Banderas Bay Regatta Turns 30 in Perfect Conditions
Banderas Bay offered up perfect conditions for all three days (plus a practice day and five fiestas) at the 30th Banderas Bay Regatta last week. Vallarta Yacht Club, next door to the Paradise Village Resort and Marina in Riviera Nayarit, hosts the event for cruisers to get them to try racing — but it’s a can’t-miss regatta for some pretty serious racers too.
A Few Faces in the Crowd
While we were there for the regatta, we ran into many old friends from the Bay Area and beyond, and made new ones. It’s literally an international regatta (Regata Internacional Bahía de Banderas). The sailors hail from the US, Mexico, Canada, Europe and Asia.
Vallarta YC turns 21 this year (just old enough to order a margarita in its own cantina). So it’s actually younger than the regatta it hosts. And BBR is just one of many first-class events, including world championships, that the club puts on. Dick Markie, harbormaster at Paradise Village, says they run 90 days’ worth of racing each year. (It’s mostly dinghies during the summer. The snow birds start to fly north in mid-April.) The afternoon beer can season runs January through March.
Those Perfect Banderas Bay Conditions?
Those perfect winter conditions? Air temperature hitting highs in the low to mid-80s, water temperature similar to that of the swimming pools, and an afternoon breeze you can set your clock by. During the week of the regatta, the westerly ranged from mid-teens to low 20s. On the bigger-breeze days, whitecaps frothed up, but we didn’t get the steep chop that can be so unpleasant on San Francisco Bay. Banderas Bay more closely resembles Monterey Bay, with a wide-open mouth and headlands spaced far apart to the north (Punta Mita) and south (Yelapa), with Puerto Vallarta right in the middle.
We’ll have much more on the racing, including photos of the division winners, in the April issue of Latitude 38, coming out on March 31. In the meantime, surf on over to www.banderasbayregatta.com.
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