Travels with Juliana: The 1999 Taal Lake Yacht Club Windsurfing Invitational
Destination: Taal Lake Yacht Club, Talisay, Batangas City, the Philippines
Dates: November 28-29 1999
Occassion: 1999 Taal Lake Yacht Club Windsurfing Invitational
Taal Lake has always been a destination for Manila windsurfers, but only now has there been a really comfortable place for launching. Through a new route via Sta. Rosa Laguna, then through the scenic Tagaytay Ridge, the Taal Lake Yacht Club (TLYC)is only one hour from the center of Manila.
Indeed, Peter was not exaggerating when he said that the camping is good and that the campsites would have a fantastic view of the Lake. Their were grassy areas for rigging the sails bordered by flowering plants. The choice spots under the shady trees were taken by the early windsurfer campers. And right beside the campers' site were big airy cabanas facing the Lake.
That starting line was about 200 meters from the Yacht Club, but this was increased to 750meters the next day. At 750meters from the TLYC shoreline, the winds were stronger and more consistent. I was on the starting boat (which was a pretty big hobie cat) and was amazed with the amount of rope they had to drop to anchor the craft, and sometimes to no avail as the anchor would not hold and we would drift. So the windsurfers had to content themselves with the fact that the starting line could be a moving start line. But as long as you cross the line between the official boat and an anchored marker, you were fine. There were two other outer marks some 4 kilometers from the start line. It took Manny Cabili 15 minutes to finish the course in Race #2.
What is exciting about windsurfing Lake Taal is the feeling of the forces of nature around you. During windy conditions, the Lake has been described as radical. The Lake is like a bowl of water, when waves are created, they just bounce back and forth, creating choppy conditions. This is the challenge of windsurfing the Lake. You don't call windsurfing Taal as flat-water sailing. Unlike Caliraya were once expertise on gybes can be greatly improved (as one has to turn right away else you'll hit the opposite shore), it's "hauling ass" at Lake Taal. I believe you can sail 8 kilometers straight all the way across the Lake.
It is said that Lake Taal itself was
once the crater of what was THE Taal Volcano and that the Tagaytay ridge
was part of the volcano's peak. Through eons, a small island is all that
remains of the active volcano. The volcano we see now is famous for being
the smallest active volcano in the world. There are tours that bring people
up the slopes of the island volcano. There is a sulphuric lake on the volcano.
This makes the volcano's sulfuric lake "a lake within a lake". But I don't
think windsurfers will attempt to sail the volcano's lake, although I know
that it had been scuba dived before.
So just imagine yourself blasting through what was once an active volcano... It is easy to imagine especially when you see the slopes of Taal Volcano just a few kilometers from where you are sailing.
Results of the 1999 Taal Lake Yacht Club Windsurfing Invitational
The camping is good. The grass is soft. Campsites have a fantastic view... You can get a big (good for 10 persons) cabana (open sided hut bordered by tallflowering plants and yellow and green duranta plants) next to your tent if you get there early. If you get there late, the hut you get will be smaller. Free to the fleet this weekend.
The club bathrooms are well appointed, and we even have hot showers. If there is a brownout, we have a generator. There is already power and light in the ""private" cabanas so no problem. If you want power inside your tent/trailer, just rent a cabana. Bring an extension cord, but no aircons please! (at least not without pre-arrangement).
We encourage camping, and cooking your own food. we have a couple of extra grills, in case you forget yours. We also have a designated cleanup area for washing dishes and stuff. If you are Tamad, or just too busy sailing, you CAN order food. But be forewarned. It takes an hour on the average. Specialties are fried chicken and Tilapia. The food is from the restaurant next door. Ask any of the TLYC boys for a menu. We do have cold drinks. Its honor system. Just get from the cooler, and sign your name, and pay when you leave. -- Peter Capotosto, Commodore, TLYC
Well that was a wild and windy race...We had a loooong distance race that was about 5Kms one way, 10 total to get back. With five races that equals 50Kms of sailing. We had wind that gusted to about 22 knots (sabi ni Manny). To all those who didn't make it, you missed one heck of a race.
I would like to thank everyone for making the first race of the season a success.
To Peter Capotosto for hosting a very memorable and hopefully repeatable race...the 2nd TLYC Invitaional Regatta? Maybe we don't even have to wait for next year. If it hasn't been said before, I'm sure that the race showed that Taal is one of the best places to windsurf around Metro Manila. Already there are plans to come back on Tuesday for more.
To our sponsors for the prizes, "Surf in Style" care of Roland and Ging-ging Mendoza. Finally, we have quality and affordable surfware available. They will also provide the prizes for the Commodore's Cup on Dec. 11-12.
To all participants: Manny, Art, Raul Bitong, Voight, Danny V., Steven, Peng, Leah, Joseph, Rico ,Patrick and Nick Cox (new sailor from Canada) and guests who made the event a success. There is no sight better than a whole lot of sails out in the water at one time. I haven't seen that many sails in a long time.
To Vangie Palacios for helping with the race.
To the winners, for having fun.
The amihan season is just begining
and the wind is still getting stronger (I just checked the forecast). We
hope to see more sailors, old and new, in the water and races like this
to bring them all together. See you all at the Commodore's Cup at Lake
Caliraya December 11-12, 1999. -- Ian Bautista, Commodore, CWF