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2020 Puerto Vallarta Race

Day two of San Diego Yacht Club’s 35th Puerto Vallarta Race started with a review of the race tracker to check on the progress of the Class 6 boats who started on Thursday.

Over the first 18 hours of the race, Bill Hardesty’s Hobie 33 Sizzle led the pack, cutting over 150 miles off the course with an average of 8.5kts boat speed over course.

Aboard the Cal 40 Nalu V, the crew loved the start delivered to them on Thursday. “Great start to the race! Much windier than expected – only one roundup! Excellent ‘skippers lasagna’ for dinner. Champagne sailing all the way.”

At the skippers meeting for Friday starters, there was a tinge of jealously in the air after seeing the starting conditions from Thursday. Once the race trackers were retrieved, the teams spread out down the docks at SDYC for final preparations for the starts scheduled for 1200 (Class 5), 1210 (Class 4), and 1220 (Class 3). SDYC presented a send off party on Shelter Island (to be repeated on Saturday, March 7th as well) to watch the starts with drinks in hand.

The largest Class of the 2020 race is Class 5 with 7 boats in a wide range of styles. From luxury race accommodations aboard Farr 85 Sapphire Knight and Hylas 70 Runaway, to smaller race boats like the Farr 40 Wild Thing and DK46 Cazan. Take a tour of Sapphire Knight:

Rob Vandervort, navigator aboard Dan Gribble’s Tripp 56 Brigadoon is looking forward to his first PV race. In addition to the strategy of a new course for Vandervort, he mentioned dodging whales as the other concern to be noted. After PV, Brigadoon will sail around the Sea of Cortez in cruising mode.

Class 4 is the Santa Cruz 50/52 Class, who continue to draw a quality turnout at every west coast offshore race over recent years, include 6 in this year’s PV Race. The focus in this class has to start with John Shulze’ Santa Cruz 50 Horizon. They are coming off an overall win in February’s Islands Race, 7th overall in the 2019 Transpac, and an overall win in the 2016 PV Race amongst other successes.

While Horizon brings loads of PV Race experience, Heather Furey and the Santa Cruz 52 Blond Fury are geared up for their first race to PV this year. The 2019 Transpac Race was Furey’s first long-distance offshore race, and she’s excited to continue the sport in this competitive yet fun Santa Cruz class. They’ll be joined by George Bailey’s Santa Cruz 52 Hokahey who have a boat full of first timer PV racers as well.

And in the final start for Friday, three boats will have a rematch from their competition at the last Transpac Race where they raced in THE class of the event, Division 3 that produced the top 5 overall boats in the deep 83 boat race. Third overall at Transpac was Bob Pethick’s Rogers 46 Bretwalda3, and 4th overall was Mark Surber’s J/125 Snoopy. They’ll be joined by Ivan Batanov’s SOTO 40 Zero Gravity as the three boat Class 3 for the PV Race. Pethick brought Bretwalda3 to the west coast from Detroit in recent years, always around the top of the leaderboards and will be sailing with a mixed crew of Michigan and California sailors.

Follow the race tracker with hourly position updates (on a 4 hour delay). Visit for more information.

by Casey Allocco

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