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18th Annual Banderas Bay Regatta

Banderas Bay Regatta racing as it should be — a crowd of legit cruising boats hitting the starting line at once in ideal sailing conditions.

© 2010 Jay Ailworth

There were bullets all over Banderas Bay last Thursday to Saturday, as the top boats in the seven divisions of the 18th Annual Banderas Bay Regatta were unusually dominant.

After years of working on Maluhia, Kim and Dave Wegesend had their Cantana 42 flying around the course. In Latitude’s opinion, theirs was the top boat in this year’s Banderas Bay Regatta.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Romping all over their classes with three bullets in three races were Louis Kruk of the San Leandro-based Beneteau 42S7 Cirque, Thor Temme of the Kauai-based 30 year old 41-ft custom trimaran Meshach, Dave and Kim Wegesend of the Puerto Vallarta-based Maluhia, Rudy Heessels of the Beneteau 36S7 Wind Child, and Tom and Cheryl Landgreen of the Beneteau Idylle 43 Bolero. Winning their divisions with two bullets in three races were Jim Casey of the Lake Tahoe-based Jeanneau 43DS Tomatillo and Rick Gio and Jan Grant of the Sebastopol/San Rafael-based Beneteau 40 Music.

Mai Dolche’s Belvedere-based Marquesas 56 Dolce Vita reveled in the near ideal sailing conditions. Next in Mai’s sights? The Galapagos.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The Banderas Bay Regatta doesn’t recognize an overall winner, but we do. It’s Dave and Kim Wegesend of Maluhia who, after spending years restoring their Catana 42 — and lightening her up by doing things like replacing the heavy plywood floors with helium infused lighter-than-air composite ones — flew around the course at speeds not previously seen in a Catana 42. Well done.

Ted Davis’ magnificent S&S 70 Alsumar, from San Diego, was the classic in the fleet. If we’re not mistaken, she was built in 1934.

© Jay Ailworth

A huge ‘well done’ also goes to Laurie Ailworth, formerly of Alameda, who was primarily responsible for the biggest Banderas Bay Regatta fleet in history. Ailworth says she’ll be stepping down after two years, but nobody believes her, thinking she wouldn’t be able to live with the guilt if she did. Please, Laurie, don’t go.

The ‘Bubble-licios’ spinnaker on
Profligate had a good career, but thanks to a muffed spinnaker takedown, it was a short one.

© Jay Ailworth

Banderas Bay lived up to its reputation by providing excellent flat water sailing conditions, with the wind almost always in the 9- to 17-knot range. It goes without saying that it was plenty warm and the skies were blue. The host Vallarta YC did an excellent job, and Paradise Marina was as accommodating as ever. If you like casual cruiser racing, you don’t want to miss the 19th running next year.

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A small flotilla escorted Plastiki out the Gate on Saturday morning while three news choppers circled overhead.