Blackberry 12th Philippine Hobie Challenge - new course, new adventure

Children welcome the boats on Sibuyan Island - Philippine Hobie Challenge 2011
Philippine Hobie Challenge Foundation
With barely a month and a half to go before commencing the Blackberry 12th Philippine Hobie Challenge, some 20 teams from around the world have already signed up for the six day sailing adventure through Northern Palawan, the Philippines' last frontier.

The latest edition of one of Asia's most extreme sailing events will take its intrepid sailors through some of the most scenic island chains in the Philippine archipelago. Starting from the turquoise waters of Coron island (the scene of one of the most successful US Navy bombing missions in WWII wherein over 40 Japanese maritime vessels were sunk), the H16s will make their way down through the exotic Busuanga archipelago (with dozens of white sand beaches tempting you every couple of miles) before crossing the tempestuous Linapacan straits (the channel where the South China sea enters the Sulu sea); the fleet will then have to traverse the many pearl farms dotting Linapacan island before aiming for the Northern tip of Palawan island, rounding the cape and eventually finishing at Miniloc Resort, one of the country's most beautiful island destinations (it's quietly nestled amongst the dramatic limestone karst cliffs that dot the El Nido archipelago).

Sounds like the adventure of a lifetime? You bet. Unfortunately, the Organizers will only be accepting entries until 31 January, 2012 -- so sign up now!

Learn more about the event and download updated NoRs and Course details through the PHC12's website: www.philhobie.ph

Bon-Bon Beach, Romblon, Philippines. Philippone Hobie Challenge X, 2009
Mark Haswell


The Philippine Hobie Association joins forces with the Solar Energy Foundation

This March, PHINSAF (Philippines Inter-Island Sailing Federation) together with Solar Energy Foundation (Stiftung Solarenergie), will distribute 500 free solar home systems to light up local fishing communities around Palawan. An integral part of the Hobie Challenge is interaction with the local fishing communities that host the Challenge sailors. These fisherfolk, whose livelihoods depend on the sea, appreciate the rigours that the sailors go through to reach them and eagerly welcome the sailors into their community. They guard the sailors' camps at night, replenish their food, water and fuel as well provide valuable information about the sea conditions in the area. Their local knowledge about tides, currents, wind direction and anchorages are indispensable for the fleet. As such, the sailors are obliged to give something back.

By providing them with a sustainable economic solution for increasing night-time productivity, the lives of these villagers are improved. Students can do their homework and parents can continue productive work. This is called 'Sail for Light', and continues the legacy of building a network of solar advocates with the Hobie Challenge sailors to spread the foundation’s mission of providing access to solar energy.

Join our sailors as they shed light across the seas and help to fulfil the ultimate goal to bring light to 3.5million homes in the Philippines.