Asia’s and the Philippines’ longest running international sporting event for windsurfing and kiteboarding will again bring the adrenaline rush to the shores and seas of Boracay Island in the Philippines from 24 to 29 January 2011. Running for 22 years, the NeilPryde Boracay International Funboard Cup [Boracay Funboard Cup] is a premier Boracay international event, attracting competitors from around the world. The objective: to compete for friendship, victory and honor.
In 2010, the Boracay Funboard Cup was voted by CNNgo.com as one of the “Top 52 Weekend Events Destination in the World”. This Boracay weekend event destination was recommended by experts around the world “for the best of the best weekends from January to December,” according to CNNGo.com. The Boracay International Funboard Cup was also cited as the biggest windsurfing event in Asia.
The Boracay Funboard Cup has always been fully supported by Mr. Neil Pryde, owner of the famous windsurfing and sailing equipment brand. NeilPryde as the title sponsor has always been key in the running of this prestigious event. “The Boracay Funboard Cup actually existed before NeilPryde became involved. We saw that the event in Boracay was attracting participation from all over Asia and we quickly recognized that this event could become the centerpiece of Asian Windsurfing and a great vehicle for promoting our products so we jumped in 1996 to support this event,” enthuses Mr. Neil Pryde himself.
The organizers of the Boracay Funboard Cup have also succeeded in showcasing Boracay Island as more than just a beach and leisure destination. While Boracay Island has been popular with its White Beach, party life and international cuisine, the Funboard Cup accomplished its goal of introducing the island to the world as a sports destination, where the active and sports enthusiasts can enjoy the adrenaline rush and still be able to appreciate the laid back sceneries and crazy activities in the evenings.
“The Boracay Funboard Cup is not just about windsurfing. It is also about bringing people together to celebrate our beautiful sport, and Boracay is an ideal location for that. It has gained a lot of popularity amongst some pros and a large fleet of amateur sailors from all over Asia, Europe and Oceania. In the past couple of years, a kiting division has been added to the Funboard Cup which brings even more wind rider enthusiasts to the party. The Cup is about having a good time on and off the water, and the organizers and their local sponsors make sure of that by running as many races as possible during the days on Bulabog Beach, and by throwing major parties every night during this 6-day event,” writes Fabrice Beaux, a wave windsurfer world cup rider.
“Boracay has become one of the most visited destinations in Asia and the infrastructure that has been built to deal with this influx of tourists makes Boracay one of the most complete windsurfing and kitesurfing destinations anywhere in the world,” declares Pryde.
This year’s Cup features the Cabrinha Big Air Challenge and the Action Asia Speed Trials. The Big Air challenge draws the kiteboarders to participate in the international sports event that was previously devoted only to windsurfing.
A Green Sports Event
Windsurfing and kiteboarding are sports that depend wholly on the wind. These are two sports activities that do not harm the environment. “To conduct these sports, no trees need to be cut, no corals will be damaged, no pollution is created,” explains Nenette Aguirre-Graf, the lead organizer and also an international windsurfing champion and Action Asia’s fastest lady windsurfer. And because these sports follow the dictates of nature, the windsurfers and kiteboarders learn to be in tune with the wind and the movement of the tides.
But more significant than these sports being natural wind-propelled, the Boracay Funboard Cup 2011 is also pioneering in its advocacy to brand it as a green event. Boracay Island Water Company (BIWC), a water company that is also a major sponsor for this event, has come up with a policy of ensuring that the event is sustainable and ecologically-friendly to the small island.
One of the impacts of tourism is the accumulation of trash, including plastic bottles. The organizers of the Boracay Funboard Cup 2011, together with BIWC, will minimize this impact during the event by discouraging the sale of bottled water, ensuring that trash bins are set in strategic areas on the beach area of the event, and that volunteers from the local community will be encouraged to assist in keeping the beaches and waters clean. BIWC provides clean and safe drinking water on the island and promotes minimal purchases of bottled water on the island.
“This would be a pioneering feat for the event as well as for the island, as this is a start of making the tourism and sports industries on Boracay Island more responsible about the environment,” conveys Aguirre-Graf.
The Local Community Spirit Lives On
Being the only sports event on the island organized by the local community, the support of Boracay Island’s business and sports community for this event is very evident in how the people of the island come together to help make this event possible every year since 1989.
Boracay Regency Resort and Convention Center, Red Coconut Beach Hotel, Sea Wind Boracay Resort, Willy’s Beach Club Hotel, Greenyard Funboard and NeilPryde Cabrinha Center, A-Rock Resort, B & B Resort, and the Boracay Beach Resort, are among the resorts and establishments on the island that have continuously and fully supported this event over the 22 years that it has been running. These resorts are local resorts and can be considered Boracay’s homegrown businesses. Other individuals and residents on Boracay Island, including the local government of the Municipality of Malay – to which Boracay Island belongs – and the Department of Tourism of the Philippines, have also consistently demonstrated their full support to this event. “So far, this is the only international sports activity on the island that can attribute its success to the local community’s initiative,” says Aguirre-Graf. “There are several other sports events held on the island, the Boracay International Funboard Cup is proud to be fully supported and initiated by the local community.”
Bulabog: Windsports Beach
The 1064 hectare Boracay Island has the advantage of having two beaches facing the west and facing the east. The popular White Beach, which lies on the western side of the island, boasts of a 4-kilometer stretch of powder-like sand beach, where most of the tourists and travelers flock. The less popular but more active 2.5 kilometer beach called Bulabog Beach, on the other hand, prides itself of playing host to the adrenaline-filled water and wind sports – windsurfing and kitesurfing – when the northeasterly wind or “amihan” are blowing. During this season, from November to May, the wind takes Bulabog Beach into new heights and begins a season of non-stop rush of excitement and an entertaining spectacle of riding prowess.
The features of Bulabog Beach are perfect for these two sports because of the flat water, on/side shore winds, shallow and reef protected lagoon which is very ideal condition. Bulabog Beach is also known as the mecca for windsurfing and kiteboarding in Asia. It attracts the European niche market looking for a windy spot in the tropics during the winter season.
“Windsurfing and kitesurfing are both, what we call ‘wind sports’. The real advantage that Boracay has over other Asian destinations is the reliability of the wind and sea conditions. To organize major events, we need reliable conditions and this is what Boracay offers plus an exciting night life off the water!” exclaims Pryde.
This 2011, Bulabog Beach plays host again to the 22nd NeilPryde Boracay International Funboard Cup. From January 24 to 29, Boracay Island’s windsports beach is a must visit sports destination for a more active experience on a laid-back island resort.
Dian R. Tobes – Over-all Coordinator
Mobile: +63 9193286148
Telephone: +63 362883208; Mobile: +63 9209516321
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Boracay Main Office