Philippines Sailing Challenge
Island hopping around Boracay? Where do we sign.
It finally happened. Large Minority took to the seas. Originally we had visions of Spanish galleons, buried treasure and a bit of light piracy, but it’s really hard to get insurance for that sort of thing. So we settled on something even better: island hopping in The Philippines!
Think white sandy beaches, uninhabited tropical islands and crystal clear turquoise waters. All of which you’ll be navigating while sailing your very own traditional tri-maran. But even though we’ve swapped land for sea, this is still a Large Minority challenge. There will be strangeness, surprises, near misses and much eating of food. Welcome aboard.
In some ways, Adventure is your ride and Glory your destination. In other, more accurate ways you ride is the traditional paraw craft of The Philippines.
These tri-marans are unique to the Visayas region of The Philippines. It’s sort of like an outrigger canoe with a sail on top. Light, fast and very sturdy. They were originally used by the locals as fishing boats.
Warning: Remember, the sea is a cruel mistress. These waters can be a very dangerous and unpredictable place. Adverse weather conditions may also affect the dates, route and activities of this challenge.
- The boat: Category A standard issue Native Paraw- 35-39 foot
- Sail area: Main sail – Large, Head sail, a little smaller
- Average wind consumption: Plenty
- Top speed: 20 knots +
On the first day of the event everyone is required to attend a mandatory sailing induction and safety training session. You will get an introduction to sailing from a local sailing expert.
This is a sailing challenge – emphasis on the sailing and on also the challenge. Emphasis all ‘round really. Which means participation and speed will play a role in deciding who wins.
Think of it as kind of a sailing regatta. Minus the masses of ultra competitive sailors, plus the masses of competitive non sailors, minus the huge list of rules and regulations, plus the amount of time you actually WON´T be sailing. Each day’s leg will be timed but the difference is, your team will also get time deducted for participating in awesome team and individual challenges throughout the entire event.
Legs and Challenges
Like our terra-firma challenges, the Philippines Sailing Adventure is broken up into different legs. Every teams gets a daily navigational sheet, which they’ve got to use to get from Point A to Point B each day. The winning team is the one that reaches the day’s end point the fastest, combined with the total accumulated Challenge points* from the various crazy things we make you do. You’ve all seen Amazing Race, right?
*Challenge points collected are converted into units of time. The more points, the more time we take off your day. Win.
How many people per team?
A team is made up of either 2 or 3 people. Apparently there is no ‘I’ in it. You get one paraw per team.
Can I book my own accommodation?
Unfortunately, no. Only because each leg will start from the hotel / over-night stop and the idea is to share our challenging travel experience together. Most importantly you wouldn’t want to miss out on each night’s social gatherings…
Is there an age limit?
Yes, you’ve got to be at least 18 years old in order to compete. We don’t have a maximum age, but if you’re over 65 we definitely recommend checking with your insurer to make sure you qualify for the medical insurance you’ll need to take part.
Do I need to know how to sail before entering the Challlenge?
No – each team will have a local skipper and a minimum of 3 local crew on board. The better sailor you are, the more the crew will let you take over the helm, the less of a sailor you are the more chilling you get to do.
Is there a high chance I will get sea sick on the sailing Challenge?
Not really – the boats we will be sailing really are quite fast, which means there wont be too much bobbing up and down (…and up and down, and up and – okay we’ll stop there.) The paraw’s design also means that you’ll be quite close to the water, making the causes of sea sickness less effective.
How much sailing will I be doing each day?
It’s a sailing adventure by name, but not always by nature. We wanted to mix things up and include lots of land-based activities too. You’ll usually be sailing for between 3-4 hours each day. The rest of the time you will be on terra firma (probably sipping on something with rum in it).
What should my overall trip expectations be?
As much as Boracay island itself is very touristy, the surrounding areas/islands are not at all. Some of the places we’ll be visiting don’t get too many tourists at all and are very sleepy towns/villages to say the least. Facilities on some of the homestay locations are basic as are the availability or services and activities. As with all LM trips we will do our utmost to make sure everyone is safe and comfortable at all times but considering the relative remoteness of some of the overnight spots, it’s best you come well prepared.
Where should I fly into?
Most of you will have to fly to Manila first and then either fly to Caticlan on Cebu Pacific or Kalibo on Air Asia. Caticlan airport is a 5 minute ride to the Caticlan ferry port plus a 15 minute ferry to Boracay, whilst Kalibo Airport is approx. 1 hour ride to the Caticlan ferry port plus a 15 minute ferry to Boracay. From Boracay there’s a 25 minute ride to the starting hotel.
What should I bring along?
