The Boracay International Funboard Cup to be held this January 16 to 21, 2012 is Asia’s and the Philippines longest running windsurfing and kiteboarding event. The cup held in the Philippine’s prime tourist destination of Boracay Island is running in its 23rd year since it was first established by windsurfing couple Nenette and Roby Graf when they celebrated their wedding anniversary in 1989. As one of Boracay’s major annual sporting events it brings together participants from around the world in this tropical island paradise.
Over the years, the Funboard Cup has been repeatedly awarded by the international press. In 2010, CNNGo.com voted it as one of the “Top 52 Weekend Events Destinations of the World”. Asia Spa magazine listed the cup among “ Asia’s Top Ten Participant Friendly Sporting Events” in 2011 and Asia’s Best Boardsailing Blast by HK based Action Asia Magazine. In the first Western Visayas Department of Tourism Regional Awards given in September 2000, the Boracay Cup won the coveted Regional Director’s Award for “the events contribution to the development and promotion of the tourism industry in Western Visayas which has brought about a significant impact and long term positive benefits to the industry”.
The 23rd Boracay International Funboard Cup is being presented by NEILPRYDE windsurfing, Cabrinha Kiteboarding, JP-Australia Boards, all of which are part of the Pryde Group which has a long history of leadership in the marine and action sports industry. Managing director Neil Pryde, a seasoned world class sailor himself has been supporting the event since 1996, recognizing it as the “centerpiece of Asian windsurfing”, declaring Boracay as “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.”
Originally a pure windsurfing event, the cup added a kiteboarding division since the emergence of this new and exciting extreme sport in the late 90’s. The event thus grew bigger and now brings together professional and amateur competitors from Asia, Oceania and Europe who enjoy Boracay’s relaxed tropical atmosphere and perfect wind conditions to meet, compete and party with like-minded wind sport devotees.
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.
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, Laguna de Boracay, Tonglen Beach Resort, Alice in Wonderland, Greenyard Funboard and NeilPryde/ Cabrinha Center, Lazy Dog Bed and Breakfast, The Boracay Beach Resort, Monaco Suites and Airphil Express are among the resorts and establishments on the island that have continuously and fully supported this event over the 23 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.”
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.
Neil Pryde explains “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 north easterly wind and . To organize major events, we need reliable conditions and this is what Boracay offers plus an exciting night life off the water!”
This 2012, Bulabog Beach plays host again to the 23rd Boracay International Funboard Cup. From January 16 to 21, 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
Nenette Aguirre-Graf – Organizer
Telephone: +63 362883208; Mobile: +63 9209516321
Email: email@example.com Boracay Main Office