March 2, 2016

MEXORC mid-regatta report by Ullman Sails team member Keith Magnussen

As I sit and reflect on the midway point in the 2016 MEXORC regatta only one thought
remains constant, fun.  The atmosphere only Puerto Vallarta lends to the flavor of
this event.  City front views are the backdrop for a group or racers who came from
all over to compete in this bi-annual event.

Team Timeshaver, Viggo Torbemsen's J-125, traveled from Laguna Beach California and
again am fortunate to be part of the team.  For this event we have been sailing with
ten people and really could do with one more.  Our competition comes in the form of
four Farr 40's and two Santa  Cruz 50's.   It's a great fleet and the pedigree of
sailors is large.  

Our racing started on Sunday and we came off rusty.  After sailing 1000 miles in the
PV race I was a bit off my game during the first start of a buoy event.  We ended up
a bit late and found it hard to fight our way back through all the bad air and lack
of passing lanes.  One race on Sunday meant we had to wait a day to recover.  And
recover we did.  The crew work on day two was amazing and we had a great start in
the first race that helped us lead the race around every mark.  The SC-50 Horizon
was nipping at our heels and the Farr 40's we making us nervous with their upwind
presence.  We sailed clean and won the race outright.
Race three saw the wind increase and we switched out to the number 3 headsail. This time we were over early along with Horizon and Foil. We stayed positive and worked ourselves into third by the first mark. With the wind up we knew the J-125 was getting to her sweet spot.... Planing. And away we went. The SC-50 Horizon was still ahead on the final upwind leg and had a decent lead. We chose to gybe really late and ended up planing to leeward and passing by on the way to the finish and another bullet. The team was clicking now. After some buoy racing why not change it up a bit? Tuessday comprised of the pursuit race which meant whoever crossed the finish line first one. This is a big day and a nice overall prize is always coveted. Well we thought we saw that evaporate as we had a terrible upwind leg towards Punta Mita. The downwind was not much better as we got stuck in a hole and watched our competition sail away. What happened next, well we got a bit lucky. The boats in front of us went towards the ocean for fear of a developing hole. But when we arrived that hole was gone and we skirted along the beach jib reaching at nine knots! We passed all our boats in our class and rounded the final mark in about fourth place overall. Sail changes are always going to happen in a race like this and I would like to take this moment to say our bowman jack Maranto was excellent. We had the 2A up, Rasta Kite, and with the wind swinging forward I brought the 5A on deck. Jack and the crew executed a perfect change and we romped to the finish to claim the first overall honors! Great way to go into a lay day! Keith Magnussen