Pyewacket 70 Sets New Puerto Vallarta Race Record
On Tuesday, the Puerto Vallarta Race race committee studied the YB tracker all afternoon trying to anticipate when the first boat would cross the line. That honor went to Pyewacket 70. In fact, both Pyewacket 70 and Rio100 eclipsed Rio100’s 2016 monohull course record of 3 days, 5 hours, 42 minutes, 43 seconds. Pyewacket 70 bettered that time by 64 minutes, Rio100 by 25 minutes.
To finish first and break the record, Pyewacket actually sailed the most miles in the 2022 fleet, 1,223. (ORR-5’s second-place finisher, Michael T. Ewens’ Olson 40 Akaw!, sailed the least total number of miles in the race, 1,075.)
Racers on both ends of the speed spectrum enjoyed the scenery and wildlife along the way. Off the coast of Baja, Roy Disney wrote, “Lots of sea life, mother and baby gray whale, sea turtles and packs of seabirds picking off flying fish that we scare up.”
Wayne Zittel of the Santa Cruz 52 J World’s Hula Girl wrote, “Massive pod of dolphins around us at this very moment. And the fantastic sailing days just keep coming. In fact, the sailing is so ideal on this one, the crew hasn’t even mentioned stopping in Cabo for a quick margarita. That might be a first for me.”
Natalie Criou of San Francisco, sailing her Figaro 2 Envolée in ORR-6, wrote, “When the sun rose it illuminated a brilliantly fast luck duck bearing down on our position. They were fun to watch, but unfortunately weren’t in our sight long.” Oh wait, that’s not a bird she’s referring to — it’s Dave MacEwen’s Rogers 46 Lucky Duck racing past in ORR-3.
The race didn’t end successfully for all entries. If this event had a Secretary of the Navy award for fortitude and effort, it would go to BlueFlash. A crew member sustained broken ribs and a stable spine fracture from a fall into the cockpit during a sail maneuver. The J/121 put in at Turtle Bay. The injured crewman toughed his way through an overnight bus ride up Baja to Tijuana to walk across the border for a trip to the emergency room. The skipper, Scott Grealish, solo-delivered the boat 400 miles upwind back to San Diego.
John Raymont’s Ker 51 Fast Exit II, sailing in ORR-2, is the overall winner on corrected time. The awards ceremony will be held at the Westin Resort and Spa Puerto Vallarta tonight at 6 p.m.
Now on to MEXORC! That regatta will sail March 19-22 on Banderas Bay. We hope to include coverage of both events in the May issue of Latitude 38.
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Kenichi Horie Arrives in San Francisco to Prepare for Departure
In November we wrote that the famed Japanese singlehander Kenichi Horie, now 83, was planning to leave San Francisco in March to sail back to Japan. It’s already March, and Kenichi and his boat are here and getting ready to go.
Kenichi’s 18-ft boat, Suntory Mermaid III, was recently launched at KKMI in Sausalito and is now being readied to depart San Francisco on the morning of Saturday, March 26 — the first day of SailGP!
If you want to cast off and escort him out, his current plans are to pass under the Golden Gate Bridge at around 10 a.m. He’ll be setting sail for Japan, and you can set sail back into the Bay to watch Team Japan race in SailGP’s Season 2 Grand Final. We’ll look for you there!
Watch SailGP with Passage Nautical
SailGP is just around the corner and we’re already getting booked for charters to watch the show from the water on San Francisco Bay. If catamarans or yacht racing are your thing, book your charter with us soon before we get all booked. Get the best seats on the bay for this event. Go here to book your private charter for this event: https://passagenautical.com/boat-rentals/
Jack van Ommen’s ‘Fleetwood’ Lost on a Cuban Reef
In the March issue of Latitude 38 we bring you the story of Jack van Ommen and the circumstances surrounding his third shipwreck. This one, he says, could have been prevented.
I should have listened to the advice of Herman, my Dutch brother-in-law, when he brought me to the airport in Amsterdam: “Jaap, don’t you think that you are too old to start crossing oceans?”
That was in 2004, when I was 67. I took off in spring 2005 from my homeport in Gig Harbor, Washington. On my way back from Europe in 2013, I suffered my first shipwreck off Ibiza. Some will remember the details and spectacular pictures of the remains of Fleetwood, a Naja 30 I had built myself and sailed for 33 years.
One of the members of the yacht club I had joined in Amsterdam then commented that I should quit sailing and spend time with my grandchildren. But I purchased a copy of my first boat (the Najas are plywood, triple-chined kit boats) in Puget Sound and completed my circumnavigation off Florida on April 1, 2017, a month after my 80th birthday.
Three months later, I had my second shipwreck on the Barrier Islands off the Virginia coast. Fortunately, I was able to save the boat that time. It took me a year’s hard work to repair the damage in Cape Charles, Virginia. The new friends I made there, the attractive places to sail on the Chesapeake, and the previous summer’s sail to Nantucket Sound kept me in their spell.
