Thirty-two boats are already registered for the 2022 Puerto Vallarta (PV) Race scheduled for March 10-18, 2022. Although there is still time for new boats to pop up on the entry list, the current list of 32 makes the 2022 running of the biennial event the largest since 2000. So, what keeps intriguing sailors to gather their crews for multiple nights of offshore racing down the pacific coast?
According to PV Co-Chair Ben Mitchell, the draw is the offshore experience. “Where you have to rely on your vessel and your shipmates to get through each day and night. The peacefulness of being on a boat for several days is not for everyone, but for those who enjoy an adventure, it is captivating. The sunrise on the open ocean, the sunsets, and not knowing what the night skies will bring can all add up to an amazing experience.”
Besides the beauty of the ride and being surrounded by nature, the Puerto Vallarta Race is one of two west coast offshore races that fall on even years. On opposite years of the PV Race is the ever-popular Transpac Race to Honolulu. Nearly half of the 2021 Transpac Race fleet is continuing their love of offshore racing with the PV Race.
Roy Disney’s Pyewacket 70 finished the Transpac Race with the Barn Door Trophy, and set the record for the longest 24-hour run in Transpac history. In 24 hours, the team sailed 506.4 miles and averaged 21.1 knots. With fire in his bones, Disney and his crew are back for more aggressive competition down the coast of Mexico. No stranger to the PV race, in recent years Disney was the overall winner of PV18 and finished first in division in PV14, PV16, and PV20.
Among Transpac division winners joining us for this PV Race is Tom Holthus&rsquo BadPak. This is the Botin 56’s first PV Race. Holthus sailed on Bill Hardesty’s Sizzle in the 2020 running and finished first corrected overall.
“We are doing this race on the newest BadPak, a Botin 56. We have a lot of the same crew that did Transpac last July and we are working hard on making sure the boat and crew are ready for the March start. We will go with nine crew, many of whom are SDYC members and successful offshore sailors,” started Holthus.
“The biggest challenges of the race are going to be rounding Cabo San Lucas and the finish. Both challenges are impacted in a significant way based on the time of day you encounter them. The afternoon can be fine, however, it always seems we round Cabo or finish in the middle of the night or early morning and you can drift for hours – that is never fun! Boats can win or lose the race if the crew does not remain focused during this difficult period,” he finished.
Two more sailors who finished first in division at the Transpac Race and are registered to sail in the PV Race are Cecil and Alyson Rossi’s Ho’okolohe and Doug Baker’s Peligroso. Peligroso has sailed in every PV Race since 2006. With all of that experience under their belts, they might have advice for PV rookie Ho’okolohe.
Bill Hardesty, the 2020 PV winner, has advice for newcomers and experienced sailors alike. “Keep it simple, stay close to rhumb line, and study the transition off of Cabo. Understand the differences between the night winds and daytime winds. Lastly, keep the interior dry and practice, practice, and practice!”
Jack Jennings’ Pied Piper is also new to the PV Race and saw success during the Transpac Race. Jennings has sailed MEXORC and done deliveries up and down the coast, and feels confident in his knowledge of the Baja Peninsula.
“I expect the PV Race to have more transitions and sail changes than the Transpac Race, but think it’s similar in that the crew and boat need to be well prepared to have success in either race,” started Jennings. “It’s challenging to make smart decisions on low sleep and continue to do small things right for days at a time.”
Two year’s ago mid-race, sailors and their crews were faced with growing concerns as Covid-19 spread and the United States limited travel. Boats finished the racing, and enjoyed a true Mexican celebration – probably the last for quite some time – and made their way safely back to the homeland. While able to host the race and travel internationally this year, it is not without precaution. Regulations in Mexico recommend that all participating crew members be prepared to show proof of vaccination upon arrival in Puerto Vallarta.
The 2022 Puerto Vallarta Race will kick off with a party at San Diego Yacht Club on Thursday, March 10. The first start will begin on the same day, if needed. Following, the second start will begin on Friday, March 11 and the third on Saturday, March 12. All participants are expected in PV by Friday, March 18 where they will enjoy a Mexican fiesta Awards Party.
You can follow the racing through the official Puerto Vallarta YB Tracker which will go live and be shared at a later date pvrace.com.