So, here’s the deal.
We are just 24 hours into the 2012 San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race, and we’ve already been having a blast of a trip! when we shoved off the docks at SDYC yesterday, we know we were in for a fast ride, then a slow ride. We started yesterday at noon off Shelter Island into a SW breeze… upwind with #1 genoa in a pleasant 8 knots or so out past the point.
Now for the FAST part:…
With the wind angle so far south, no one could lay the Coronados and we all went to the East of the islands. The J125 stayed low, down along the shore, as did Miramar. Blue Blazes was above us for a while, but right at the islands dropped down towards the rhumbline. Looks like Serena, the Thompson 1150, stayed seaward with us, and Ocelot split the difference. When we got to the building breeze, we changed to the jib top and genoa staysail, and carried that into the evening. The wind built offshore (as expected) to a pretty solid 25. Even though it looks solid inside of us too, I like being here as I think it should give us a pretty good angle down the course when the breeze goes light and right.
In the early morning, we set the 4A spinnaker, and are now sailing along at a steady 15 knots, with surfs up into the low 20 in breeze from 22-30 knots. Just awesome out here. As usual for us on J World’s Hula Girl, we have a mostly new crew for this event, so everyone has been putting in the overtime to figure out how to sail this girl… and the team is doing really well. It’s been a windy, wet, somewhat lumpy start to a long race on an unfamiliar boat, but so far I’ve been really impressed. Everyone is settling into onboard life well here. The dial got wound up pretty quickly yesterday. If we can keep in touch with the other boats in the fast early stages, I think these guys and gal will be able to really post a challenge later in the race.
As of 0700 positions, Blue Blazes was on about the same latitude, but a good way inside us. I imagine they set earlier and were able to sail deeper through much of the night. Ocelot is between us, and a bit punched out… those guys were probably screaming all last night. Those are there conditions… we should stand a bit of a better chance against them when it gets lighter. The J/125 Timshaver posted a morning roll call somewhere between Las Vegas and Santa Fe, so clearly that’s a bad position… and just as dubious is Serena’s. It has them over 100 miles in front of the next boat, but as of sunset we could see them behind and inside us, and through much of the night we saw lights over there, so I’m pretty sure their position is erroneous.
So that’s the report for the first 24 hours in the PV race. The ‘big boys’ start today so we are happy to have clocked some miles before they start reeling us in. Supposed to go softer (then soft) starting anytime from 8pm to midnight, depending on what model you believe.
I’ll try uploading some pictures later, but our Sat phone connection has been poor (to say the least). I’ll send this via SSB… then I think it’s time for some sandwiches, and I really need to go sit in the cockpit for a while, maybe do a bit of driving out there… it is pretty nearly perfect right now.
Cheers everyone, more soon…
Wayne Zittel & Team Hula Girl
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