Visit Pensacola

An adventure after the adventure

Published on March 30th, 2022

The 2022 San Diego to Vallarta International Yacht Race delivered 29 teams along the 1050 nm course to Mexico, and many of the stuck around for the 45th edition of MEXORC held March 19-23 on Banderas Bay in Puerto Vallarta. In this report by Chuck Skewes, he shares the adventure:

What do you do when you need 24 crew on one boat? You call on friends from three states and two countries and put together a winning team!

When you have a large boat in your control, going to a windy venue, your ORR Certificate states 2000kg in crew weight, you fill the gaps. When we entered the Tanton 73Velos into the MEXORC 2022, I knew we had the right machine for the fight.

The ORR Certificate rates us with a crew weight of 4409.25 pounds. Since the waterline is narrow and the deck is wide, it was important to sail the boat at near the maximum crew weight, especially in the winter winds of Banderas Bay. But 4409 divided by an average weight of 185 pounds, we needed a lot of people.

Luckily I am originally from the Pacific Northwest and have many sailing friends there. It was not hard to get sailors to leave the cool rain of March to come to the 85°F, sunny, and great winds of Puerto Vallarta.

Velos, straight off of a class win in the San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race, was well prepared for the task of racing around the buoys once we took all the offshore gear off. Kjeld Hestehave, the owner of Velos, had a family emergency and could not make it down for the regatta so he left it in charge of me and the crew to sail the event.

We started off strong the first two days with a 2,1,1,1 showing great upwind speed and the ability to hit the shifts in Banderas Bay. The third day was a long-distance race to the Marietta Islands, and with great wind for the first half, we had a sizable lead, but with the diminishing breeze, we were a mere 300 yards from the finish line at the expiration of the time limit.

The fourth day was back to buoy racing, and the crew was up to the task with Velos taking a 2,1, and a commanding lead in the regatta.

The final race of MEXORC is a pursuit start and sailing approximately 22 miles finishing just off the harbor. We had a good beat, hit the big geographical shift to the left on the run, passing the last boat just before the last mark with the Ker 51 Fast Exit 2 gaining fast.

Fast Exit 2 was caught low and could not carry their spinnaker to the last mark and this gave us just the time we needed to win the last race overall and secure our victory in class and second overall for MEXORC 2022.

Photo by Charity Palmatier.

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