San Diego to Vallarta International Yacht Race

  • March 10, 2014

San Diego Yacht Club are the organising committee behind the San Diego to Vallarta International Yacht Race which will take place March 13-22, 2014. The start line will be located in the vicinity of SD Channel Buoy #17 and the finish will be just off Punta Mita, Nayarit, Mexico. The course will take the fleet over 1000nm along the beautiful Californian coast down to Mexico. 

A little history of the race,

In January 1953, Club de Yates de Acapulco and San Diego Yacht Club, led by Commodore Ken Baker, established the first San Diego to Acapulco Race. The course for the race stretched 1,430 nm from SD to Acapulco, offering a tropical port in wintertime and a leisurely return via the Mexican and Baja California coast. The only SDYC entry in 53 was the 89-foot ketch Novia del Mar owned by John P. Scripps. The race was won by Acapulco entrant Wolf Schoenborn sailing the 44 Island Clipper Conejo with an elapsed time of 12 days, 18 hrs 13 min 57 sec. The best Elapsed Time for the First to Finish yacht to Acapulco was 8d, 9h, 15m, 34s established in 1964 by Sirius II. SDYC’s Ashely G. Bown aboard his well known 40’ Owens Cutter “Carousel”.

The San Diego – Acapulco race was held biennially a total of 12 times before changing its destination to Manzanillo in 1976. This cut over 300 nm off the course length and shortened the race by up to four days. Elapsed times for the First to Finish yachts averaged six days for the 1100 nm course as the boats were getting faster.  After 10 editions of the San Diego to Manzanillo race spanning 20 years, ‘the race’ went looking for a new destination. Mazatlan was selected as the 1996 destination, but proved to be an undesirable racing destination. 

In 1998, San Diego Yacht Club headed for Puerto Vallarta. That year, Roy Disney was back with a ‘turbo’ version of his ultra-light sled “Pyewacket” to establish a course record to Puerto Vallarta (approx. 1000 nm) that still stands today at 3d, 21h, 55m, 36s.

The course to Puerto Vallarta and the seemingly obscure seaward finish line located on the northern edge of Bandaras Bay was selected because of its proximity to the open ocean and to avoiding the predictable night time parking lot for boats trying to traverse the 12 miles across Bandaras Bay to the PV’s harbors. 

Throughout San Diego Yacht Club’s 55 year history of conducting races to Mexico, participation has been as ‘enthusiastic’ as 42 boats and as ‘concise’ as 15 boats (1960 and 2006 – aside from the 7 boat roster for the inaugural year). A variety of fleets, rating systems and designs have been woven into the history of this event.

Each of the participating boats will have a YB Tracker onboard. The tracker will wake up every hour and report the gps location, speed and direction through the Iridium satellite network to YB HQ servers. Once there the data is visualised on a race tracker which will be available on the race website. For more information on this competition please visit the race website.


Content from SDYC website 

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