Vallarta Race News
Announcing the 2016 Vallarta Race Dates
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 2014 edition featured a strong showing of skilled sailors from yacht clubs all over the world. A total of 23 boats entered the five different classes, representing 14 different yacht club.
Sailing in Class 3 out of California Yacht Club, Bretwalda 3, Bob Pethick’s Rogers 46 was the first monohull to finish, and also won the overall first place on correct time for the race.
Among the other class winners were Vincitore, RP52 owned by Ricardo Brockmann of Club de Yates de Acapulco in Class 1, Pyewacket, Andrews 68 owned by Roy P. Disney of Waikiki Yacht Club in Class 2, Velos, Tanton 73 owned by Kjeld Hestehave of San Diego Yacht Club in Class 4. In the multi-hull division, Tom Seibel’s Orion, a MOD 70 out of St. Francis Yacht Club, broke a 16 year record when he was the first to finish in two days, eight hours and 33 minutes, making his average speed 17.7 kts. Many competitors believe Seibel’s current record could be easily broken in 2016 or subsequent years if the racing features even slightly stronger winds than the breezes of 2014.
With 1,000 nautical miles of racing, the Vallarta Race showcases the best that California and Mexican waters have to offer, earning itself the nickname “The Race to Paradise.” Race veteran Gary Weisman reported after the last competition that the racing area seemed almost surreal. “I can’t remember racing in more champagne sailing conditions than during this race,” Weisman said. “The water was perfectly flat. At night the skies would turn into a full Milky Way and you could see an unimaginable amount of stars.”
Competitors and media alike have dubbed this race a “must-do” for any West Coast distance racers, and with world-class competition and idyllic conditions, it’s easy to see the appeal.
Congratulations to Overall Winner Bob Pethick’s Bretwalda 3!
Video Footage over Point Loma for PV Race Start
Thank you to Grijalva Films for this great video from the start lines of the PV Race.
Records Are Meant to Be Broken
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.