The second round of starters for the 34th running of the San Diego to Vallarta International Yacht Race got underway today for 13 teams competing in Divisions 4, 5, and 6.
With staggered starts on three days, and a storm front impacting the normally consistent Southern California weather, not every group was going to get dealt the same hand of cards. The forecast for today’s group saw them drawing the proverbial ‘Short Straw’, and while they enjoyed a tight reach off the start line in 10-12 knots, tonight’s velocity is expected to decrease.
“It’ll be a little light air getting out of here, so that will be a bit of a challenge; but, we actually go pretty well in those conditions, so it might be a bit of a help for us,” said Dave MacEwen, owner of the Santa Cruz 52 Lucky Duck. “Then it looks like it’ll turn into some fantastic sailing conditions.”
The good news is that it could have been worse as they expect to avoid the full impact of a low-pressure system filtering down the west coasts.
For the three-boat Division 7 fleet that got off yesterday, the anticipation of a banner first evening with full moon and full breeze was spot on.
“Just as promised – bright worm moon, building breeze and great sailing…”, said the team on Tracy Obert’s Marjorie (BBY Custom 59), though a bit too much of a good thing as they sacrificed a spinnaker in a 21 knot gybe. The others reported problems too, with Cabernet Sky saw their spinnaker halyard separate just after sunset, though they were able to recover their A3 from under boat. Tropic Thunder was less lucky as a 30 knot gust took out their full symmetrical spinnaker.
Wind and seas by this morning were averaging 15-20 kts, seas 4’-6’, and mostly clear skies. They had progressed between 80 and 130 miles for their 18 hours of effort.
Although the forecast has been diminished in severity for tomorrow, the velocity will be up and the direction will be down…or rather more southerly. The final group of starters in Division 0, 1, and 3 are expected to be beating for most of their first day, with the winds expected to become more southwesterly as they progress down the coast and into their first evening.
Note: The tracker is on a four hour delay.
Background: The 34th running of the San Diego to Vallarta International Yacht Race has 28 entrants competing on the 1000nm course from San Diego, USA to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The biennial event in 2018 has staggered starts on March 1 (Div 7), 2 (Div 4/5/6), and 3 (Div 0/1/3).
Through the history of the race, the destination has changed over the 65 years, from Acapulco, to Manzanillo, Mazatlan and now 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.
The multihull race record of 02:08:33 was set in 2014 by Tom Siebel’s MOD70 trimaran Orion. The monohull race record of 03:05:41 was set by Manouch Moshayedi’s Rio100 in 2016.
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 10.