Puerto Vallarta Race: 2018 Preview

The Vallarta Race 2018 is officially underway with the first 3 boats getting their start on Thursday. The rest of the teams can be found enjoying beer and tacos along with Mariachis provided by partner Bay City Brewing and Mexico Tourism at the San Diego Yacht Club for the Kick Off Race Party tonight as they gear up for their starts on Friday and Saturday.

Returning crowd favorite Mighty Merloe will be trying to break the course record of 2 days, 8 hours, and 55 minutes. Crew member Will Suto shared some excitement for this year’s race, “I'm looking forward to sailing under the full moon, making the transition from the Pacific to the Sea of Cortez, and swapping stories in Puerto Vallarta. Mighty Merloe had a refit in the fall, so we're looking forward to unleashing her in the open ocean. We have most of our Transpac crew returning, with the addition of accomplished trimmer Thierry Fouchier and ORMA 60 legend Nat Iyengar.”

MULTI HULL COURSE RECORD: 2 Days, 8 Hours, 55 Minutes (Orion, 2012)

Mighty Merloe, starting at 12:20 PM on Saturday, will need to finish by 9:15 PM (PST) on Monday to break the course record set by Tom Siebel and the Mod 70 Orion in 2012.

In Division 3, Alex Camet from Peligroso said, “The PV Race is one of our favorite races! We have both Mexican and American sailors onboard and it’s really exciting for us to leave from San Diego and arrive in Puerto Vallarta. Our program is designed to give young Mexican sailors offshore experience so that they can take those lessons and apply them to work and daily lives.”

Steve Meheen, the new owner of the Botin 80 Cabrón (previously Beau Geste) was disappointed to have to cancel his entry at the last minute this week. After weeks of trying to get the boat delivered from Australia in time to race to PV, the timing just didn’t work out. We’ll see Cabrón racing later this summer in the SoCal 300, part of the CA Offshore Race Week, the Ensenada Race, and the Pacific Cup. With the loss of Cabrón from the roster, Division 1 and 2 were combined to make a 5 boat fleet.

MONOHULL COURSE RECORD: 3 Days, 5 Hours, 41 Minutes (Rio100, 2016)

Manouch Moshayedi’s Rio100 is back to conquer the Vallarta Race course again. In 2016, Rio100 set the monohull course record at 3 days, 5 hours, 41 minutes. Starting at 12:10 PM on Saturday, they will need to finish by Tuesday at 5:51 PM (PST) to eclipse their 2016 mark.

In Division 5, the Santa Cruz 50/52 will be racing in a tight rating band against each other as they often do on the west coast. In 2017, Horizon bested Triumph and Hana Ho in the Transpac Race, while Lucky Duck and Horizon battled back and forth throughout the CA Offshore Race Week, with Horizon ahead in division, but Lucky Duck coming in 2nd overall in the series and ahead of Horizon. Owners Dave MacEwen (Lucky Duck) and John Shulze (Horizon) have been enjoying highly competitive battles for several years, and look forward to another Santa Cruz 50/52 class match up.


View Full Scratch Sheet: https://yachtscoring.com/event_scratch_sheet.cfm?eid=4434

SDYC’s Greg Stewart weighed in on the classes this year, “The 2018 edition of PV Race has a well-rounded group of entries and enabled boats in divisions to be grouped by type and similar expected performance characteristics and enabled divisions to start on staggered days, like other West Coast races, with the goal to tighten the finish window for the fleet.”

Division 7 – Start Time: Thursday, Mar 1, 12:00
This three (3) boat Division is comprised of the Cruiser/Racer types that have the greatest Predicted Elapsed Time.

Cabernet Sky                     Beneteau 48
Marjorie                              BBY Custom 59
Tropic Thunder                 Beneteau 46

Division 6 - Start Time: Friday, Mar 2, 12:00
This four (4) boat Division is comprised of Sprit boats in the 35-41 foot LOA range that are on the lighter side of moderate Displacement/Length Ratio (D/L) Ratio.

Derivative                           J/125
Fast Exit                               Andrews 40
Fractions                              1D30 Turbo
Timeshaver                        J/125

Division 5 - Start Time: Friday, Mar 2, 12:10
This four (4) boat Division is comprised of Santa Cruz 50 and 52 yachts that have raced in the same Class in the Transpac, Cabo and Pacific Cup Races for many years. 

