After seeing how much fun some of our fellow cruisers had in the Banderas Bay Regatta last year, we decided to arrange our schedule to be back in the Bay by February 28 so we could join in this year. The timing necessitated leaving Zihuatanejo to head north a little earlier than we’d have liked but we did have time to revisit Barra de Navidad and Tenacatitda as part of the 330 mile return to La Cruz. We were a little afraid we’d be forced to beat into strong head winds that often prevail in the area but actually left “Z-Town” under spinnaker and often were forced to motor for lack of wind. Our friends from back home–Mike, Mikey, Bob, Teri, and Alex met us at Paradise Village (Race headquarters) two days before the regatta started. They rented a very nice condo near the dock where Carmanah was moored. Hanging out there, I did figure out where the uptight assholes that have been pretty much missing from our Mexico sailing experience do reside. They’re condo owners in Paradise Village. I won’t go into the sordid details but now at least the mystery is solved. I’m glad that they’re congregating in this one place; we’ll simply avoid it as much as possible in the future.
Anyway, we’ve had a blast with the Bainbridge crew this week. We took the boat out the day before the regatta and did some organized practice starts with some other boats then sailed back over to La Cruz 6 miles north to participate in the Wednesday Beer Can race as a tune up. Carmanah has about 9,000 lbs of extra “cruising weight” aboard which we can definitely notice (speed wise) but she did great, finishing second behind the local sail maker. For the big regatta, we decided to switch from the Cruising Class to the Performance Race Class which pretty much eliminated the possibility of finishing very high. But, there were several fast cruising boats that were in the Performance class that we wanted to race against as they were more comparable to Carmanah. We figured that would be more fun than probably winning the cruising division. And, it was in fact very fun–very close racing. The first and second days, we finished mid fleet—ahead of the other “fast” cruising boats but behind the pure race boats with their carbon sails–not too far back though. And, on the third day we were right near the front of the fleet finishing third—but only 39 seconds out of 1st. Pretty fun. Old Whitey, our 39 year old #1 jib really came through again as did “Patches” our 35 year old spinnaker. The crew did great, just like old times back in Puget Sound. On the last day, Pat and Celine, fellow cruisers from s/v Voila joined us as well. Celine volunteered to keep Lucy below during the race which helped us sail faster and the surprisingly competitive Pat caught on very quickly to sailing an old war horse—Carmanah. The regatta festivities culminated with a big awards dinner on the beach followed by the migration back to (brrrrr) Washington for our friends, except Bob who stayed an extra week with us on the boat in La Cruz. The local churros street vendor sold Bob enough of the doughy deep fried treats to send his oldest to private school. Yayyy Bob.
Now all the “racing” sails are stowed and we’re back into cruising mode. Our lovely niece Ruby just arrived for a spring break visit from Colorado State. We’re looking forward to hanging out with her. Next Saturday she goes home and our nephew Sam will arrive to sail with us on our crossing of the Sea of Cortez to La Paz.