It is very rare to see a head of a national sports association as active in his sport as Ernesto “Judes” Echauz of sailing, the group chairman of Standard Insurance and president of the Philippine Sailing Association.
Echauz’s recently topped the IRC Class A on board the Standard Insurance Centennial, a TP 52 class racing yacht, at the recent China Cup International Regatta held in Shenzhen, China.
This regatta is the most prestigious race in Asia with a participation of around 2,000 sailors from all over the world on more than 200 various classes of sailing yachts.
As skipper of the all-Filipino team composed mostly of national team sailors, the victory was a great feat when the team’s helmsman, Allan Balladares, Asia’s top match racer and Sea Games 2017 gold medalist in match racing, outmaneuvered Alpha plus, a high tech Ker 46 yacht crewed by an international professional team, at the start of the last race, to break the tie prior to the race.
Its junior Philippine team skippered by Emerson Vilene, the Sea Games 2015 bronze medalist in the 470 class together with Troy Troy Tayong won handily the 1st overall, with all first placers in the seven races, over the national teams of New Zealand, 2nd overall, and Singapore, 3rd overall.
On the Far East 28R Class yachts, the best international class yachts of its size.
Echauz says of their China Cup victory: “I enjoy holding onto the Philippine Flag on stage and doing the Duterte fist salute. After-all, our President is very well liked in China.”
Even for ocean and passage racing, 2017 was quite successful for Standard Insurance Centennial and the Philippine team after capturing the line honors and 1st overall in the IRC 0 class for the classic 420-nautical mile Hong Kong-San Fernando race held during the Holy Week and Overall Champion for the 200-nautical mile Subic to Boracay Race.
“It’s like managing an enterprise where you need to consider everything, especially the regular and sufficient sources of income and allowances for the athletes, although what is very important is you know the formula for winning, being a winner yourself,” added Echauz.