Hana Ho                               Santa Cruz 50
Horizon                                Santa Cruz 50
Lucky Duck                          Santa Cruz 52
Triumph                               Santa Cruz 52

Division 4 - Start Time: Friday, Mar 2, 12:20
This five (5) boat Division is comprised of moderate D/L ratio boats in the 46-65 foot LOA range. 

Blue Blazes                         RP 50
Bretwalda3                         Rogers 46
Good Call                             J/65
J World’s Cazan                 DK46
Stark Raving Mad VII      Swan 601

Division 3 - Start Time: Saturday, Mar 3, 12:00
This five (5) boat Division is comprised of ULDB type boats in the 63-70 foot LOA range that are for the most part of similar design vintage except Peligroso.

Medicine Man                   Andrews 63
Mr. Bill                                  Andrews 70
Peligroso                             Kernan 70
Pyewacket                          Andrews 70
Runaway                             Andrews 70

[Division 2 Canceled, Combined boats with Div 1 after Cabron dropped out]

Division 1 - Start Time: Saturday, Mar 3, 12:10
This five (5) boat Division is comprised of TP52's and a PAC52 that are of similar D/L Ratio and very fast for their LOA, along with the biggest two (2) boats in the fleet of similar D/L ratio in the 68-100 foot LOA range and of newer design vintage.

Rio 100                                  Bakewell White 100
Prospector                          Mills 68
Bad Pak                                                Pac 52
Patches                                                TP 52
Vincitore                              RP 52

Division 0 - Start Time: Saturday, Mar 3, 12:20
This two (2) boat Division is comprised of a Catamaran and a Trimaran. 

Mighty Merloe                  ORMA 60
Chim Chim                         Gunboat 62


Follow the race online via YB Tracking (http://yb.tl/sdpv18). The tracker updates each hour, with a 4-hour position delay. The race will be scored on a "Time on Time" basis, where the corrected time for each boat is based on the formula; corrected Time (CT) = Elapsed Time (ET) x Time on Time Factor (TOT).

Check for more stories from the onboard sailor reports and the organizing committee at http://pvrace.com.

Additionally, Sailonline will present a virtual race, allowing race fans a chance to go head to head with the real fleet. For more info on this, visit http://www.sailonline.org/blog/2018/feb/28/vallarta-race-2018/.


Upon each boat’s arrival at the dock in Mexico, Ullman Sails Puerto Vallarta, Novamar Insurance  and SDYC will be hosting a welcome party with mariachi, tequila, beer and snacks. While the party begins, sailors are also greeted by customs and immigration officials in order to process their entry into the country.

The awards ceremony and party will be held on Friday, March 9 at the Westin Puerto Vallarta.

For more about the history of the Vallarta Race, and San Diego Yacht Club’s tradition of racing to the Mexican mainland, refer to the History page at http://pvrace.com/history.

A special thank you to our great Vallarta Race partners: North Sails, Ullman Sails, Bay City Brewing, Mexico Tourism, YETI Coolers, Visit Puerto Vallarta,  Novamar Yacht Insurance, and Thomas Marine.


About the Puerto Vallarta Race

The Vallarta Race hosted by San Diego Yacht Club is a biennial event, and the 2018 race will be the 34th edition. The destination has changed over the 65 years, from Acapulco, to Manzanillo, Mazatlan and most recently Puerto Vallarta. Starting in San Diego Bay off of Shelter Island, the course proceeds 1,000 miles passing Baja California, and finishes off of Punta Mita in beautiful Banderas Bay, Mexico. At the conclusion of the race, sailors, family and friends relax and enjoy the very best the Mexican Rivera has to offer. Many also stay for fantastic inshore buoy and random leg racing around Banderas Bay at MEXORC 2018 which starts on March 10th.

About San Diego Yacht Club

The San Diego Yacht Club encourages and fosters an environment that helps and continues to produce the best in the world of yachting-related activities. Founded in 1886, SDYC has become a world renown yachting community recognized for its success in bay sailing, ocean racing, cruising, angling, and its world class youth sailing program. SDYC is consistently ranked among the top 5 yacht clubs in the U.S. and is recognized by the Club Leadership Forum as one of the finest facilities of its kind in the world.