This upcoming sailing season is going to be a very busy time around Banderas Bay 2018. To make things a bit easier to follow we have put everything in one place for you. Many of you have experienced this hectic sailing calendar in the past, but for those not familiar with it, here are a few things you might want to know.
Every January, Vallarta Yacht Club kicks of the regatta season with the Vallarta Cup Series. Racing happens every Saturday, followed by racers gathering at the club with the best burgers and live music. It’s a perfect opportunity to share stories of the day, who broke what, and what the strategy will be next week.
The Cruise out to Tenacita is something we haven't done for a few years, but we hope to bring it back in 2018. The plan is to head down to Tenacita and enjoy a few days away from the crowds in the marinas. There is always a lot to do in the beautiful bay and just that much more fun in the company of like-minded cruisers. Of course, there is always an opportunity catch a few fish along the way. Maybe an informal regatta will break out. Who knows? But there is definitely fun to be had.
The WesMex International Small Boat Regatta will begin March 1-4. This event will include Optimists, Lasers, C420’s Windsurfers and Hobie 16’s. Many classes have chosen WesMex to be a qualifier for various championships, including the 2018 Optimist North American Championship, the 2018 Laser Youth Worlds and the Hobie 16 Central American Games
With that, we are expecting over 300 competitors, making this potentially the largest WesMex every held.
The San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race will begin on March 2 and finish at Marina Vallarta. They will then be joined by the MEXORC fleet for races throughout the pay. These two ocean going events will surely attract a lot of spectators around the bay.
Banderas Bay Regatta, in its 26th year is shaping up to be a huge event. The organizers are expecting to have many of the San Diego an MEXORC boats compete in BBR XXVI. There should be plenty of opportunities for those with racing experience, but no boat and opportunity to crew. Of course, BBR will include its signature 4 nights of parties and 3 days of racing followed by the signature beach party.
And last, but not least, from June 24 – July 1, the Vallarta Yacht Club will be host to the 2018 Optimist North American Championship where we will see 180 young competitors ages 12 – 15 from 22 countries. Hosting these international championships for young competitors is always a rewarding experience. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in the event. More information will be coming soon. But know that volunteers are a must to guarantee the success of this event!
This may be rushing it a bit; but I do want to be among the first to welcome all of you back to our VYC “Paradise” for the next season of fun activities ashore and an exciting variety of Club, Regional, National and International sailing competitions.
Our Youth Members, as usual, are way ahead of the rest of us, as they have started school and resumed regular weekday sailing lessons. Sunday, the 12th of November is the official Opening Day commemorating VYC’s 15th Anniversary. November 18th & 19th will see the Club hosting the regional Regata de Revolucion with the Fall Junior Sailing Fundraiser and welcoming the 9 – 15 large power boats making the CUBAR Rally from the San Diego Yacht Club.. The following week is Thanksgiving and December 2nd is our annual charity Taste of Nuevo and Chili Cook-off event. Also, in December, we will have our annual Christmas Open House (as in “ Christmas Tree Decorating Party”) and Christmas Dinner.
I am pretty sure most of you well remember that our club chef of nearly 13 years decided to move on in his career. And unfortunately for us members, he resigned this past April. We did not attempt to replace him during the slack summer months because Vidal very aptly was able to satisfy our summertime kitchen cuisine demands. Rudy did hire a very well qualified chef who already amazing us with his culinary skills as he began his employment at VYC in September. If you can, I suggest you come back a bit earlier this year to help us all select his menu items for this coming season.
If you attended or read the Minutes of the 2017 AGM or saw it in the previous Commodore’s Corner; your Board of Directors has established the new dues structure for all Plankowners and Gold & Red Flag members. The key points are that we have all membership renewals coming due on January 1 and we offer ONLY Part-time and Full-time Flag memberships. If a member wants to pay for their membership by the month, they will need to pay an additional finance fee for that arrangement. These new Plankowner and Flag memberships have dues amounts set at $500 for a Part-time 6 months and $850 for a Full-time 12 month period. If a member wants to pay dues monthly, the membership is $525 (525/6 = $87.50 per month) for Part-time and $900 (900/12 = $75.00 per month) for Full-time. The 2 and 4 months minimum are still in place as originally intended to be used if a member was absent from the area for a year or more period of time to keep the membership in good standing.. A different way of saying it is: “an excused absence that was allowed if the member gave a written request to the Club Treasurer”.
These actions regarding our dues structure were found to be necessary to 1) meet the lagging financial means to meet the Club’s fixed costs and 2) reduce the ongoing accounting load placed upon the club administrative staff.
Lastly, I wish to inform you that we have reached a written agreement with the Paradise Marina to pay VYC a monthly limited privileges membership fee (donation) for the Captain and full-time crew of each boat at least 80 feet in length; that rents a slip for one month or more.
