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Day three concludes final starts of 2020 Puerto Vallarta Race

by Casey Allocco 7 Mar 21:34 PDT 5-13 March 2020
2020 Puerto Vallarta Race © Mark Albertazzi

On Day 3 of San Diego Yacht Club's 2020 Puerto Vallarta Race, 21 of 29 boats had spent at least one night on the course. As of 0600 Saturday, Class 6 boats from the Thursday start had come to the vicinity of Cedros Island which is 275 miles down the course.

The leader the first group has been Bill Hardesty's Hobie 33 Sizzle since the opening moments of the race, and their lead had extended to 15 miles over the nearest boat 1D35 Such Fast, and as much as 55 miles over Cal 40 Nalu V. Sizzle appears to have maintained a consistent 6-8kts of speed throughout the night.

Looking back up the course at the 3 Classes of Friday starters there is a second grouping of 16 boats. As might be expected by the wide variety of boats in the class, Class 5 split up with many different paths, while the Santa Cruz 50/52 class hung tight together. Horizon and Triumph were the 0600 leaders in Class 4 in site of each other no doubt within a mile or two much of the way. Rogers 46 Bretwalda3 made the most distance down the course from the Friday starting group. Multiple reports of shifty overnight conditions made for busy crews keeping up with the sail changes.

Brigadoon reports: "The evening was full of 20 minute wind cycles lightening from 12 to 4kts as it clocked from 285 to 350 and increasing as high as 14kts as it went back down from 350 to 285. All this while playing tag with [Santa Cruz 52/50s] Triumph and Horizon. This morning it is light and sh!tty with rain seen on the horizon to the west. Need ice cream."

At 1200 (Class 2) and 1210 (Class 1), the remaining 8 teams started their races in San Diego Bay with friends and family watching from spectator boats and SDYC's start line party on Shelter Island. The Class sleds include PV Race veterans Grand Illusion, Mr. Bill, Peligroso and Good Call, along with a new boat to the west coast, Ker 51 Fast Exit II brought over from Europe recently by new owner John Raymont.

All three teams in Class 1 hoped for optimal race conditions to challenge the monohull course record for San Diego to Puerto Vallarta, set in 2016 by Manouch Moshayedi's Rio100 at 77.7 hours. The target finish time for Class 1 to challenge the record is 5:52:43 PM Tuesday, but the expected conditions don't appear to make this record likely to fall this year.

Ben Mitchell is the 2020 PV Co-Chairman along with his wife Karen Busch. Mitchell is a veteran sailor of the PV Race and many offshore races with the Disney family, and was excited to be a part of the new Pyewacket 70 team, sailing Roy Disney's VO70. The Pyewacket team are the defending PV Race champions after their overall win on the Andrews 70 version in 2018.

Rounding out Class 1 is Erik Brockmann's team aboard the VO65 Viva Mexico. It has been a whirlwind of preparation for the team based out of Acapulco Yacht Club, including their speedy Atlantic crossing this winter, delivery to San Diego from Acapulco, and gearing up for their first race aboard the boat. Some of the crew aboard such as boat owners Ricardo Brockmann and Lorenzo Berho have many PV Races under their belt on sleds Peligroso and Vincetore.

The most experienced with the VO65 is Roberto Bermudez de Castro Muñoz, who has sailed multiple Volvo Ocean Races including races aboard the Viva Mexico boat under previous names. His experience will be invaluable to the team as they learn to race the boat with the ultimate goal of competing in The Ocean Race next year. Erik Brockmann shared that in addition to skippering the Viva Mexico boat and leading the team, he's getting married next month as well!

Steve Meheen who raced to PV with his RP63 Aszhou in 2016 to a Class 1 win, brings his Botin 80 Cabron to the race this year holding the fastest rating in the fleet. After PV, Cabron will do the Newport to Ensenada Race and is planning to sail the Transpac Tahiti Race this summer.

The Race Committee and event coordinators are headed to PV on Sunday and will report from the finish the rest of the week.

Follow the race tracker with hourly position updates (on a 4 hour delay). Visit for more information.

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