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).
On the dock before the race, skipper Charlie Ogletree and navigator Peter Isler were hopeful that the conditions would be such that the record could fall, knowing the potential of the MOD70 to surpass the course record time.
The new time will eclipse the mark recorded in 1998 by world adventurer Steve Fossett’s 60’ trimaran “Lakota” which sailed as an unofficial entry in an ‘exhibition’ class. Lakota roared down the course at an average speed of almost 16 knots and completed the 1000 nm. course in 2d, 14h, 20m, 17s.
Orion’s primary competition Mightly Merloe, H.L. Enloe’s Orma 60, is about 40 miles from the finish and would need to increase their speed a bit to meet the previous course record.
While none of the weather along the way was necessarily high powered, the trimarans managed to mostly stay away from the light spots and maintain a course average of approximately 18 knots. The intense ride provided by these trimarans asks a lot of its crew. Navigators on both boats get tossed around while down below, and will arrive at the finish pretty thrashed.
On station at the finish line off of Punta Mita are Bob Shinn, regatta chairman Steve Malowney and SDYC member (and local) Mike Satterlee, welcoming the tri’s to Mexico.
Congratulations to Tom Siebel and the crew of Orion on their record breaking sail.