Anticipation is building for the 2018 Puerto Vallarta Race as race entries begin to roll in. So far, a mix of boats including Santa Cruz 50 and 52s, Pac 52s, TP 52s, and one multihull will be back for the next installment.
When checking in with a handful of the race’s past competitors, we discovered what the race means to them, why they register year after year, and for some, how it feels to win the event.
Dennis Pennell, skipper of Blue Blazes, will be back in 2018 to attempt a third win. “I have had the good fortune with my Reichel/Pugh 50 Blue Blazes to have been the overall winner in the San Diego to Puerto Vallarta race twice- in 2006 and 2012. In my 60 plus years of racing sailboats those two wins were the highlight of my racing career. I am doing it in 2018 in my 80th year because for me it represents a thousand miles of sheer fun!”
We’re officially one year away from the iconic race from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta which will sail its 33rd installment in March 2018, with its first start on March 2nd. This biennial event features some of the fastest boats and ocean sailors in the sport and continues to provide the rare opportunity to race from the US, beyond Baja, to the Mexican mainland.
Many talented sailors from yacht clubs all over the world competed in the 2016 edition, making it a very diverse race. A total of 21 boats raced in five classes, representing 12 different yacht clubs.
First entries for the 2018 race include Lani Spund from SDYC in his Santa Cruz 52, Kokopelli2, Tom Holthus from SDYC in his brand new Pac52, Bad Pak, the 2010 Puerto Vallarta race winner Lorenzo Berho from SDYC on his Kernan 70, Peligroso, and Ricardo Brockmann from the Acapulco Yacht Club in his Reichel/Pugh 52, Vincitore.
The 2016 edition of the Vallarta Race was a tale of two races. As sailors reached the dock in Marina Vallarta, their stories emphasized the contrast between the two. The first race is the run from San Diego to Cabo which this year was like none other. The second race involves attempting to avoid the holes and minimize the light air that most boats encountered crossing the Sea of Cortez and approach to PV. While this diversity is expected on any Vallarta Race, the extremes seen in 2016 were unique. Boats like Gordon Leon's Farr 40 Flyer reached 22 knots and were rocking and rolling on the first half, while even the trimaran Mighty Merloe fell victim to the shutdown of breeze on the second half approach to the finish, floating along at 2-3 knots at times.
Congratulations to John Schulze and the crew of Horizon (Santa Cruz 50), overall and Div 3 winners of the 2016 Vallarta Race! Horizon sailed the course in 4 days, 13 hours, 52 minutes, 19 seconds, and corrected out over Roy Disney's Pyewacket (Andrews 70) by nearly 2 hours.
Mighty Merloe crossed the finish line in 67.8 hrs (2 days, 19 hr, 49 min, 29 sec). After a 36 hour run unlike any other from San Diego to Cabo, the second half of their journey was an exercise in getting through the lee of Cabo, build speed down the course, and staying on which ever tack (yep - beating is what you get approaching at night) to keep best speed to the finish despite the light north and east winds blowing out of Banderas Bay through the night. The trimaran crew hoped to get across the line overnight, but it was not to be.
That 'new day' we talked about yesterday... it's here, and so begins the second part of the Vallarta Race. So consider that as of Monday, 0900 race time, the fleet is stretched approx. 235 nm along the Baja peninsula, plus another 110 miles if you add Mighty Merloe's lead. She is clearly forecasting the future for the fleet.
With everyone recognizing that HL Enloe's ORMA 60 trimaran Mighty Merloe (MM) is fast, it is no surprise that MM was going to ZOOM down the course. But it is still so impressive to track them as they work their way through a fleet that started 24 hours before them, and they are still 160 miles from Cabo at 1700 PST.
All 21 boats have departed San Diego and the adventure to Puerto Vallarta is in motion. We have a pair of Farr 40s one design racing for 1000 miles; we have the 60x60 trimaran machine Mighty Merloe pacing the epic Super Maxi sled Rio100; we have a great collection (Class 3) of Santa Cruz 50s and 52s; we have the great design debate: small quick pole boat (J/125) vs classic offshore R/P 50 Blue Blazes; and we have Class 2, the diverse and always fun to sail sled class. There is a lot going on this week in the Pacific.
Starting February 19, teams will gather in San Diego to start the 2016 Vallarta Race, the 32nd running of the international sailboat race from San Diego Bay to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. This biennial event features some of the fastest boats and ocean sailors in the sport and continues to provide the rare opportunity to race from the US, beyond Baja, to the Mexican mainland.