Well, to start with, you’re going to need sun cream as it´s going be pretty warm (say what you like about pirates, they had epic tans). For everything else we will send you a Sailing challenge kit list before you depart. There’s nothing too technical on there, just some travel essentials and some dry bags will do the trick.
How about luggage?
Don’t worry, you don’t have to strap suitcases to the sides of your boat. Each day your bags will be transferred from point to point on a dry boat meaning if all goes to plan (it will go to plan) then you will have a nice and dry set of clothes to put on every day and night. It’s the little things.
Is it going to be dangerous?
Not really. We’re not sailing in the Bermuda Triangle or the Drake Passage. Having said that, there is definitely going to be an element of danger because, after all is said and done, you will be on the high seas. Of course if you’re sensible, cautious and responsible (and don’t run with scissors) you should be fine. We’ve got an expertly trained crew looking after you every step of the way.
Caution: Sailing will depend on weather conditions. Naturally we will not be heading to sea if the conditions do not allow and it’s not safe to do so, meaning there may be some time spent on the islands waiting for the right weather. As you may have seen already, the distances we’re traveling each day are by no means far, however traveling on non-motorised boats means we are at the mercy of the wind and the weather. The short answer is, bring a good book or be very happy in the company of each other and or ones self.
Do I need special personal insurance for this Challlenge?
Yes and your team entry fee includes an Emergency & Medical travel insurance for the duration of the Challenge. If you’d like to get additional travel insurance to cover things such as luggage loss and flight cancellation etc., we’ve got a few companies we’ve used before and can recommend. If you’re an EU resident, try Campbell Irvine. For everyone else, head to World Nomads.
How about insurance for the boat?
Nope, you won’t need any specialty paraw insurance because you won’t be directly in charge. The skipper will take responsibility for his/her boat.
Can my team entry be sponsored?
Definitely! We love to see teams going the extra mile to raise money for charity. Just be aware that the paraws we use have limited branding space (we take up some for our own branding purposes). If you need more info on this, just let us know.
How do I register?
- Sign up here.
- Pay your initial deposit.
Once you’ve done all that successfully, we’ll send you an email with lots of exclamation marks confirming your team’s availability.
Once I register what other docs do I need?
Once your registration is locked and loaded, we’ll email you and ask you to provide us with:
- A passport copy for each team member (we promise not to laugh at the photos).
- Your arrival and departure details.
We’ll double check all these docs on the ground, so please bring copies with you.
When do registrations close?
30 days before the Challenge starts.
Do I need to bring my own camping gear?
Nope. We’ll provide the sleeping bags and the marshmallows as necessary. However it might be good to bring a torch.
Who needs a visa to the Philippines?
Ah visas, our old nemesis. You can find all the info and apply online here.
Can the route change?
We try to stick to the original route and accommodation as much as possible, but they can be subject to change from time to time. We’ve got more info in our Ts & Cs.
Is it expensive in the Philippines?
Not really. Some luxuries can be a little pricey (hence the ‘luxury’ bit), but for the most part it’s super reasonable. Food for lunch will typically cost you 5-10 dollars and beer generally under a buck or 2. You can check out more money matters right here.
Will there be internet connection throughout this sailing adventure?
Nope. Not surprisingly open water in The Philippines doesn’t have a super sweet WiFi connection. So put those phones away unplug and enjoy it! If you can’t, the start and finish hotels do have internet and there will be a couple along the way that will let you check-in.
Roman Catholicism is practiced by approximately 83% of the population. Christian, Muslim and Buddhist round out the set. If in doubt, just smile and be friendly.
What languages are spoken in the Philippines?
There are two national languages spoken in the Philippines; Tagalog and English. With that said, don’t get us started on the over 100 different island dialects. Don’t worry too much – your crew will all speak English.
What’s the weather going to be like?
Pretty good, if warm is good that is. It’s really hot between March and May, a little bit cooler from November to February and it’s the rainy season from June to October. But a good traveler knows that off-peak season means lower rates in airfares, and maybe the beer too! Just be forewarned that the months between July and September have the odd typhoon.
Do I need vaccinations before I come to the Philippines?
This is completely up to you (and your doc), but generally it’s a good idea to be up-to-date with standard vaccinations like Tetanus, Hap A and Polio. Other jabs to consider are Tuberculosis, Meningitis and Typhoid. Anti-malaria meds might also be a good idea. If in doubt, check with your GP.
Payment Method & Terms:
- OnlyUSD$499 / £333 deposit required to signup.
- Outstanding amount is required 90 days before the start of Challenge.
- Non-refundable deposit.
- 89 to 30 days prior to start of the Challenge – 50% cancellation charges apply.
- 29 days to start of the Challenge – 100% cancellation charges apply.
For more information please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions.