Dubbed a “tale of two races” by Sail World,the 2016 Puerto Vallarta Race featured great contrast from start to finish. The first part of the race goes from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas and the second part takes the crews farther south across the Sea of Cortez to Puerto Vallarta.
“As sailors reached the dock in Marina Vallarta,their stories emphasized the contrast between the two,” wrote Sail World. “The first race this year was like none other. The second race involved attempting to avoid the holes and minimize the light air that most boats encountered.”
Although a degree of diversity is to be expected in the Puerto Vallarta Race,according to Sail World “the extremes seen in 2016 were unique.” As for the finishers,HL Enloe’s Mighty Merloe completed the race in 67.82 hours and was the only Tuesday finisher,while Rio100,a 100-foot super maxi with a crew of 19,set the monohull course record and finished in 77.7 hours. This surpassed the previous record of 80.87 hours from 2010 that was set by Bill Turpin and his crew in the R/P 75 Akela.
“The overall regatta winner came down to two sleds: The Santa Cruz 50 Horizon who finished just after 2 a.m. on Wednesday,and Roy Disney’s Pyewacket,who powered across the line at 2:50 p.m.,” wrote Sail World. “With the last miles of the race stretched out in front of the Andrews 70,the crew of Pyewacket thought they might get enough wind during the approach to the finish,but ended up just under two corrected hours behind Horizon,finishing second overall.”
John Schulze led the crew of the Horizon, which won both overall and Div 3,sailing the entire course in just 4 days,13 hours,52 minutes and 19 seconds,according to PVrace.com. In addition to Schulze,the crew included Len Bose,John Busch,Craig Chamberlain,Stan Gibbs,Jeff Thorpe,Gunnar Torre and Grant Wooden.
“Well,it was an excellent race,” Schulze told PVrace.com after the finish. “We had really great crew work and had good navigation,and good conditions all the way down. We had a number of points where we had wind transitions where we had to decide which way to go,especially in the Sea of Cortez.”
According to Schulze,the hardest part was deciding how to handle the light spots in the course after passing Cabo San Lucas. He has also sailed with Horizon in the recent Transpac,Newport to Ensenada Race and the Cabo Race,with sights set next on participating in the California Offshore Race Week.
“The Vallarta Race is always a winter race and the San Diego Yacht Club timed it with the full moon,” shared Roy Disney. “We wore sunglasses at night,it was really unbelievable out there. We had tons of sea life,breaching whales,dolphins and tuna boils and the fisherman on the boat went crazy.”
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