AboitizPower, Weather Philippines conclude Philippine Hobie Challenge 2013

AboitizPower and WeatherPhilippines Foundation (WPF) recently sponsored the fifth and final leg of the Philippine Hobie Challenge 2013 held at Anvaya Cove, March 1, with Italian father and daughter team “Mamma Mia” consisting of Luigi and Yvonne Manzi emerging as winners.

The team placed a far sixth in the AboitizPower leg but clocked in a total regatta time of 21:18:52, surpassing 15 other sailing teams.

The Philippine Inter-Island Sailing Foundation (PHINSAF) has firmly established the Philippine Hobie Challenge (PHC) as the country’s premier extreme sailing event. Now on its 13th year, the PHC is a race against time and nature as competitors sail daily for six days. This year’s Challenge traversed the West Philippine Sea starting from San Fernando, La Union in the North, sailing South to Bataan and finishing in Subic Bay. The race covered a straight line distance of approximately 160 nautical miles.

"Weather forecasting and disaster preparedness is crucial for outdoor sports events like the Hobie Challenge, or any coastal activity.In the past, the unpredictability of the sea and the wind was a major concern for us going into the race;that’s whywe worked with AboitizPower and WeatherPhilippines Foundation to provide accurate weather information for the safety of everyone in the event,” said Aboitiz Equity Ventures First Vice President for Business Development and President of the Philippine Inter-Island Sailing Foundation Roman V. Azanza III.

The Aboitiz Group, together with other sponsors and technical expertise from Swiss company Meteomedia, founded the WPFto set up roughly 1,000 automated weather stations (AWS) across the country to help improve disaster preparedness and timely responses to variable weather conditions.

WPF is poised to be the country's premiere private weather information/content provider. It offers localized and updated weather forecasts in major cities and provinces around the country. Weather information is transmitted every 10-minutes from WPF-owned Automated Weather Stations in over 230 sites to-date.

"Weather data is updated every hour thus people can prepare for their daily activities.We intend to increase to hourly resolution, forecasting seven (7) days ahead, once we have other statistical tools in place.”, said WeatherPhilippines Foundation General Manager Celso Caballero

“If our automated weather stations are capable of giving accurate information to be used in a race, I am most certain it will be able to help more Filipinos at a larger scale, like disaster preparedness.”, added Caballero.

An AWS unit is capable of determiningtemperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed and direction, solar radiation and precipitation locally. Localized weather data is then processed by WPF’s technology partner, Meteomedia, to provide the localized weather forecasts. These free forecasts are readily available to the general public through the WPF website, www.weather.com.ph.

Aside from the annual Philippine Hobie Challenge, PHINSAF also organizes theCleanergy Travelers Series. By April 2013, the group will have sailed in seven events since starting the sailing series last September 2012. For more information about the Cleanergy Travelers Series, contact the Series Chairman Rex Puentespina at rexpuentespina@orchid.ph