Friday, May 9, 2014

2014 Banderas Bay Regatta

When we lived in San Francisco and read about the Banderas Bay Regatta in Latitude 38, we thought it sounded like a really great event. When we decided to cruise to Mexico, we added it to our must-do list. The regatta has a reputation for being well organized, not overly competitive, with good weather and a lot of cruisers who are cruising their "homes".  There are more serious race divisions, too, but we raced in one of the two cruising divisions.

Agave Azul Crew - Banderas Bay Regatta

Our crew all sailed in the 2013 Baja Ha-Ha.  Brian and Richelle Neill from Vancouver, BC on Woodwind II and Ron Brown, from Sequoia Yacht Club in Redwood City on Hazel Rose.

There were 3 days of racing and lots of non-race activities. The regatta kicked off with a boat parade.

T-Shirts from every Banderas Bay Regatta

One of our favorites, Alcyone, with a swimming pool on the foredeck

Below is a photo of Shindig, an Oyster 485, also from the bay area. They sailed well throughout the regatta and won our division.

Race 1 - Shindig in the lead

One of the non-race activities at the Vallarta Yacht Club was a seminar on whales. With whale sightings almost a daily occurrence while cruising in Mexico, we enjoyed learning about Humpback whale behavior. I was especially interested in learning how to avoid them when they are breeching near your boat.

Kathryn was particularly fond of this replica of a 6 week old baby Humpback

Thirty-one  boats raced in this year's 20th edition of the regatta, nine in our division. The photo below is of  Daring, the winner of the other cruising division. Daring rounded the 1st mark right behind us and blasted past us. They sailed their boat well and it was fun watching them throughout the regatta.

Daring - Dawn 48 Ketch - they won their class

We had good starts in the 2nd and 3rd races and everything went right during the 3rd race. This is one of my favorite photos because the 8 boats in the picture were all in our division.

Cruising fleet behind us

Trying to catch up to the performance division boats

Like I said, we managed to do everything right on the final day and we won that race. Big smiles and margaritas to celebrate.

Agave Azul margaritas

The final event was the awards dinner at Paradise Village Resort. The buffet food was great, the speeches were short and the band wasn't too loud.  A very enjoyable way to end the regatta.

Awards dinner

Yee-Haa … 2nd place!

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