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Black Mamba crowned Mexican J/70 National Champions

by J/Boats 1 Jun 07:38 PDT
Mexican J/70 National Champions © J/Boats

Twenty-three J/70s came together for the Mexican J/70 Nationals in the amazing seaside resort of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Puerto Vallarta Yacht Club did a beautiful job hosting the event.

The PVYC PRO was trained by Manuel Robles and ran races flawlessly. The fleet enjoyed an average 10 to 25 kts winds over three days and nine full-on races. Here is the report from Willem van Waay from aboard the winning team, Black Mamba.

"What is not to love about Puerto Vallarta! Amazing place! Great hosts. Bahia de Banderas always delivers great winds. We had great food, delicious drinks, and an awesome live band on Saturday night!

Ignacio Perez and team Zaguero lead till the ninth and final race. This is the same team that almost won the Miami J/70 Midwinters a couple years ago in the big breeze and chop. With one race to go they lead by three points. Black Mamba trailed, but had a better drop by a few points.

The wind picked up to around 20 kts and Zaguero had a perfect final start to weather of Black Mamba and the rest of the fleet. Zaguero is one of the very best boats in the world in these conditions- a very heavy team and technically good in the strong winds.

Zaguero immediately tacked to port and crossed all starboard tack boats. Black Mamba also tacked a few seconds later and crossed the fleet.

Typically, the breeze goes right later in the day and, after a few minutes of ripping along on port tack, they pinched us off and sent us away on starboard tack. Being content with the big lift they were on and going 95% of the beat the right way, they just kept going.

We separated for only about 90 seconds before tacking back to port to stay close to them. Just as we tacked to port, the wind backed 20 degrees left and put us into first place and pushed Zaguero back into 6th at the top mark!

Crazy shifts and big breeze jumped all around the course!

We lead from the top mark to the finish. On the other hand, Zaguero had an especially unlucky final run when the wind went even further left and forced them to drop the kite and jib reach into the finish line!!

Because of that big, windy shift, Peter Wiegand's Wolke had a strong final race and moved to second overall for the regatta after discounting the toss race!

It was a crazy final race and an unbelievable finish to an incredible event. Team Zaguero were beautiful sportsmen at the trophy presentation.... not easy after leading for eight races and losing it in a windy, crazy race.

The water was 80 degrees, and it was 90+ degrees outside at 80% humidity. OMFG, it was HOT! Almost impossible to drink enough water...drinking a gallon (64 fluid ounces) of water before 12 noon was not enough...two more gallons of water by cocktail hour and I finally could take a pee. Yikes!

Fernando (our skipper) put in a ton of effort and was ecstatic with the victory- we trained the longest in the venue and even put in a B&G speedo system to help with the steep chop."

In the end, it was Fernando Perez Ontiveros' Black Mamba team of Willem van Waay, Eduardo Oetling, and Goncalo Almeida that won the regatta with 21 pts net. Taking the silver was Peter Wiegand's Wolke crew of Carlos Robles, Alonso Urquizo, and River Paquin with 28 pts net. Settling for the bronze was Ignacio Perez Morett's Zaguero with team of Juan Ignacio Perez-Soltero, Santiago Perez-Soltero, and Pablo Arrarte-Elorza. Rounding out the top five was Manuel Vazquez-Robles's Chavorucos in fourth place and Eduardo Saenz's Nimbus in fifth (his team included a bunch of gringos from America- Alex Curtiss, Will Holz, and Will Felder all originally from Chicago, Illinois).

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