March 20, 2013

Acapulco March 2013 Regatta Day 4 & Wrap Up Report

by Bruce Cooper

Day 4 of racing in Acapulco was virtually carbon copy of the first three days for sailors at the CORUM CUP Regatta hosted by Club de Yates Acapulco. Perfect sunshine and wind for one more layer of sunburn on my face, neck and legs! Following the normal Sunday race format for monthly regattas the course moved off the windward-leeward buoy format to the yacht club start to the buoy down the bay, around the Roqueta, down the Boca Chica to the Buoy down the bay and back to the yacht club.Today's biggest strategy was not what spinnaker to set at the start or when to gybe for the beach, but crew selection! Many boats had their crew go back to Mexico to not miss time at work, so this crew shortage left many boats looking for and picking up crew to fill out their crew roster. Pablo Fernandez is a well known local sailor who made the jump from the Farr 40 Nitemare to the CM-1200 Velocity today when his Farr 40 did not race. He was welcomed with open arms on Velocity who had a crew shortage! Pablo trims main on Nitemare and moved right into the same position on Velocity and helped with tactics.

When asked how the Farr 40's are to race he commented, "the Farr 40 racing has really raised the level of competition with the racing in Class A and amoungst the Farr 40's". This is true. The 71 mile race from Papnoa had four Farr 40's finish less than 5 minutes apart! That is close racing. Pablo went on to explain, "there is the potential for maybe two more Farr 40's joining the local fleet (8 total!?). The top boat in the fleet (FyC) has set the bar very high that many of the other Farr 40's are starting to climb closer to acheiving by winning some races".
Back to the race action. Class B started first with an extremely wide start line, there was plenty of room for everyone with Velocity taking the buoy side and Piet Hein starting closest to the committee boat. Almost if sychronized, the fleet gybes from starboard to port to get better winds and approach to the El Presidente buoy. Class C started next with Class A starting 5 minutes later. Class A had no troubles starting this time compared to last month when a dark black TP-52, that will remain nameless, was involved in a altercation or two and a Farr 46 I was on had a spinnaker split from edge to edge as we crossed the startline. Vincitore took their normal lead and the rest of Class A fell into place with Kayue 52 sailing up and clear right behind Vincitore.
Rounding the rock, the Class A and B boats started to overlap with each other which made some of the tactics be re-evaluated. No boat likes to get passed, especially a smaller boat getting passed by a bigger boat, the wind only gets confused and stalled from the sails of the bigger boat and causing slow down of the smaller boat. So, when the two fleets get tangled up, the trick is to get close, but not too close. The fleet did pretty well and did not loose too much time (or wind) trying to pass each other and the rock at the same time.
By the end of the race, the wind was still blowing and the boats tacked their final time into the finish. Winners on Day 4 were Vincitore 1st, Flojito y Cooperanco 2nd and Trigarante 3rd in Class A. Veloce II 1st, Piet Hein 2nd and Bandido 3rd in Class B. Class C was won again by Tarhitsi followed by Marenostrum and Sunshine.

Thanks to the captain and crew of the Mexican Navy 1D-48 Trigarante for having me onboard this week. The team did a great job and made improvements with racing the boat better each race reguardless of the results. Good job team!

The week of racing was finally over. Sailors will go back to work on Wednesday with sore muscles and sunburned faces, but with the feeling of accomplishment and success of racing the last 4 days in a perfect regatta. The wind was superb, the race committee work was awesome, the cold drinks and food at the yacht club were terrific, I am sure everyone will support and be looking forward to the next Corum Cup at CYA. Of course the next race week for the big boats of Acapulco will be the MEXORC in 2014, make sure you sign up for that regatta or at least follow along if you can't make it.