Offshore Tactics: Control what you can

Published on February 27th, 2024

With 22 entrants and three staggered start dates, the 2024 San Diego to Puerto Vallarta International Yacht Race can spread the fleet out along the 1000nm course.

Peter Isler, who is navigating Roy Disney’s Andrews 68 Pyewacket, shares some advice from somewhere between San Diego Bay to the entrance of Banderas Bay in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico:

In any long race like PV, with its share of ‘minefields’ like the infamous lee that extends from the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, you can’t let your strategy be affected by how you are doing. It may sound trite – kind of like most pro athlete interviews you hear – but its best to focus on the process and just play the game within what you can control.

In this race, the fleet of boats are of disparate speeds and, with the staggered start days based on which class you are in, there’s a lot of the ‘luck of the draw’ that you can’t control. We are pretty happy with the way we have sailed the race so far, but have already faced some of that ‘luck’ factor as the faster boats from our start day enjoying different conditions because they were in a more advanced ‘zip code’.

As my crewmate Torben Grael said one night, “It’s a long race and there’s still a lot of racing to go.” We’ll try to maintain that ‘do the best we can’ with the cards that have been dealt to us and not focus on how we are doing on the scoreboard. However, I must say its a highlight to see that crown on your boat on the yellowbrick tracker!

When we do have boats in visual range, that helps us balance the big strategic picture as we try to go fast and do as best we can with the short term conditions against our closest rivals who are experiencing similar weather. As the wind has been very shifty and unstable, the weather models have been struggling (at best) to keep up so its been a benefit to have some “friends” around within eyesight to race against.

Event informationRace detailsEntry listTracker

RECORD: Roy P. Disney and the crew of Pyewacket 70 set the monohull record in 2022 with a time of 3:04:38:02.

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