Ilocos Norte hosts 1st International Cross-Harbor Race


Dec. 15, 2015 ...

Showcasing the potential of Ilocos Norte as venue for 'sportourism,' the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) together with the Chinese Consulate and Fort Ilocandia Resort and Hotel hosted the 1st Ilocos Norte International Cross-Harbor Race on December 9 and 11 in Subli-Subli Beach, Currimao, and Saud Beach, Pagudpud, respectively.

"Ilocos Norte has been a destination for Chinese tourists for the longest time, mainly to play golf and casino, and it was pleasant to discover that they are also interested in visiting for sports-related activities," said Xavier Ruiz of the Ilocos Norte Tourism Office.

The event was a friendly race of open-sea swimming among 125 Chinese swimmers from the Amateur Swimming Association of Guangzhou, China and local swimmers, with each track being at least 1.5 kilometers long, equivalent to an hour of swimming.

Xie Ju Pong, one of the oldest swimmers from China, complimented the beauty of Ilocos beaches and clarity of the water, saying that she appreciated the clean environment.

In the past years, Ilocos Norte has become a favorite venue for international sports events. The province has been hosting the International Paoay Regatta and the 'Tri Ilocos Nort3' triathlon series since 2013. Both events gather athletes from Asia, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Participants have since praised the province for the unpolluted environment, which is conducive for outdoor sporting activities.

The cross-harbor race further highlighted Currimao and Pagudpud in the PGIN's "Paoay Kumakaway!" tourism campaign, and Ruiz told interviewers to "expect more of this kind in the coming years."

These are in line with Governor Imee's vision for Ilocos Norte to be a "sports and wellness hub by 2020," as she had shared in her 2014 State of the Province Address.