Vallarta Race: No changing clothes

Published on March 5th, 2018

(March 5, 2018) – Twenty-eight teams started the 34th running of the San Diego to Vallarta International Yacht Race, but the crew on H.L. Enloe’s ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe will hardly have enough time on the 1000 nm course to change underwear.

After beginning on March 3 amid the third day of staggered starts, they are aiming to finish today. Here’s Will Suto’s report from onboard the trimaran.


We are currently at the southern tip of Baja positioning to make the transition into the Gulf of California. Clear skies, bright moon, 13 knots of wind, cruising along at a civilized 20 knots of boat speed.

After a front passed through the morning of our start, dumping rain, we thought we’d be leaving San Diego Bay in light wind but were gifted a few hours of beam reaching in 10-12 knots, a zippy mode for us. Unfortunately, we outran the wind and into the back of the mornings front.

We spent a good portion of the first night furling and unfurling headsails in the rain as the wind danced circles around us. However, once the breeze came up, we were off in classic Mexico race conditions of 15 knots, blue water, and short, steep waves. And with the breeze brought plenty of action onboard.

We sashimi’ed a huge fish with our starboard foil. Jay caught the world’s biggest flying fish. Broken gennaker halyard cover disabling a winch and requiring some technical work arounds. Several watches with boatspeed averages in the high 20s. The typical waterboarding on deck.

We’re now looking forward to making the transition into the Gulf and hopefully arriving in Puerto Vallarta late today. Follow AIS tracker… click here.


Mighty Merloe would need to finish by 9:15 PM (PST) on March 5 to break the course record of 02:08:33 set in 2014 by Tom Siebel’s MOD70 trimaran Orion.

UPDATE: Mighty Merloe blasted across the Gulf today, finishing at approximately 16:20 to improve the course record by approximately four hours. Still waiting on the actual finish and elapsed time.

OFFICIAL: Mighty Merloe’s finish time of 16:18:21 translates to a new elapsed time record of 02:03:48:21, reducing the record by 04:20.

Event informationRace detailsEntry listTrackerPhotos

Note: The race tracker is on a four hour delay.

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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