Land to the left, Ocean to the right

Published on March 8th, 2020

(March 8, 2020) – With its three staggered starts on March 5-7, the prediction for the 2020 San Diego to Vallarta International Yacht Race was for the small boats to have the best weather window, and after three days of racing, Bill Hardesty’s Hobie 33 Sizzle continues to guide the fleet along the 1000nm course. But while Sizzle holds the ORR-6 lead, the overall claim at this early stage goes to ORR-2 and David Clark’s Santa Cruz 70 Grand Illusion from the final starting group.

Report from Randy Smith on Farr 87 Sapphire Knight (1200 PST):
We have had an uneventful race so far. Decent exit out of town and into the A2 spinnaker first afternoon on March 6. We are a big heavy boat fighting off the SC 50s and smaller, lighter, faster boats in our class (ORR-5). So far it has been all about sailing the fewest miles.

After the first day just outside of the pack behind us, a few steps down on some good shifts put us on a decent layline for 20 miles off San Benito Island. It turned out well as the boats inside had to come out on a bad number so good gains for us.

The Farr 40 Turbo Wild Thing is sailing well and leading our class. The canters and sleds appear to be catching us quickly after a good 24 hr run. Bill and Parker, (SizzLe), here we come to hunt some Hobie.

We are happy with our lane and happier with our boat and crew. We have a mix of OEX and Medicine Man refugees who have all sailed many miles together. We have a full time stewardess who is feeding us well. Some have already had their second hot shower and this is the first time on a race I have had to move while the floor in the main salon is vacuumed.

Report from Nathalie Criou on 33-foot Beneteau Figaro 2 Envolée:
It’s a battleground of light air to no air to short squalls al night. Some squalls would bring no wind but all would bring rain, with one of them delivering heavy tropical rain. The good news is the boat is super clean now. As a result, we are 100% focused on playing shifts and boat speed, plus assessing our progress, we have started to inventory our food supply to decide when we have to start eating our main trimmer. Cats are complaining about the cold.

Also we might have to switch from ground coffee to instant coffee which is creating friction among the team as there was a strong ask to bring TWO French press. If ground coffee volume doesn’t match it sounds all very wasteful in terms of weight.

Super tough and technical light air sailing and mentally draining. We are changing driver every 60 minutes now and only using our best ones for that. Navigator is thinking about invoking divine powers with the wind dance but we think it’s outside assistance so we overruled him. Meanwhile Nat is teaching everyone Spanish as it is looking like we will now have time to go through beginners, intermediate, AND advanced courses.

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The 2020 San Diego to Puerto Vallarta International Yacht Race got underway on March 5 for five teams in ORR-6 as they began the 1,000nm course from San Diego, USA to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Staggered starts continued on March 6 for 16 teams in ORR-3,4,5 and March 7 for eight entrants in ORR-1,2.

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