PV Race: Sizzle soon to get swallowed

Published on March 9th, 2020

(March 9, 2020) – Bill Hardesty’s Hobie 33 Sizzle continues as the pace car in the 2020 San Diego to Vallarta International Yacht Race but it could be his last day after benefiting from the earliest start on the 1000nm course from San Diego, USA to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Day 3 starter and ORR-1 leader Pywacket70 (Volvo 70) has been weaving their way through the fleet, and with a five knot speed edge on Sizzle, Roy Disney’s new beast of a boat could be the elapsed leader tomorrow.

Two retirees are now recorded as Lowell Potiker’s Hylas 70 Runaway is returning to San Diego while George Bailey’s Santa Cruz 52 Hokahey is continuing under power. No details on their situation were available but all crew are understood to be well.

Report from Randy Smith on Farr 87 Sapphire Knight (0800 PST):
—–TWS 11kts, TWD 064, BSP 10.5kts—–
After a surreal day yesterday we are hauling the mail today with our R1 slowly diverging from Baja as we set up for what appears to be a wide rounding of Cabo. COAMP grib files are pretty spot on and GFS is not anywhere near reality.

We had two big park ups yesterday, perfectly timed for the lunch and dinner seatings. The dinner break lasted for several hours but afforded a great sunset for both watches to enjoy salmon, broccoli, and rice paired with a nice merlot. The glass is half full, never half empty.

We are not doing well in ORR handicap against all the lighter boats but we are fighting hard while doing back and forth sail changes from drifter to R1 to A2 and back again. Cazan and Brigadoon made a big move outside and have made some early gains. Time will tell if extra distance is worth it.

I am continuing to adapt to this “racing cruising” as best I can. I discovered the four slice toaster in the galley this morning and made some cinnamon toast. I should have been patient as Caroline, our faithful stewardess, just handed me a plate of fresh pancakes as I type this.

Phil is having a great time driving his massive yacht with a great crew. It appears we will have a nice day jib reaching right on course. Pyewacket and the rest of the fast boats are coming fast, but sailing hot angles.

Report from Nathalie Criou on 33-foot Beneteau Figaro 2 Envolée:
We decided for an inshore strategy as nothing seems to be worth reaching offshore. We will see if that pays off. The kelp population along Baja California’s coast have united. They now present a strong compact front designed to impede vessel traffic.

It appears the boats in front didn’t get stuck in a wind hole so they put a ton of miles on us, but we are working hard to see if we can compress that distance and maybe still have a card to play after the Cabo redistribution so we’re still racing full tilt. All good.

Someone lied to us about sun. We had three rainy squalls and Mexico squalls don’t even seem to be bringing any wind. A tropical bird is chasing us, maybe hoping we’ll deploy a flat platform for it to land on.

We had to get a huge piece of kelp off the prop that was dragging but otherwise all the kelp population still seems busy on the battlefield we just left. At least that situation has improved. Light winds make it a race that favors the longer and lighter boats. Onwards!

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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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