When the Effort is Worth the Reward

Published on February 28th, 2018

Preparing for an offshore race is an arduous task, but when the destination is a resort town on Mexico’s Pacific coast, the effort is worth the reward. Ullman Sails’ Keith Magnussen reports on the final days before the 1000 nm San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race.


Last year was relatively mellow for Team Timeshaver, as our only offshore race on the J/125 was the NHYC-Cabo San Lucas race and, like a majority of boats, we dropped out due to a real lack of wind. Needless to say, but I will, we have been really looking forward to the PV Race.

We ended up with a good amount of time to prepare the boat and Viggo Torbensen (owner) has really done an amazing job in getting the boat ready. After a trip to the boatyard, some new sails and new additions to the crew, we are finally feeling ready. Our team is fortunate to have Erik Shampain joining us, as he is someone I have known since I learned to sail in Oceanside nearly 30 years ago (wow) and sailing with friends is what I am into.

We have spent the last few weeks putting the finishing touches on the boat. We tuned the rig, looked at new sails, tried some new configurations for reaching (will elaborate after the race!) and installed the mandatory AIS.

Viggo Torbensen has been working tirelessly to get all the details finished. Not often you witness a boat owner take so much responsibility with boat projects, and it is truly astonishing how many things Viggo juggles to make this all happen. It is a pleasure to be part of his team.

The race itself is one of my favorites. Yes, you might get some light air in the Sea of Cortez, but the marine life spectacle makes up for it in many ways. On Transpac, you see relatively nothing for a week and that can get a bit monotonous. In the 2016 PV Race, we actually took a sail by the Arches in Cabo (yes I have pics to prove). We had a fun morning being entertained by boats and jet skis. This might have cost us the race, but hey, it is a talking point forever now.

With our March 2 start approaching we can finally talk about the weather. It will be a bit cold to begin, and maybe some rain, but promises to get warmer with each day. There will be some wind, and maybe some light spots followed by a puff. Standard Mexico racing!

The fleet this year is fairly interesting. Some big boats, a couple bigger boats, and some smaller boats make this a well-rounded entry list. I think that a big multi-hull will finish first, followed by a big mono-hull. We are hoping to do well overall and win our fleet. It will be tough due to the amount of amazing sailors out there, but we are confident in the boat and our abilities.

Event informationRace detailsEntry list

Background: The 34th running of the San Diego to Vallarta International Yacht Race has 28 entrants competing on the 1000nm course from San Diego, USA to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The biennial event in 2018 has staggered starts on March 1 (Div 7), 2 (Div 4/5/6), and 3 (Div 0/1/2/3).

The multihull race record of 02:08:33 was set in 2014 by Tom Siebel’s MOD70 trimaran Orion. The monohull race record of 03:05:41 was set by Manouch Moshayedi’s Rio100 in 2016.

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