Early starters begin Vallarta Race

Published on March 1st, 2018

San Diego, CA (March 1, 2018) – The 34th running of the San Diego to Vallarta International Yacht Race got underway today as the three-boat Division 7 started in San Diego Bay off of Shelter Island. Charles Buckner’s Cabernet Sky (Beneteau 48), Tracy Obert’s Marjorie (BBY Custom 59), and John Miller’s Tropic Thunder (Beneteau 46) will follow the 1000 nm course along Baja California to the finish off of Punta Mita in beautiful Banderas Bay, Mexico.

The bulk of the 28-boat fleet will start on March 2 (Div 4/5/6) and March 3 (Div 0/1/3).

The ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe will be starting in that final group with sights on breaking the course record of 2 days, 8 hours, and 55 minutes. “Mighty Merloe had a refit in the fall, so we’re looking forward to unleashing her in the open ocean,” reports crew member Will Suto. “We have most of our Transpac crew returning, with the addition of accomplished trimmer Thierry Fouchier and ORMA 60 legend Nat Iyengar.”

Mighty Merloe will need to finish by 9:15 PM (PST) on March 5 to break the course record set by Tom Siebel and the MOD70 Orion in 2012.

Steve Meheen, the new owner of the Botin 80 Cabrón (previously Beau Geste) was disappointed to have to cancel his entry at the last minute this week. After weeks of trying to get the boat delivered from Australia in time to race to PV, the timing just didn’t work out. Cabrón expects to be racing later this summer in the SoCal 300, part of the CA Offshore Race Week, the Ensenada Race, and the Pacific Cup.

With the loss of Cabrón from the roster, Division 1 and 2 were combined to make a 5 boat fleet.

Manouch Moshayedi’s Rio100 is back to conquer the Vallarta Race course again. In 2016, Rio100 set the monohull course record at 3 days, 5 hours, 41 minutes. Starting on March 3, they will need to finish by March 6 at 5:51 PM (PST) to eclipse their 2016 mark.

In Division 5, the four Santa Cruz 50s and 52s will be racing in a tight rating band against each other as they often do on the west coast. In 2017, Horizon bested Triumph and Hana Ho in the Transpac Race, while Lucky Duck and Horizon battled back and forth throughout the CA Offshore Race Week, with Horizon ahead in division, but Lucky Duck coming in 2nd overall in the series and ahead of Horizon.

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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 0/1/3).

Through the history of the race, the destination has changed over the 65 years, from Acapulco, to Manzanillo, Mazatlan and now Puerto Vallarta. Starting in San Diego Bay off of Shelter Island, the course proceeds 1,000 miles passing Baja California, and finishes off of Punta Mita in beautiful Banderas Bay, Mexico.

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.

At the conclusion of the race, sailors, family and friends relax and enjoy the very best the Mexican Rivera has to offer. Many also stay for fantastic inshore buoy and random leg racing around Banderas Bay at MEXORC 2018 which starts on March 10.

Source: SDYC

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