Vallarta race Friday

Rich Roberts previews this classic west coast offshore race

Monday February 3rd 2003, Author: Rich Roberts, Location: United States
-The first of four starts in Del Rey Yacht Club's 17th biennial race to Puerto Vallarta is scheduled Friday, Feb. 7, when 14 Salsa Division boats will cross the line at 1 pm.

Starts for eight boats in three classes of the Racing Division will be Wednesday through Friday, Feb. 12, 13 and 14, also at 1 p.m. Overall, the 22 participants hail from ports as far north as Seattle and as far west as Hawaii.

At 1,125 nautical miles, the Del Rey-Puerto Vallarta Race is the oldest continuous race to Mexico's mainland. The last boat to start this year will be Roy E. Disney's Reichel/Pugh 75 maxi-sled, Pyewacket, which holds records for the Transpacific Yacht Race, Newport-to-Bermuda and the Chicago-Mac, among others. The P.V. record is 4 days 23 hours 0 minutes 4 seconds set in 1985 by Dick and Camille Daniels' Joss, a MacGregor 65.

The Salsa Division is for sailors looking to combine serious racing with the flavor of a cruising lifestyle. The three classes---Spinnaker, Non-Spinnaker A and Non-Spinnaker B---will be allowed to use their engines in the event of light winds but will pay a time penalty for doing so. They'll check in at three way points. The first at Turtle Bay will include a party the evening of Feb. 11. They'll restart Feb. 12 to an optional layover at Bahia Maria, then continue to Cabo San Lucas on a "free" leg that includes a fishing tournament en route and another party in port Feb. 16. The last leg to Puerto Vallarta will start Feb. 17.

That format will be a new experience for David Fell and his crew aboard Gold Digger, his Nelson/Marek 50 from Seal Beach Yacht Club. As dedicated racers, they won the Southern California PHRF Area C High-Point Championship series last year.
Fell said, "I feel really mixed up about it, but I had only one other guy who's ever done a long race, and we didn’t think we could compete with the high-tech boats because Gold Digger is an [older] IOR boat."

However, his crew is the usual group that has done well in buoy races, including watch captains Eric Fracker and Chris Cantwell. "We've just been doing a six-week refit on the whole boat," said Fracker, who also will be the navigator.

The Salsa Division skippers' meeting will be Wednesday, Feb. 5, 5 p.m., at Del Rey YC, 13900 Palawan Way, Marina del Rey. A pre-race party will follow.

The Racing Division skippers' meeting will be Tuesday, Feb. 11, 5 p.m., at the same location, preceding a Mexican-style fiesta.

Immediately after the completion of DRYC's 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 are invited to take part.

(Boat/Type, Sail Number, Skipper, Yacht Club, Rating/Time Allowance)
PHRF AA (starts Feb. 14)
Pyewacket (R/P 75), USA-4, Roy E. Disney, Los Angeles, -153/-47:48:45
PHRF A (starts Feb. 13)
Sorcery (Mull 82), US-1777, Jacob Wood, California, -48/-15:00:00
Locomotion (Andrews 45), US-46860, Keith Kilpatrick, South Shore, -45/-14:03:45
PHRF B (starts Feb. 12)
Horizon (S/CD 50M), US-18926, Jack Taylor, Dana Point, -3/-0:56:15
Atalanta (Tripp 74 ketch), US-69581, Richard Hedreen, Corinthian, 0/0:00:00
Zamazaan (Farr 52C), US-3883, Charles Weghorn, St. Francis, 6/1:52:30
Black Knight (Farr 39ML ), US-83400, Phillip Friedman, Del Rey, 15/4:41:15
Ghost II (Farr 395), US-7077, Al Berg, Santa Monica Windjammers, 30/9:22:30
SALSA DIVISION (All starts Feb. 7)
Amazing Grace (Farr 55), US-18949, Allen Puckett, California, 0/TBD
Gold Digger (N/M 50), US-90210, David Fell, Seal Beach, 12/TBD
Broadway Babe (C&C 110), US-28767, Jim Maslon, Del Rey, 54/TBD
Cheyenne (Whiting 49), US-57782, Alan Blunt/David Fox, California/Santa Cruz, 66/TBD
Between the Sheets (Jeanneau 52.2), US-51593, Ross Pearlman, Santa Monica Windjammers, 78/TBD
Misty (Cal 39-2), US-67200, Harold Alexander, Seal Beach, 114/TBD
Quest (Davidson 53), US-7201, Scott/Jean Adam, Del Rey/California, 51/TBD
Quamichan (Davidson 44), US-77026, Sandy Clark, South Coast Corinthian, 60/TBD
Sunseeker (Tayana 55), US-63434, Alfred Benaroya, Seattle, 72/TBD
Seaker II (Farr 33), US-53360, Wes Stone, Cabrillo Beach, 102/TBD
Fly'n Bry'n (Catalina 42), US-46493, Jerry Bryan, American Legion, 105/TBD
Principessa (Newport 41S), US-20878, Gregory Daley, Del Rey, 105/TBD
Firelight (Catalina 470T), US-46763, Patrick Mickle, Dana Point, 105/TBD
Valerie K (Columbia 43), US-7780, Ron Hoskin, Hawaii, 117/TBD

TBD---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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