Monday, March 19, 2018

Gorgeous MEXORC Regatta on Banderas Bay!

J/125 sailing MEXORC on Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico)- This year’s MEXORC 2018 commemorated the Centennial Festivities of Puerto Vallarta. Based out of Marina Vallarta BVG and hosted by the Vallarta YC, the fleet enjoyed an awesome five days of racing on beautiful Banderas Bay from March 9th to 14th.

The sailing consisted of four Windward/Leeward races and three long distance races around Bahia de Banderas.  Those consisted of:
  • the Centennial Cup Puerto Vallarta- 18.0 nm.
  • the Islas Marietta Race- 25.0 nm.
  • the Copa Vallarta Adventures/ Las Caletas Race- a 26.0+ nm “pursuit race” that ended up on the southern side of the bay to the famous Las Caletas Resort in Cabo Corrientes.  Immediately after the race was a dinner and awards ceremony in the beautiful outdoors, natural amphitheater.
The first two days of the regatta were comprised of two windward-leewards, then the Centennial Cup Puerto Vallarta, a relatively short distance race for the fleet.  The sailors were blessed with classic conditions on Banderas Bay- sun, 10-15 kt westerlies, a gorgeous sailing.

J/105 sailing MEXORC off Puerto Vallarta, MexicoOn the third day, race #4 was the “Las Marietta Race”, the marathon long distance race of MEXORC.  Clear skies and smooth seas greeted the racers in the morning.  The famous Banderas Bay “wind machine” did not disappoint. It was lots of fun in the sun!  There were big wind shifts and big breeze for the beat and run back to the finish.  It was a very mixed bag of conditions.

For the fourth day, it was two more windward-leeward races for the fleet.  The first race started in 8-10 kt winds from 210 to 250 deg.  The wind kept shifting right (like it always does!), leaving not too many passing lanes on the right favored beats.  The runs were the same, having to simply gybe once and fetch the leeward gate in a building breeze. In the second race, the winds built to 15-18 kts from 265 degrees and settled in- it was a wild, fun, fast race for all.  Mark Surber’s J/125 DERIVATIVE looked stellar, winning both races in ORR Class B.

Las Caletas Race- finale in MEXORCOn the fifth and final day, the fleet was treated to the “Caletas Pursuit” Race, the 7th race of the series.  As a pursuit race, the slowest boats start first, the fastest last.  The idea being that everyone finishes together!  Started midday, the course was upwind toward Punta Mita and then a spinnaker run/ reach across to the south side of Banderas Bay to the finish Line at Las Caletas.  Taking third overall was the J/133 VELOCES II.

In the ORR Class B, it was Surber’s J/125 DERIVATIVE that nearly ran the table- posting four 1sts and two 2nds to easily win their class.  Taking fourth was the J/133 VELOCES II with a record 4-6-4-4-2-3.  Then, in fifth position was the J/145 DOUBLETAKE.

Having a fantastic time in ORR Class C was the J/105 SINFONIA NAUTICA, posting an overall score of 7-5-4-3-9-6-5 and taking 3rd in class.

For some perspective on what happened to Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER, read about their mis-adventures from Keith Magnussen from Ullman Sails Newport Beach (thanks to

J/125 sailing Bahia de Banderas, Mexico“Well, that escalated quickly!! MEXORC was a roller coaster of emotions for me this year. After coming off our success in the PV Race, we went into MEXORC a little tired and bruised. The last push (200 miles) to the finish took a lot out of the crew. The first race was a “random” leg course in front of the old town. This created a beautiful backdrop for the racing and a challenging light air course. We ended up getting bounced around by the fleet and got a bit frustrated. We ended up with a disappointing finish and some questions to ask ourselves.

Day 2 was back to the old race course and classic W/L in good wind. We had two races for the day and we got off to a good start buy rounding second with our sistership firmly behind us. Good going, let’s jibe away and pass this Swan in front of us. The kite went up and I thought to myself, that looks strange.

Not going to go into details but lets say we had to take it down and re-arrange it. Spent a good 1/4 of the downwind with no spinnaker. Fought back to a second but overall disappointment. Race 2 for the day we had incredible boat speed, solid tactics and no F-Ups. Finished the day 2,1 so back in it.

Third day of racing was out to the Murrietta Islands and back. This is a good one and we had confidence back. After a poor start and bad air we found ourselves behind again. We took the low road and sailed around the other 125 and close to the speedy Swan. The lead boats in our class were approaching Punta Mita and the three of us made the final tack towards the islands.

The wind was about 18 and we had the three up and the other J/125 below us and back. Great, let’s settle in for bit and go fast….

What is the loudest bang you have ever heard on board? For me. it was not the sound of the crane breaking off a J/125. The backstay went limp and as we looked up to the top of the rig, we were in shock. The crane was dangling by the wires for the tri-color and what not. Immediately, we go head to wind, sails down, and all that jazz. Erik went up to get the crane before it came down and killed someone and now we are working out how to get the boat home. Talk about a weird way to end this one…”   Follow MEXORC on FB here   For more MEXORC 2018 sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.