(Riviera Nayarit, Mexico) – The Riviera Nayarit greeted competitors with stunning sailing conditions for the thirty-seven teams from Brazil, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Monaco, Peru, Sweden and the United States. For the entire event, the sailors enjoyed clear skies and warm sea-breezes starting off around 6-8 knots and steadily building to 12-14 with gusts to 16 kts— all 150% class genoa weather all week. Incredibly, it was one of those near postcard-perfect regattas many sailors dream about, perhaps the epitome of the Mexican “siesta fiesta” approach to life— wake up late, breakfast at 10am, go sailing at 12pm as the light sea breeze builds, enjoy a few laps around the cans with friends and foe, sail back in for amazing post-race libations and even more stunning evening parties under the stars. As they say, “lather, rinse, repeat”! Bahia de Banderas can, indeed, deliver some remarkable experiences.
Enjoying it all more than most and soaking it all in was Mike Ingham’s newly-minted 2014 J/24 North American Championship crew on DIGGER- Tim Healy, Enrique Pirez-Cirera, Marianne Schoke and Max Holzer. It was a masterful performance for them, posting an impressive scoreline of 1-2-3-1-4-1-1-1 for only 14 pts.
Behind the big winners, the second through fourth positions were separated by only two points and it all came down, literally, to how they finished the last race. Surviving the wrestling match by grabbing a 4th in the last race, American Tony Parker’s BANGOR PACKET from Annapolis, MD finished second with 31 points. Ian Ilsley’s JOBBIT crew from Monte Carlo, Monaco took a 3rd in the finale to secure third with 32 pts. Coming up short of the podium was Mauricio Santa Cruz’s BRUSCHETTA of Brazil; they’re 8th race DSQ dramatically affected their chances for an “easy silver”, instead taking 2nd in the last race to settle for fourth with 33 pts.
Rounding out the top five was an excellent performance by the German team, JJ-ONE sailed by Jeronimo Landauer. The top Mexican team was Ken Porter’s COMEX team, taking sixth overall. Top Peruvian team was Jimena Gavino Barbieri skippering JITANA into seventh. The Italian team, led by Giovanni Campi on ALEBRIJE, finished twelfth, sailing well and much improved from their last outing to Mexico a few years back. The Swedish team’s appropriately named boat- FOR FUN- took 19th under the able leadership of their rockstar skipper Andreas Olovsson.
As for the winners, Ingham is no stranger to sailing in the Riviera Nayarit, having raced three Copa Mexico’s as well at the 2007 J/24 World Championship. “When this regatta was announced, I didn’t have to look at my calendar. No matter what else was on it, I wouldn’t miss this,” Ingham said. He noted that although he has personally sailed with each of his teammates, the entire crew had never raced together before this event. He praised the conditions, saying, “I’ve probably sailed 60 days in Mexico, and we’ve never missed a day of racing, and I’ve never worn a spray top. I love the 1:00 p.m. starts, with the thermal every day!!” Sailing photo credits- Jen Edney For more J/24 North Americans sailing information: http://j24mex.com/nac2014_copamexico