Z-Fest Pictures Tell the Story

The wind gods blessed Z-Fest with a nice breeze for the yacht race this year. As you can see, a variety of cruising boats joined the fun.

© 2014 Eileen Redding

We haven’t heard the details yet, but a quick look at these photos from volunteers Eileen Redding and Margaret Reid confirms that the 13th annual Zihuatanejo Sailfest was well attended, and by all indications, a big success. There was even wind this year for the yacht race, which is not always the case.

Many American and Canadian expats travel to Z-town annually, specifically to help out with Sailfest – and, of course, to get away from harsh winter weather.

© 2014 Margaret Reid

As regular readers know, Z-Fest is an annual six-day festival put on by visiting sailors, expats, and local businesses. The varied menu of activities includes a sailboat race, a boat parade through Zihua harbor and along the Ixtapa waterfront, a live music concert, a chili cookoff and more.

Canadians Marian, Jason and Huevo proved their mastery of spices as they earned top honors in the ‘hotly’ contested Chili Cook-Off.

© Margaret Reid

Each activity has a fund-raising component which helps build and support schools for the disadvantaged indigenous youngsters who live in the hills surrounding the city. Z-Fest profits, distributed via the Por Los Ninos charity, address a ‘Catch 22’ within Mexican law. That is, if you don’t speak Spanish (as with many of the Zihua’s indigenous groups), you can’t attend public school. But if you can’t attend school, how are you supposed to learn Spanish, right? Por Los Ninos solves this problem for many local kids, by building classrooms and funding their operations.

Despite the fact that they live nearby, a day at the beach is a big treat for many of these local kids.

© Margaret Reid

From the beginning the sweat and financial support of cruising sailors has always been a big part of this amazing success story.

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Newport Beach’s Devan Mullins must have been going through old photos, because he recently sent us a photo of the Wanderer at the helm of Latitude’s Big O from back in 1996.
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This past Saturday during the Berkeley YC Midwinters a distress call went out on VHF Channel 78 from a J/24’s skipper alerting racers of a man overboard.