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CABO RACE: Will it be cold beer or cold shoulder?

Published on March 27th, 2013

(March 27, 2013) – Life isn’t fair, and nowhere is that more true than when finishing a Mexican offshore race. Arrive in the afternoon, and you enjoy brisk winds and cold cervezas. Arrive at night, and the hard work along the race route could likely be swallowed by the fickle coastal winds.

Three teams today finished the 800 mile Newport to Cabo San Lucas (MEX) race: LoeReal (JEN 60), Pendragon VI (Davidson 70), and Wizard (RP 74). The Andrews 70 Pyewacket is the overall leader, but they are also looking at a night time finish. Will it be cold beer or cold shoulder?

John Sangmeister onboard the Santa Cruz 70 OEX shares the realities of the race:

What started as a slow Cabo Race has now developed a heightened sense of urgency in a country with a decidedly more casual attitude.

We have now crossed what my crewmate Jib Kelly refers to as the “Ring of Fire” a radius from which we can power to the dock. After several frustrating satellite phone calls to travel call centers half-way around the globe, we have concluded collectively that for the good of our marriages, we need to get on that Thursday 2:00pm United flight out of Cabo.

Wednesday morning’s dawn was met with some trepidation as we sailed slowly along between 4 and 6 knots downwind. Our VMG would not get us to the “Ring” much less the airport on time. This renewed determination has lifted our game and the morning sched reported OEX sailed the second most total miles in our class. We took some distance out of the top two overall boats – Pyewacket and Alchemy (Andrews 68) – and lengthened our lead on those behind.

Our conversations now sound something akin to “The Amazing Race” competitors as we plan our next moves once we hit the dock…

1. Pack and clean the boat,
2. Meet the inbound customs agent at 9:00am at “The Office” on the beach,
3. Quick shower at the marina and head to the airport by 10:30am.

As previously mentioned, flying out of Mexico during Easter Week is not ideal. Any miss step with our plan and it’s trouble, but this afternoon we have 10 knots of wind, we are sailing 9.6 knots right at the barn, and with any luck we’ll all stay married. OEX out…

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