Thursday, December 2, 2010

Banderas Bay Blast

We've been enjoying our stay in La Cruz in very low key fashion... Early morning jog on the beach, midmorning breakfast at a waterfront cafe, nap in the afternoon, wander around the town and dinner with friends in the evenings. Then we heard about the Banderas Bay Blast. It's three days of very informal racing or rallying between Nuevo Vallarta, La Cruz and Punta de Mita. All the money raised from entries, t-shirt sales and other promotions goes to help disadvantaged kids in the surrounding areas. So we entered the Honcho, which in cruising trim is no racer by any measure. But I thought it would be fun to for Lisa to steer the boat in a very low key competitive situation. So we entered for one leg of the event, an 8 mile beat from La Cruz to Punta de Mita. There was a total of 19 boats entered and we were the smallest. The competition ranged from fairly seriously prepared boats to fat old cruisers. The Honcho, in its current trim, is a pretty small tub compared to the racers we wanted to beat, but we got our race faces on for today's event. Here in La Cruz, we're on mountain time, but 12 miles away in Puerto Vallarta it's central time. With today's race/rally starting in La Cruz we assumed it would be on La Cruz time so we puttered out to the start line a bit more than what we thought was an hour early only to learn that the start is in 7 minutes instead of an hour and 7 minutes. I rushed around and got sails up and we barely made the start on time. Fortunately we had just time to run the start line before the horn and managed to win the start on starboard tack in about 8 knots of wind. We sailed out to Punta de Mita in a couple of hours, during which time the wind piped up to about 18 knots. We won our class and were the fourth boat to finish, behind a J/160, Beneteau Farr 42 and a Jeanneau 40. All of these boats were in the next higher class. We beat the second place boat in our class, a well sailed Wauquiez Praetorian 35, by around 14 minutes. Lisa was thrilled by her class win in spite of the fact that it was just an informal rally. But the fact is that whenever sailboats have a start line and a finish line IT'S A RACE! Aftewards we all went ashore for dinner and music at the El Dorado. I'm not sure how much money was raised for the kids, but we sure had a great time.

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