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PV Race: Could a Hobie 33 win it all?

Published on March 11th, 2020

(March 11, 2020) – The standings for the 2020 San Diego to Vallarta International Yacht Race are coming more into focus as the boats turn the corner at Cabo San Lucas and begin the final leg of the race to the finish in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

There are different ways to look at handicap rated standings on the 1000nm course from San Diego, CA. The formula for Distance to Finish (DTF) can be a straight line to finish which may be a straight line over Baja Peninsula, or use a curved DTF that more accurately accounts for the racers path on course. But once the boats are clear of the end of Baja, the math should be the same.

It is also important to know if the predictions are using recent boat speed or average velocity made good (VMG) for the whole race. See the standings reports via a spreadsheet set up by SDYC’s Greg Stewart to provide the daily morning standings.

As of mid-today, five boats have negotiated the wind shadow under Cabo, including the top two boats on the leaderboard, Sizzle and Bretwalda3. They are now enjoying the thermal winds kicking down from the Sea of Cortez and racing hard for the finish line at Punta Mita.

The smallest boat in the fleet, Bill Hardesty’s Hobie 33 Sizzle (above), currently holds a corrected time advantage of one hour over Bob Pethick’s Rogers 46 Bretwalda3. Pethick is a past overall winner of the PV Race back in 2014 when they finished the race in about 4 days, 20 hours.

The Santa Cruz 50/52 Class 4 has had two of six boats retire in this year’s race (Hokahey and Trouble). Also, Horizon maintains a significant lead, 20 miles in front of their nearest Class competitor Triumph. Triumph is 15 nm off Cabo and Horizon is 30 miles off Cabo.

The chips are down on this strategic play. Watch the tracker to see who wins. Assuming the generalizations hold true, that the breeze is better offshore, Horizon is likely to win the class. Then the battle for 2nd is real, with Hana Ho, Blond Fury, and Triumph within 1.5 corrected hours of each other. They are spread out all over the course. More chips on the table…

All five Class 2 boats continues to rank in the top 10 overall. Peligroso is the farthest along the course and could sail in different conditions than the rest of her competition, allowing for potential gains.

Erik Brockmann and the Viva Mexico team are sailing their first race aboard their new VO65, and are looking forward to winding it up and letting it run on the final 200+ miles to the finish.

“We are just off Cabo trying to get past the shadow,” reports Brockmann. “The race has been great and has kept us awake all the time as it has definitely been a hard one with many wind transitions. Also learning a lot on the boat in this light air conditions which we know are not ideal for Viva Mexico but working hard to keep her moving!

“Crew is enjoying the race and now ready for a nice ride to PV from Cabo but all well. Yesterday we had to whales less than 10 meters from the boat so which was great as we were going slow, watching them when you are sailing fast makes you a little nervous.”

Pyewacket 70 is on course to be the first to finish, currently estimated to be at the finish line around 1930 PST, followed by Cabron before sunrise tomorrow.

Report from Randy Smith on Farr 87 Sapphire Knight:
—TWS 10.3 TWD 337 BSP 9.8—
This is likely my final report, but a good one. Last night, after setting up our approach to Cabo for a couple of days, we came in appox 25 miles off on port gybe, with Pyewacket 40 miles to leeward and slightly forward of the beam and Sizzle in on the beach.

We had steady gains every sched yesterday gybing on every shift to stay on the favored gybe and we nailed a mini squall with 19kts running in front of it for two hours with some big gains. We gybed several times approaching the expected wall at Cabo but could see Pyewacket on AIS not slowing down. We took our final step down and gybed to stbd and the breeze quickly built to 19-23 knots.

On this 81,000 lb boat, safety is key as things can go bad quickly. We elected to douse our A2, hoist J2, gybe to port, and re-hoist our A4. It took about 45 minutes but our lane was perfect and we played through the expected Cabo lee with no lee at all in 20 kts of breeze.

Bretwalda3 is just behind us and we have been in sight the entire race. This morning we were rewarded with a big move up in the standings to 3rd in class with 1 and 2 still not to Cabo. We have a chance.

Today’s debate on board is between the traditionalists who believe the end of a Mexico race should be hot and humid while a minority on board are lobbying to turn on a few of the eight air conditioners on board. We expect to finish in early AM tomorrow and in PV by sunrise. Awesome to watch Pyewacket doing 22 kts on the AIS. Cheers to Roy and team for a great race.

Report from Nathalie Criou on 33-foot Beneteau Figaro 2 Envolée:
These wind holes are getting old – at one point there was wind all around us except in our little private hole. We got some good wind last night and made some distance and we now have a slim hope that we will arrive before year end.

We had lost the baby wipes which caused excessive undesirable odor but the crisis has been resolved as the wipes turned up after an extensive search. Also we’re down to salty crackers for our peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

We have spent so much time in wind holes we are afraid of even looking at the position reports…our navigator is designing a plan to do harakiri with a spork.

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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.

The multihull race record of 02:03:48 was set in 2018 by H.L. Enloe’s ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe. The monohull race record of 03:05:41 was set by Manouch Moshayedi’s Rio100 in 2016.

Source: SDYC, Scuttlebutt

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