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Superb Conditions for Banderas Bay Regatta

Division D starters head out onto the course in an ideal 10-to-12 knots of warm Mexican breeze.

© Jay Ailworth

Down in the sunny latitudes of Mexico’s central coast, the 21st annual Banderas Bay Regatta is in full swing, with day two of racing taking place today. Fifty-five boats signed up for the not-too-serious regatta, which has long been dominated by cruising yachts rather than purpose-built racing machines. 

Former singlehander Jim Kellum and his bride Jan celebrated their first wedding anniversary yesterday by racing ’round the buoys. Like several others in the fleet, they’ll soon set sail for French Polynesia with the Pacific Puddle Jump fleet.

© Jay Ailworth

The monohull fleet ranges from several 26-ft J/80 trainers (from the local J-World sailing school) to Stephen Theodore’s MacGregor 65 Rum Doodle 11. Another of the biggest monos is the Oregon-based Hunter 54 Camelot, run by the fleet’s oldest skipper, 82-year-old Howard Shaw. As expected, many cruising cats are entered, plus a contingent of ultra-fast performance cats including Tom Siebel’s Sig 45 Vamanos! (the fleet’s scratch boat, rating -9), and Bob Smith’s custom 44 footer Pantera.

Fast cats Pantera, Kiapa and Humu Humu work upwind in a moderate breeze.

© 2013 Jay Ailworth

Thursday’s conditions could not have been sweeter, starting out at 10-12 knots and building to nearly 20 knots by the final beat. This year the race committee reportedly shortened the weather legs compared to previous years’ courses, so there would be more reaching and less beating — apropos the number of cats and heavily laden cruisers.

If student sailors were aboard these two J-World trainers yesterday, they got an exhilarating workout.

© Jay Ailworth

There was a little gear carnage yesterday including a broken rudder, a steering system failure, and at least one blown chute — aboard Craig Chamberlain’s Dawn 48 Daring, whose crew had a replacement up in less than five minutes. See this link for complete results, and look for our recap report in the April edition of Latitude 38 magazine.

Patsy Verhoven’s ever-competitive Gulfstar 50 Talion struts her stuff, just off the Nuevo Vallarta shoreline.

© Jay Ailworth

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Jim Jessie welcomed us aboard Nalu last weekend at Clipper Cove. latitude/LaDonna
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC In another installment of ‘You Never Know Who You’ll Bump into at Clipper Cove’, we ran into circumnavigator and Oakland YC Historian Jim Jessie on his classic wooden Grand Banks Alaskan 53 Nalu last weekend.
In January, Mark Bettis bought sailing legend Don Trask’s old J/29, hull #233 Smokin’ J, and moved her to Coyote Point Marina in San Mateo.