Conditions favour smaller boats

Rich Roberts reports from the Vallarta race

Monday February 17th 2003, Author: Rich Roberts, Location: United States
For the moment, the glory belongs to the smaller boats that got head starts on Roy Disney's Pyewacket in Del Rey Yacht Club's 17th biennial race to Puerto Vallarta. The answer to whether they can hold on lies in the uncertainties of the Gulf of California not far beyond the horizon.

Bay Wolf, a Santa Cruz 50 familiar to Mexican and Transpac races to Hawaii, was the overall leader Sunday and closing in on Cabo San Lucas at the tip of Baja California, a significant way point in the 1,125-nautical mile race. Skipper Richard Parlette is sailing the boat under charter from Kirk Wilson of the Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club in San Pedro.

Winslow Lincoln's Locomotion, an Andrews 45, was 62 miles behind at the morning's position reports and gaining slowly but steadily on Bay Wolf while trying to hold off a charge by Jake Wood's bright red Mull 82, Sorcery. Locomotion and Sorcery started Thursday in class PHRF A. Bay Wolf started Wednesday in PHRF B.

Pyewacket, the only entry in PHRF AA, started alone Friday, had the longest 24-hour run of 247 miles and was averaging 9.8 knots for the course, slightly faster than Joss's average of 9.45 knots when the MacGregor 65 set the race record in 1985.

Sunday's positions reflected a slight decrease in wind strength from 15 down to 13 knots, although the direction remained favorable from the northwest. As a result, Sorcery took 22 miles back from Locomotion, while Atalanta, Richard Hedreen's Tripp 74 ketch from Seattle, moved into third place in PHRF BB behind Bay Wolf and another S/C 59, Jack Taylor's Horizon, with a 210-mile day.

What conditions the fleet would find in the last fourth of the race across the gulf to Puerto Vallarta will determine prospects for a record.

Immediately after the completion of the race, North Sails and the Mexican Sailing Association are sponsoring a new five-day regatta in Banderas Bay called Vallarta Race Week. All Marina del Rey-Puerto Vallarta participants were invited to take part.

Positions at 9 a.m. Feb. 16
PHRF AA (started Feb. 14)
1. Pyewacket (R/P 75), Roy E. Disney, Los Angeles YC, 247 miles last 24 hours/697 to go.

PHRF A (started Feb. 13)
1. Locomotion (Andrews 45), Keith Kilpatrick, South Shore YC, 205/477.
2. Sorcery (Mull 82), Jacob Wood, California YC, 227/488.

PHRF B (started Feb. 12)
1. Bay Wolf (S/C 50), Richard Parlette, Cabrillo Beach YC, 195/415.
2. Horizon (S/CD 50M), Jack Taylor, Dana Point YC, 190/426.
3. Atalanta (Tripp 74 ketch), Richard Hedreen, Corinthian YC, Seattle, 210/464.
4. Ghost II (Farr 395), Al Berg, Santa Monica Windjammers, 160/524.
5. Zamazaan (Farr 52C), Charles Weghorn, St. Francis YC, 178/611.
6. Black Knight (Farr 39ML), Phillip Friedman, Del Rey YC, retired.

Started race Feb. 7; started Leg 2 Feb. 13
Leg 1 order of finish on corrected time (includes handicaps and engine time penalties)

1. Between the Sheets (Jeanneau 52.2), Ross Pearlman, Santa Monica Windjammers YC.
2. Gold Digger (N/M 50), David Fell, Seal Beach YC.
3. Misty (Cal 39-2), Harold Alexander, Seal Beach YC.
4. Broadway Babe (C&C 110), Jim Maslon, Del Rey YC.
5. Amazing Grace (Farr 55), Allen Puckett, California YC.
6. Cheyenne (Whiting 49), Alan Blunt/David Fox, California/Santa Cruz YCs.

1. Quamichan (Davidson 44), Sandy Clark, South Coast Corinthian YC.
2. Quest (Davidson 53), Scott/Jean Adam, Del Rey/California YCs.
3. Sunseeker (Tayana 55), Alfred Benaroya, Seattle YC.

1. Principessa (Newport 41S), Gregory Daley, Del Rey YC (retired).
2. Fly'n Bry'n (Catalina 42), Jerry Bryan, American Legion YC.
3. Firelight (Catalina 470T), Patrick Mickle, Dana Point YC.
4. Seaker II (Farr 33), Wes Stone, Cabrillo Beach YC.
5. Valerie K (Columbia 43), Ron Hoskin, Hawaii YC.
NOTE: In Salsa Division, time allowance is computed at end of each leg for distance sailed. Engine use permitted with penalty applied. In Spinnaker class, all boats race with PHRF off-wind course (OWC) rating on all legs. In Non-Spinnaker class, initial "cruising" ratings are adjusted after each leg.

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