The Vallarta Sailing Foundation is now well into its third year of helping our youth sailors acquire sailing skills, gain a respect for the marine environment and compete in amateur regional, national and international sailing competitions.
If you wish to make a sizeable cash donation of any part (or all) of your annual mandatory IRA distribution, you can instruct that the amount you wish to contribute be sent directly to the Vallarta Sailing Foundation. Thus, you avoid owing any income tax applicable to that amount and, in fact, receive a 100% tax credit!
And, until now, tax deductible donations to the Foundation could only be made by check, cash or wire transfer. But, effective immediately, you may also make your donation of any amount by credit/debit card or your PayPal account. Use your credit card and earn points as well as the tax deduction.
To make a donation by either of these methods, enter the VYC website www.vallartayachtclub.org , select the Sailing Foundation from the menu on the right, and simply press the “DONATE” button at the bottom of this page. Complete the standard credit card form or make the donation from your existing PayPal account.
If you have an IRA account, you can send donate any amount at any time by either check or wire transfer directly from your IRA account. Thereby, receiving a 100% tax credit for the full amount of the donation. This is a very attractive option for those of you, like myself, that are of the age of annual mandatory IRA distributions. Simply instruct your IRA account manager to issue the wire or check to the Vallarta Sailing Foundation as follows:
Vallarta Sailing Foundation 9000 Crow Canyon Road, Suite S-384 Danville, CA 94506
Recent circumnavigators Peter and Margie Benzinger were two of the many volunteers who helped at this year's record-breaking WesMex International Small Boat Regatta. In their case, they offered their time, and thier boat, as one of the two committee boats for the event. Here's their story:
WesMex 2017 – A Visitor’s Perspective
By Peter Benziger, Captain, S/V Peregrina
Racing sailboats is a fantastic way for young people to gain valuable life skills. As a boy growing up on Long Island Sound, 60 years ago, I learned to sail racing “Bluejays” and “Lightnings” at the Noroton Yacht Club in Connecticut.
So, it was only natural that my wife, Margie, and I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer Peregrina, our Tayana 47, as a committee boat in the 2017 WesMex Small Boat Regatta earlier this month. The event was organized by the Vallarta Yacht Club. This is the 12th year the club has hosted the event.
Over 240 boats participated – competing in five types of one-design sailboats: Optimists, Lasers,420’s, Hobie Cats and Windsurfers.
During the event, we met some fantastic kids and their supportive families and coaches. I was really impressed by the participants and began to think about some of the benefits of racing sailboats for young people.
Getting ready to race requires lots of responsibility and preparation. Every morning, the kids would be working on their boats; cleaning, checking the knots, adjusting tension, repairing damage.
Kids also learn the importance of safety. This young girl is putting some extra air in the flotation bladders which keep her boat afloat in the event she capsizes.
The kids in the WesMex regatta came from all over Mexico. It was wonderful to see them introducing themselves and making new friends. In a three day regatta, there is no time to be a wallflower. Even in the midst of serious racing, the kids had a sense of fun!
RULES AND STRATEGY
Once you know the Racing Rules, they will help you formulate a strategy. Strategy is probably the most important aspect of winning races. Sailing fast is just not enough. Variables such as wind, current, waves and tides must be factored into your game plan. Kids have to take all these items into consideration; implement a strategy and then, constantly, modify their tactics as the variables change.
One of the most challenging parts of the race is the Start. Timing is everything. Racers must quickly evaluate a number of conditions affecting their position and implement a series of tactical moves to place themselves in front of the fleet.
The kids have to watch out not to “foul” another boat, not to cross the line too early, to show restraint when needed and to anticipate how long it will take to arrive moving fast when the staring horn sounds. There is a lot of stress on the starting line and the kids must learn to manage it. Below, you see how close the Laser Class lines up at the start of their race.
We tried to get in three races each day whenever possible. Thus, the kids were in the boats 5-6 hours a day and WOW did they get tired! Below is a young competitor who finished getting his boat into the parking lot just in time before falling asleep on the stern.
WINNING & LOSING
The hardest part of sailing is learning how to win and, much more frequently, how to lose. Usually, there are only trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place so the vast majority of participants go home with only the knowledge that they did better, or worse, than hoped for. But, for the winners, there were smiles and cheers all around!
And, for a select few, this regatta had international implications. At the end of the awards ceremony, a Race Committee delegate came up to the stage and called the names of five boys and girls who had qualified to participate in the 2017 Optimist World Championships in Thailand!
What an awesome future is in store for these incredible young sailors! What a fabulous experience for two “old salts” like ourselves to be a part of it all! Thanks to Vallarta Yacht Club and WesMex 2017 from Margie and Peter aboard S/V Peregrina.