Challenge Foundation Chairman Mark Andrew HASWELL, a total of thirty teams have confirmed their entries, making this year's Challenge a record-breaker in the event's history, so far. Out of this field, 19 teams are flying in from other countries: Thailand, Hong Kong, the USA, Australia, Canada, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Denmark, Papua New Guinea and the Northern Marianas Islands. Foreign participants include previous Challenge placers David HARRIS, Krishan GEORGE, Andrew LOCKE, Tony STEARNS and Janet McCULLOUGH and Hobie Asian Classic veterans Gary BAGULEY, Hamish McNICOL, Ross JOLIFFE and Antony CHAPMAN, as well as Hong Kong Hobie Club Commodore Nigel HARRIS.

Top local Hobie 16 sailors Charlie CLEMENT, Eric TOMACRUZ, Raul BULAONG, Jun VILLANUEVA and Nestor SORIANO are expected to put a good race against the foreign entries. Participating for the first time is 1992 Olympian John TORRES, teaming up with Challenge sophomore Louie RACELIS.

Principal Race Officer Jeremy ROLLINGsays that with the number of teams and sailors joining this year, all support and security machinery safety and security measures were stepped up to ensure that all teams arrive at each leg and each destination safely.

Event Media (As Amended by ISAF)
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