Teams are gearing for the 2016 Vallarta Race, the biannual San Diego to Puerto Vallarta International Yacht race, held February 19 – 27, 2016. They are preparing for the wind, sunshine, warmth, and margaritas to be enjoyed after another epic ride down the Baja California coastline and across to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, promising to be a great experience for all the teams and their families upon arrival.
A quick scan of the entry list demonstrates that this will be the offshore race of 2016. With competitors coming from the Mexican Sailing Federation, such as the TP 52, Patches, under new ownership just before the 2015 Transpac, and the always well-performing Peligroso. Skippered by Lorenzo Berho, Peligroso is a previous winner of the Vallarta Race. Looking for a victory on handicap will be Ricardo Brockmann’s IRC 52 Vincitore, whose crew will include Ricardo’s son Erik Brockmann, part of the current reining J/70 World Champion crew.
Hoping to capture line honors in the multihull class is H.L. Enloe’s Mighty Merloe, the 60’ trimaran. In the monohull class, it is looking like Manouch Moshayedi will try and avoid any costly mistakes or breakdowns as he aims for a record run with his 100’ Rio.
State side teams will feature a close match between Roy Disney’s Pyewacket, class winner in the 2014 Vallarta Race and the ever-present Grand Illusion, fresh off her record third overall win in the 2015 Transpac. With competition like this it is reasonable to expect other sled owners to jump on the bandwagon and get their teams together for this classic race to mainland Mexico.
With 16 entries so far, and counting, the battle royale is shaping up to be in the 50-foot class with two Santa Cruz 52’s and three Santa Cruz 50’s, including the SC 52 Lucky Duck and the SC 50 Horizon looking to claim top honors. Clearly a good class, but really impressive when you add in the R/P 50 Blue Blazes, two-time Vallarata Race winner, and the always fast J/125 Timeshaver.
Time to finalize your crew and get your entry in and enjoy a great race. However, the racing does not have to end with the finish in Puerto Vallarta. After a couple of days or rest and recovery and it is right into the MEXORC, February 28 – March 5, 2016. Banderas Bay reliably serves up steady sea breeze of 10 – 18 knots of wind with warm air and water. This series is traditionally a mix of windward – leeward races and a couple of point-to-point races.