The History of Fleet 274
Hobie Racing was popularized in the Philippines in the early 80’s when Hobie 14s were produced here. Around 100 boats were produced. The height of Hobie racing has to be in 1984 when the World Hobie 14 Championships were held at Puerto Azul.
Unfortunately, in late 1985 a fire destroyed all the moulds, and many of the boats that had just competed in the World Championships. Hobie Philippines collapsed financially because of the fire.
The fleet was thrown into the doldrums after that, and only a few people bought Hobie 16’s between 1985 and 1996.
In 1996 Taal Lake Yacht Club was started and it tried to build up the Hobie 16 fleet. The effort was successful. Today there are around 60 Hobie 16s at TLYC, and these form the core of several events that are undertaken throughout the year.
Every second Sunday, the club runs regattas.
The TLYC Club Championship is a compilation of the races from May to October. It was first started in 2005. These are the “Low Season” or “Habagat” races.
In 2004, we started a Ladies Helm Regatta. We sually hold these races in October, but the date moves around a lot.
Hopefully, we will see the day when we have a whole fleet of women skippers, with women as crew.
In October, the “Amihan” wind starts to blow, and PHINSAF, the Philippine Inter-Island Sailing Foundation, has a Travelers Series that runs from October till March. This series of regattas has gained increasing popularity, and promises to continue to draw the fleet to one resort or other location once a month. In 2010-11, the fleet traveled to Corregidor, Tali Beach, Punta Fuego, Hamilo, Anilao, and Subic Bay.
There is only one event at TLYC which is part of the Travelers series. In November, we hold the Round Taal Volcano Regatta. So far it ranks as the “most popular” event. The uniqueness of the event (imagine sailing around a Volcano island!) is unparalleled. The wind at that time of the year is manageable by most sailors. Add this to the ease of getting to the regatta site, low cost of accommodation in good facilities, and the camaraderie at the evening party, and we have the makings of an event that is sure to stay. It will only be limited by the availability of boats!
The first Hobie 16 National Championship was held in Early February of 1997. All Championships were held at Taal Lake Yacht Club every First weekend in February till 2003. Since then, the championships have been held at TLYC n odd numbered years, and on the ocean, on even numbered years.
ThePhilippine Hobie Challenge was started in 2000. It is a long distance race that covers around 250 miles in 5 days. There is also an inshore series that makes the total event 9 days. Every year, the course has been different. The focus has been good racing, but also, the race focuses on showing off the natural splendor of the Philippines. Interestingly, it is beginning to attract other Yachts who are eager to volunteer as support craft and come along just for the trip.
Over the years, we have held special events such as the Suunto Regatta in Boracay in 2004, and the “Smart Clubman” event. Other Clubs have hosted the Hobies too, such as the Puerto Galera Yacht Club, that holds regattas at Haloween, and Easter .
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