Vallarta Race: Sharing the story

Published on February 27th, 2018

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
My DNA is Southern California, which means adverse sailing conditions are for other people.
We get criticized for this, but when the weather for most of the year is predictably preferable, we get used to it. When it does rain, we can’t cope. It’s smart to stay off the roads… accidents happen.

This sets the stage for my take on offshore racing. Now granted, my dad impacted much of my view. He was the founder of TPA – Transpac Anonymous. This was his effort to protect yachtsman from unscrupulous boat owners who make promises about sunny July sailboat rides to Hawaii. The end of the Transpac Race is good – you finish in paradise – but he found the cold and wet beginning to be a price too high.

I didn’t always listen to my dad, and after going to Florida for the famed SORC, I found the offshore sprints to be fun. Fresh wind, warm water, coastal tactics… all good!. But I was young, and it only took one horrific Newport to Bermuda Race, pounding into condo-sized Gulf Stream waves, chilled by the Mid-Atlantic waters, dragged backwards in a current eddy, to show me the misery of offshore sailing.

My dad showed me the light on what an offshore race should be. Sailing with him on a 70-foot sled from Southern California along Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, it all made sense. Day one is good and every day gets better. It gets warmer and windier, the spinnaker stays up, and there is nothing but tacos and tequila ahead. What happens after the finish stays in Mexico.

So from that point on, I was officially ruined. Now I want others to succumb to this fate.

There’s no better way to promote our sport than to share the experience, and with 28 teams getting ready for the 2018 San Diego to Vallarta International Yacht Race, Scuttlebutt wants to share your stories.

Starts are planned for March 1, 2, and 3, sending the fleet down the 1000 nm course toward Puerto Vallarta, a resort town known for its beaches, water sports and nightlife scene. We’re not looking for the stories after the finish… just the adventure getting there.

Please let us know if your team is updating a blog or Facebook page, or if you can email us reports from the course. Consider it a public service. Contact us at

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