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2024 Puerto Vallarta Race at San Diego Yacht Club - Day 3

by San Diego Yacht Club 25 Feb 02:53 GMT February 22 - March 1, 2024
2024 Puerto Vallarta Race © San Diego Yacht Club

The 2024 edition of the San Diego to Puerto Vallarta International Yacht Race features a staggered start so the smaller boats can sail their best race and hopefully finish within a day or two of the larger, presumably faster boats.

With the Thursday starters from division ORR 6 sailing about 140nm on their initial 24 hours down the course, Friday saw divisions ORR 5 and ORR 4 start in what amounted to a 'fair' breeze. While the forecasts called for mostly calm with some models even suggesting a southeast wind (which would mean upwind sailing) a modest 5-8 kts from the west showed up in the harbor to move both fleets smartly out of San Diego harbor and into a building westerly for the rest of their run for the day.

Stats from first 2 days of racing:

Thursday Starters:
ORR - 6: Avg 140nm in first 24 hours, 198nm in 2nd 24 hours

Friday Starters:
ORR - 5: Avg 98nm in first 24 hours
ORR - 4: Avg 105nm in first 24 hours

Saturday Starters:
About 4 hours to pass the Coronado islands just across the Mexican border.

The general consensus from the racecourse were light conditions, lots of sail changes, and a beautiful sunset and sunrise Friday into Saturday.

Saturday marked the start for Divisions ORR 3, ORR 2, and ORR 1 featuring the Goliath Rio 100, Manouch Moshayedi's Bakewell White 100' sled, against a relative David-sized BadPak, Tom Holtus's Botin 56 speedster. Between those two is George Hershman/Mark Coming's R/P 63 GoodEnergy.

All three boats are serious fast with deep rosters of professional and well-seasoned competitors. Their duel on the corrected time clock will be one to watch. Unfortunately for them the dire forecast for Saturday suggested breeze less than 5 kts, and from a variety of directions... and the forecast was spot on. With meager wind rarely showing more than 3 kts during the starts, all three classes Saturday made slow but predictable progress seaward in the relatively swift 1.5 kt ebb. It was generally from the west-southwest during the start, but died off almost completely shortly after the last start for ORR 1 competitors, and switched heartlessly to the south. It was memorable, but for all the wrong reasons. Still, with 1000 miles to go, the racers worked their super light air sail inventories usually reserved for crossing under the lee of Cabo San Lucas. Watching the YB trackers, their speed and direction plots would tell you the west-southwest breeze filled in and before dinner, they were sailing again, albeit still modestly, towards the prize in Puerto Vallarta.

The Saturday fleet ended up sailing 4 hours hugging the coastline to pass the Coronado Islands just across the Mexican border, about twice as long as the Thursday and Friday starters spent on the same portion.

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