Praised by the state secretary of education as the most successful educational fundraiser in the state of Guerrero, Zihuatanejo’s 11th annual Sailfest, which concluded last weekend, raised just under $36,000 USD, all of which will go to enhance educational opportunities for local kids.
Thirty-eight cruising boats attended this year’s six-day festival, which included both on-the-water and shoreside activities, each focused on both fun and fundraising. "They were enthusiastically welcomed by the local community and the national news media, who have come to admire and respect the cruiser’s heart-felt volunteerism," said organizer Lorenzo Marbut, who is an expat in residence. According to Zihua’s municipal director of education, more than 2,000 disadvantaged children are attending school thanks to the efforts of American and Canadian expats like Lorenzo who work in cooperation with the cruising community.
"Uncharacteristically overcast skies and occasional rain showers did not dampen the spirits of the cruisers and their local volunteer allies; all events were eagerly attended," reports Lorenzo. "More than 200 local businesses donated thousands of dollars in gifts and services for Sailfest auctions and raffles; 30 local and international musicians donated their talents to perform at three sold-out benefit concerts; and several fine-dining restaurants competed in the Chili Cook-off. In addition, cruisers welcomed 113 paying guests on board for the sail parade, and hosted 100+ school children at a beach party where fun, games and giggles ruled the day."
When fundraising earnings were totalled, the tally came to $459,556 pesos, including generous grants from the Bellack Foundation and California-based cruiser Pete Boyce. The organizer’s vision has always been to provide educational opportunities to each and every child in Zihuatanejo, regardless of income level or social status. The funds will be administered and distributed by the nonprofit Por Los Niños de Zihuatanejo, Sailfest’s Mexican charity. For more on this worthwhile event and its ongoing impact, see the website.
Singlehanded TransPac racers, wannabe racers, and folks simply interested in witnessing the paradox of a ‘group of singlehanders’ are invited to an informal meet-and-greet at Encinal YC this Saturday. About 10 boats will start arriving at the club’s guest docks around noon, and will be open for tours to show just what goes into getting ready for a Hawaii race. End the day on a high note by going up to the club for their Mardi Gras dinner. The no-host bar opens at 6 p.m., with dinner ($25) starting at 7, followed by dancing and crawdad racing!