Just before COVID hit, I sailed from Beaufort, North Carolina, to Saint Martin. Richard and Donna Spindler treated me to my 83rd birthday dinner on St. Barth. In December, I chose to spend time in Cuba. On my way from the Hemingway Marina to Rio Dulce, Belize, I had my third and most recent shipwreck on Friday, February 4.
This one could have been prevented.
I was sailing a gorgeous reach under Monitor windvane. I had dinner after taking pictures of another beautiful sunset. Three hours later, I woke up hitting a reef. I had planned to stay awake until sunrise, which has been my routine on the first night out: Once I get some distance from shore, I set an alarm for short naps.
Continue reading at Latitude38.com.
Ronnie Simpson’s New Ride
Sailor, journalist, racer, Latitude 38 contributor, delivery skipper and Iraq war veteran Ronnie Simpson recently scored, moving to the new-to-him Serendipity 43 Puffin. As Ronnie explained on his Facebook page, “About eight months after selling my Peterson 34 Quiver, I am once again a boat owner. Pretty shortly after moving to Maui in August I started looking at boats again. By about November, the hunt was really on. Eventually, my online searches led me to San Pedro, California, to look at another Doug Peterson design, a Serendipity 43.”
“She needs some work but is super-cool and pretty nice, and a lot of boat for the money. Custom-finished in Santa Cruz, she is a pretty unique boat and has a way different interior from any of her sisterships. The boat also comes with a ton of sails, including a full race inventory. Basically a bigger and nicer version of my last boat, and drawn by the same designer. I’m so far super-stoked on this Doug Peterson-designed Serendipity 43 currently named Puffin. I’ll change the name, but she was known and raced as Samiko in NorCal for a long time, up until a few years ago. Still living and working in Maui and not 100% sure why I just bought a 43-ft sailboat in California, but let the adventures begin! Stoked!”
Many readers know Ronnie’s story as a wounded Iraq vet who got into sailing later in life, jumped in with both feet, and has done Singlehanded Transpacific Races and numerous other events. He now has well over 100,000 miles under his keel. His energy for new and interesting sailing boats and adventures is inspiring. We can’t help liking it when someone like Ronnie finds a cool old boat to revitalize and continue its legacy.
We wrote to Ronnie. He explained further, “I bought the boat. I’m not entirely sure why, but I like boats. I was drawn to it, and I could afford it, and so I bought it. Because of its current location, it only made sense to me to deliver it down to San Diego and then refit it for the Baja Ha-Ha and then probably deliver it to Maui shortly afterward. I’ll have to refit the boat remotely from now until August, as I still have a good job on Maui and it is likely that I will return there in about December. I will take a summer sabbatical from work to do Pacific Cup delivery work and media work as media manager for the Pacific Cup, then a Serendipity 43 refit in September and October, then the Ha-Ha.
“As for long-term plans, I really don’t know what they are. It’s just another boat. I always have boats and I always do something with them, but the actual sailing is usually pretty different from the Day One plans. Certainly, the long-term vision involves Fiji, a place that I love and where I gave a go at making a business and life. I gave the boat a Fijian name, MatuaMai, which basically means I’m growing up or maturing. This boat choice reflects those goals. The name is also a double entendre because the boat is growing up too. It’s literally a bigger, nicer, more grown-up version of my last boat, the Peterson 34 Quiver. It was also important to me to give the boat Fijian vibes from Day One.
“She was hull #26 of 26 and was purchased out of the boatyard in Richmond as a hull and deck that was not completed. Then she was reportedly taken down to Moore’s Reef, finished between ’90 and ’92, and launched in late ’92 with her first sea trials in 1993. She has a custom interior, slightly shorter keel for cruising, etc.”
“She ended up not cruising too much because the owner, Dexter Bailey, was having too much fun racing in the IOR Warhorse division in the 2000s. She raced against Infinity, Aleta, Zamazaan and others. Bailey sold the boat in 2018 and had the boat delivered down to L.A. in 2019.”
“It sat still due to COVID and personal reasons. Now in early 2022, I have become the third owner and will certainly use the boat. I’ll be doing my first real sailing on the boat next weekend. The first adventure is to take the boat to San Diego and put it in a marina sometime around mid-April. She will stay in San Diego for a refit and then leave with the Ha-Ha.”
Like many parts of life, sailboat sales are constrained by supply-chain issues. However, there remain many good used boats available that, in the right hands, can be restored to sail again. This Serendipity 43 is in the right hands. We’ll look forward to seeing her sailing again soon and joining the Ha-Ha fleet in the fall. It sounds as if 2022 could be a 10,000-mile sailing year for Ronnie, with a good chunk of that on his sweet new ride. You can ride with Ronnie aboard SV Matuamai by following on Instagram here: @svmatuamai.
Don’t Miss Svendsen’s Boat Show April 9th
Boat Shows are officially back in the Bay Area. Come down to Svendsen’s in Alameda on April 9th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for once-a-year deals from your favorite vendors. Stick around for a DJ, food truck, and a ton of raffle prizes. Get to know your favorite names in the industry and have a great day doing it. Entry and parking are free, get all the info at svendsens.com/boatshow2022.
We hope to see you there!