Monday, March 1, 2010

MEXORC Opens with a BANG

Photos and report by Kimball Livingston
Gather ’round and let’s review:

Rule 237B.2 You never want the mast to go but once you realize it’s going you want it gone baby gone.

Rule 237B.3 When you drive in to a regata in México and you’re passing Federale trucks with mounted machine guns, El Presidente, Felipe Calderón, really did show this time.

Rule 237B.4 When they tell you how helpful the Mexican Navy has been standing station at anchor for three days at Punta Mita to finish the San Diego-Puerto Vallarta fleet (because the yachties didn’t want to), and they tell you the Navy will be there for you if needed, don’t assume you won’t need.

Regata Copa México opened on Sunday out of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, on Bahia de Banderas, which I will say for the umpteenth time is one of the best places in the world to sail. The two-week regatta celebrates the country’s bicentennial and includes racing for J/24s, windsurfers and kites, along with (hey, baby) beach volleyball. But the backbone of the regatta is that it incorporates MEXORC, the region’s classic keelboat event that always tags into a race from the U.S.

John MacLaurin had his new Davidson 69, Pendragon VI, on the course—the one that dropped out of the PV Race and put into Cabo with rudder issues—but from my distant view I’d say they’re still teething and no surprise. It was a race to the race, just to be here, and MacLaurin has talented people on the case, but it was a pretty big ask. The sort of thing that, had it been a Transpac, you would have just hit the Off switch. The man has been a stalwart supporter of this event, and he wanted to be here with his new boat, not his old boat, and I reckon that’s pretty danged human.

I spent my day aboard Quintessence with the family Saenz, heirs to one of the great names in sailing, and I saw something.

I can’t say as how I saw the mast come down, only minutes after our braintrust of Eduardo Saenz and American sailmaker Bruce Cooper nailed the start, and nephew Fede acknowledged the congratulatory wave of el Presidente . . . Read more