Puerto Vallarta Race – Roy P. Disney’s PYEWACKET 70 Sets New Record

As the competitors in the 2022 Puerto Vallarta Race continue south in what is being reported as “great sailing conditions,” it is worth taking a moment to look at how this game has played out in the past.

To start, Rio100 owns the elapsed time record set in 2016 at 3 ds, 5 hrs, 42 min, 43 sec. Both Rio100 and Pyewacket 70 have been rolling through the fleet like they’re in a car chase. The trackers are currently projecting both of them to finish ahead of the record, with Pyewacket 70 edging out Rio100 by about an hour, and knocking a little more than 4 hours off the Elapsed Time Record. In fact, there could be as many as five Class 1 boats and even Fast Exit in Class 2 breaking the tape in record time. Race Time 18:02:42 on Tuesday is the time to beat to be on that podium.

Describing the basic PV race track at the competitors weather and safety brief each morning, Pyewacket 70’s renowned Navigator/Author/Marine University Educator Peter Isler framed it this way: Three legs (310nm, 440nm, and 270nm respectively) separated by three roughly 15 degree left turns. The first leg is about getting clear of any coastal eddy and into the offshore winds from the W/NW. The Pleasant Depart. The second leg is about VMC – getting down the course and balancing temptation to go offshore for more wind vs turning left to follow those gentle 15 degree turns to the finish and winding up stuck in a light wind bay along the coast. And finally, leg three, known as ‘the restart,’ which begins at Cabo San Lucas and runs to the finish line at Punta Mita. The infamous “wind shadow” cast by the landmass of the Baja Peninsula lingers there and can detain the leaders as the back of the fleet roars up to their transom. The “shadow” could be a light patch just a few miles from shore, or it could be a glass off across the entrance to the Sea of Cortez. Sailors can get stuck there for precious hours or even a day or more trying to poke through. Risk averse sailors plan to just end around, and sail cautious extra miles around the shadow but that could take similar amounts of time. It is a race from here to the finish for sure.

 – From the Puerto Vallarta Race website. Read more here.
By Tim Queeney