Wednesday, March 9, 2016

J/125 Silvers Puerto Vallarta Race

J/125 sailing Puerto Vallarta race (Puerto Vallarta, Mexico)- The 32nd running of the Vallarta Race, a 1,000nm course from San Diego, USA to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, began with staggered starts on February 19 and 20 for the 21-boat field. J/World’s Wayne Zittel commented on the race conditions, “Wow, what a fantastic run we had down the coast of Baja. Seriously, some gorgeous sailing conditions. Rounding Cabo San Lucas, we saw periods of calms, but the sail across the Sea of Cortez was beautiful.  From a sailing perspective, it was really shifty and puffy, and lighter for the leaders in front of us.  But, if we didn’t have sail changes to break up the cockpit chatter, what else would we be doing? We used almost every sail we brought; 5 different spinnakers, a couple of jibs, a jib top, a code 0, and a couple of staysails.”

Peter Isler, sailing on a 70 footer, had this to say, “At just 45nm from the finish, it was still so close – but so, so far!!! After struggling with nearly 24 straight hours of drifting conditions yesterday – we had another beautiful night sailing fast straight at the mark in a nice 15 knot northwesterly. But, 50 miles from the finish line, Mother Nature was not done with us, and the wind shut down and we drifted again for another few hours – just to make sure we had figured out how to drift faster!”

J/125 Timeshaver sailing Puerto Vallarta racesSailing in Division 4, Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER had a very tough, but ultimately rewarding race.  They were up against some turbo’d Farr 40s and their annual arch-rivals, the SC 50 HORIZON (ultimately, the Division 3 and Overall winner).  For the first three-quarters of the race, the J/125 had put the hammer down and was leading the fleet overall.  However, like Zittel and Isler mentioned above, it was a roll of the dice that determined the winners and losers in the end.  Indeed, TIMESHAVER got the short end of the stick in the last 100 miles, watching a boat-for-boat lead over HORIZON and the R/P 50 BLUE BLAZES evaporate quickly.  In fact, so quickly that a several hour lead turned into an eight hour deficit on elapsed time!  As it turns out, the two boats TIMESHAVER had to beat, HORIZON and BLUE BLAZES, finished in just around 4 days/ 13 hours while TIMESHAVER ghosted across the finish line at 4 days/ 21 hours- ouch!  About a 15 hour swing with less than a day’s sail to get to the line!  Nevertheless, while losing the overall prize, Torbensen’s fast crew on TIMESHAVER took the silver in Division 4 and still finished a credible 8th overall.  For more Puerto Vallarta Race sailing information