Joe and Laura are once again offering their gear delivery services for Vallarta Race and MEXORC competitors. Find out the pick up dates and locations around Southern California, rates, contact info and more.
Teams are signing up to avoid the upcoming rains brought on by El Nino and preparing for the wind, sunshine, warmth and the margaritas to be enjoyed after another epic ride down the Mexican Coastline and bounce across the Gulf to scenic Puerto Vallarta! Our friends in Mexico are determined to help the San Diego Yacht Club make this a great experience for all the teams and their families.
Race to PV, Stay for MEXORC! Sailors from around the world descend on Puerto Vallarta for the biennial MEXORC regatta on Banderas Bay. Those racing from San Diego in the Vallarta Race fit nicely into this schedule with the awards ceremony for SDYC's regatta taking place the day before MEXORC begins. Join us for both events!
Since its introduction in the late 1980s, the ORMA 60 trimaran has seduced the best sailors in the world, especially the solo-sailing cowboys from France. Capable of sustained speeds few powerboats can match, it’s not the sort of boat one would expect your average 78-year-old Texan to campaign, but then again, owner Howard Enloe isn’t your average Texan.
The iconic race from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta will set sail again in 2016 with the first start on February 19th. The biennial event is a favorite in the sailing community and has continued to draw some of the fastest and fiercest competitors from all over the world, since its origin in 1954. This will be the 32nd installment of the race.
The San Diego Yacht Club biennial Puerto Vallarta Race finished its 32nd edition with great success and positive feedback from race competitors and sponsors alike. Although winds were light for the majority of the race, the weather showcased southern California and Mexico’s near perfect conditions with sunny skies and warm temperatures for the 1,000 NM race from Point Loma to Puerto Vallarta.
Most likely, the history books will show the 2014 San Diego to Vallarta race as not a particularly fast race, but it wasn’t a slow one either. We had two world class trimarans entered, and without a spectacular weather system to hurl them at once in a while speeds, both entries beat the flat out speed record from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta established by Steve Fossett aboard Lakota (size/type) in 1998. Tom Siebels MOD 70 established the new mark of 2 days, 8 hours, 33 mins, 0 sec. Almost 6 hours later, HL Enloe’s Orma 60 limped across the line (broken port foil), also just an hour under Fossetts benchmark time. Renamed ‘Mighty Merloe’, this tri dominated the maxi-trimaran circuit when it was built and was the design basis for the MOD 70.
Bob Pethick, the owner of the Rogers 46 Bretwalda was able to change his travel plans and stay for the Saturday awards ceremony now that there is some glory to be had. Congratulations to Bob and his crew. They correct out to 83.9 hours, 0.2 hours over Fritz Lanzinger’s J/125 Hamachi.
San Diego Yacht Club’s tradition of racing to the Mexican mainland is over 60 years old. This year, the 1,000nm race to Puerto Vallarta produced a new record finish time courtesy of Tom Siebiel’s MOD70 Trimaran Orion, with a finish time of 2 days, 8 hours, 33 minutes (56 hours, 33 minutes).
The 32nd edition of the biennial San Diego to Vallarta International Yacht Race started off Shelter Island, with Class 3 and 4 leaving on Friday (Mar. 14) and Class 1, 2, and Multihull departing on Saturday (Mar. 15). Both days provided summer-like conditions for the 23 entrants to begin their 1000 mile southerly slide toward beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
San Diego Yacht Club will send Class 3 and Class 4 boats off to Mexico today in the 52nd biennial Vallarta Race. Each boat is equipped with a Yellowbrick race tracker, which will allow spectators to follow along with the race progress, updated hourly. The positions are on a 4 hour delay to keep the boat positions a bit more mysterious to the competitors as they navigate down south.
On the eve of the 1,000 nm southern jaunt down Baja California from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta, we take a look at the history of, and the competition, and more specifically, the Nor Cal Boats entered this year and their crews.
Dennis Pennell, sailing with a crew of ten on Blue Blazes, took division and overall honors in the San Diego to Puerto Vallarta 2012 race. Starting on Thursday, March 1, Blue Blazes benefitted from stiff westerly breezes on the first night, with all starters posting impressive first day logs. While the larger class competitors looked on with envy, the Division 3 boats had sustained winds of 25 kts from their starboard quarter, making for a quick run past Ensenada. Blazes obviously capitalized on the early lead, which later proved important when all competitors had a case of ‘the slows’.