PHILIPPINE SPORTS: Blackberry 12th PHILIPPINE HOBIE CHALLENGE sailing to Palawan in March 2012


WHEN IN MANILA and looking for something fun to do, join PHINSAF as they sail through the Blackberry 12th Philippine Hobie Challenge.


The Philippine Inter-island Sailing Foundation (PHINSAF) is a non-profit organization composed of local sailors who has made it its mission to promote the beauty of the Philippines through the  sport of sailing for over 12 years now. They aim to spotlight the beauty of the Philippines to Filipinos and the world by sailing to even more distant and challenging destinations and sharing their stories. This March 10-17, the sailors of the Philippine Hobie Challenge get the privilege of exploring the undiscovered islands of Palawan, Philippines by sailing through the beautiful islands of Manligad, Malcapuya and Pangaraycayan, which are found in Northern Palawan. “These places are remote and often impassable by any other means of transportation aside from the hobie cat.”



Safety is always a priority for PHINSAF and since The Philippine Hobie Challenge is the most extreme race in Asia, they teamed up with Lifeline Ambulance Rescue. Lifeline is the first and only dedicated “Emergency Quick Response” (EQR) service in the Philippines. They will be managing all emergency cases of this year’s Hobie Challenge, sending registered nurses together with the team and will be providing helicopters on standby in Manila.


Michael H. Deakin (Managing Director of Lifeline Ambulance Rescue, Inc.)



Why PHINSAF chose Palawan for the 12th Hobie Challenge: because “Palawan boasts a wide array of geological and bio-diverse wonders. From white sand beaches to colorful coral reefs, Palawan is the seafarer’s Mecca.”

“We consider Palawan to be  one of the most rewarding outdoor-sports destinations not just in the Philippines, but in all of Southeast Asia.” – Lonely Planet (2006)

“SE Asia’s best island destination (2007). One of the top 20 travel destinations in the world (2011).” – Nat Geo Traveler Magazine  




The Philippine Hobie Challenge was first conceived when a small group of international sailors envisioned an extreme sailing event that would take them across open seas in a 5 day rally filled with tough sea conditions during the Amihan season. This year, the  Blackberry 12th Philippine Hobie Challenge, the country’s premiere extreme sailing event has secured 19 teams composed of local and international sailors including current World Champion Mick Butler (Australia).”  

The eco-adventure begins on March 10 and ends on March 17, sailing through five islands in northern Palawan:




Day 1 (Leg 1 sponsored by Parakito) – The sailors will circumnavigate Coron island.


Day 2 (Leg 2 sponsored by Blood Red) – The fleet will then head southward towards Malcapuya, Sangat and Ariaya island. 


Day 3 (Leg 3 sponsored by Mobile 1) – They will cross the dreaded dangerous passage of Linapacan straight, which is the mouth to the South China Sea, towards Manligad Island and then head to the splendid Ariara Resort.  


Day 4 (Leg 4 sponsored by Otter Box) – They will go to Pangaraycayan Island near the northeast tip of the Palawan mainland. 


Day 5 (Leg 5 sponsored by Aboitiz Power) – They will round the head of Palawan westwards towards Miniloc island where they will finish in the famous El Nido Resort in the northwest of Palawan. 


IN-SHORES:  Day 6 (sponsored by Shell and Malampaya) – They will go to Bacuit Bay (El Nido Town)




The Philippine Hobie Challenge is not just about racing.  In every place they visit, they will also seek out the poor and the unreachable by meeting with local barangays while PHINSAF give back to the local fishing communities that host the sailors. “The fisherfolk guard the sailors’ camp at night, replenish provisions and impart indispensable knowledge about the tides, anchorage and wind direction.” PHINSAF have also been carrying out Outreach programs, offering medical support to the communities; and, school supplies, clothes and toothbrushes to the children.  


Chinie Canivel (Program Director of Solar Energy Foundation)


This year’s challenge is even more meaningful as PHINSAF teams up with the Solar Energy Foundation (Stiftung Solarenergie). The “Sail for Light” campaign aims to distribute up to 250 free solar home systems to light up communities of Coron, Culion and El Nido at night. “We believe the Philippine Hobie Challenge will play an important role in helping our organization create awareness around solar energy as an alternative means to provide light for off-the-grid communities at night,” said Chinie Canivel. “This way, students can do their homework and parents can continue productive work without using expensive generators running on fuel.” The Solar lamp can run up to at least 200 hours at low light. With this, households can save Php 4,000  in cash annually. It also has a USB cable with 8 adapters to be used as a charger for the most common mobile phones, improving connectivity on the remote islands. 



Philippine Inter-island Sailing Foundation (PHINSAF) Sailors:


“Sailing can be the next ‘diving’  in the Philippines.”  – Monchu Garcia

(Filipino Sailor; Chairman of PHINSAF; President of Orient Freight)


Roman Vellguth Azanza III

(Filipino Sailor; Co-chairman of the 12th Philippine Hobie Challenge; Treasurer of PHINSAF)



Rex Puentespina (Filipino Sailor; Co-chairman of the 12th Philippine Hobie Challenge)



Carla Kramer (Filipino Sailor; Outreach Coordinator for Blackberry 12th Philippine Hobie Challenge)


“(On racing) It’s all about the incredible and once in a lifetime experience.”

(referring to seeing whales and sailing alongside with them) – David Azanza (Filipino Sailor)


WHEN IN MANILA, head to Taal Lake Yacht Club and learn how to sail with PHINSAF. Who knows?! Maybe you can join the 13th Philippine Hobie challenge 🙂


For more information on the BlackBerry 12th Philippine Hobie Challenge:


Twitter: @PhilHobie

Costs (all-inclusive):

Locals – Php 100,000 / pax

Foreigners – USD 2,200 – 2,500 / pax


 PHINSAF – Philippine Inter-island Sailing Foundation Inc.



Taal Lake Yacht Club (TLYC)


By the way, TLYC provides sailing lessons for adults and kids as young as 9 years old. 


Lifeline Ambulance Rescue, Inc



WhenInManila photos by JoTan23


PHILIPPINE SPORTS: Blackberry 12th HOBIE CHALLENGE sailing to Palawan in March 2012


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