Ed. Note: Ok, it’s been entirely my fault that this post lingered for a month. Patrick reported on the great time had by all, but yours truly has been otherwise distracted and let it slip through the cracks. Sorry, everyone. A huge thank you to coaches Patrick and Debby for a great week! FYI, if this sounds fun, we still have a couple spaces in our San Diego Yachting Cup Clinic and Regatta in a couple weeks…
Our location in Puerto Vallarta kicked off March with a fantastic racing course tied into the Banderas Bay Regatta, hosted by the Vallarta Yacht Club. With six people in the clinic, we were able to fill two J/80s (J/World Red and J/World Blue), with an instructor on each. We had three full teaching/coaching days on the water followed by a lay-day to rest up for the three-day regatta which brought great – but challenging – conditions. We had fleet of five boats in our class (three J80s, a J/24, and an Express 27), and even though we were all within a few feet of each other length-wise, the ‘others’ had pretty unbeatable ratings.
Day one of the regatta (Thursday) saw winds around 8 knots at the 1pm start, and with some interesting cloud formations, something weird was bound to happen. The race committee sent us off on an 11.5 nm Olympic-style triangle course. The first three legs had great breeze, complete with a tight reach out to the triangle mark, on which the bolder boats flew kites. We started to see a persistent shift to the left that started to die on the fourth leg. That became a very long beat, with a lot of mode changing. We were desperately hoping for a shortened course, which they finally succumbed to. After sitting for too long but trying to stay focused, there was a 12-15 knot breeze that came out of the northwest and shot everyone over the line. The boats on the right came out on top, and the JWorld boats took a 3 and a 4, with a last-leg lead change from Red to Blue!
Day two was much closer to a ‘normal’ day on Banderas Bay, which it 10-15 knots out of the west, sunny, and unbelievably gorgeous sailing conditions. The only downside was a little bit of leftover swell out of the northwest, which made port tack pretty bouncy and un-favored. The RC sent our class out on a 9.1 nm windward-leeward course. Our J/World Red boat led most of the fleet the whole day, with the exception being the Express 27… man, were they fast! Unfortunately, ‘the others’ still got us in corrected time, but it was fun to have both J/World boats so close! We were both tied for third with seven points after day two.
Day three was a gorgeous day. Sunny, ideal wind, and relatively flat water—perfect. We had the same course as the previous day, and J/World Blue took the early lead off of the start line and did not give it up the whole day! With an oscillating breeze, it was fun to work on playing the shifts while keeping loose covers. Even though the other boats were having slow days, they still got us by corrected time.
In the end, J/World Blue took the hardware home, but after so much learning went on throughout the week, really everyone was a winner! We cannot wait until next year! Big thanks to the VYC, but even more so to our clients that made this possible for us—what a great group!
Patrick and the J/World Team