Background on the Rally:
By 2003 the very success of the “Challenge” was becoming a concern. As more boats entered, the commitment to maintaining the challenge element brought mounting safety issues. A decision was taken to open the event to support yachts that would patrol the extremities of the courses to keep watch on the Hobie fleet and provide radio links between the race officer and rescue teams. The first event to be run this way was in 2004 from Boracay to Palawan via Amanpulo. It had a support fleet of two keelboats. Since then, there have been up to five cruising yachts taking part each year.
Both the Hobie Challenge and the Rally also aims to illustrate what a wonderful sport sailing is. Particularly here in the Philippines where the weather is perfect and many of the best cruising areas in Asia, if not the world! It should encourage more, particularly young people, to join the sport. See also www.phinsailing.ph
Notes for potential participants in 2015:
Cruising boats, of all types, whether sail or power and regardless of the number of hulls are welcome. All that is asked for is a generous spirit of involvement. The rally fleet has grown from the Hobie beginnings and all boats will be welcomed to join beach parties and other events.
All boats will be requested to keep radio watch during the event and some may be asked to join the support group for other activities such as taking times at mark rounding. Please advise race management if you will be willing to undertake these duties.
Boat owners need just to be sure your vessel is also up to the Challenge in terms of maintenance and crew abilities. One major advantage in sailing in a group is that in the event anyone has difficulties someone will likely be in a position to help. We do however try and keep such requirements to a minimum!
We are most fortunate that in 2015 the rally is reasonably nearby. It is often quite a voyage to get to and from the event that can add a strain to time and other constraints.