PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico—By no choice of its own, Magnitude 80 is drawing out the drama in its run at the record in Del Rey Yacht Club’s 19th International Yacht Race to Puerto Vallarta, presented by Corum. Because of the variability of winds across the Gulf of California, the finish time was projected at sometime between 4:30 and 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.
Despite slowing down, Magnitude 80 would need to finish only by noon PST Wednesday (2 p.m. Puerto Vallarta time) to beat the record.
Monday morning’s 8 a.m. PST official roll call position report had Doug Bakers’ Andrews 80 making only 8.5 knots in 9 knots of breeze—about half what it found in its fun run from the start down to Cabo San Lucas at the tip of Baja California—with 203 nautical miles to go.
Later, at about 2 p.m. PST, the Flagship tracking program showed the Long Beach boat sailing at 103 knots with 135 miles remaining before it could wrest the record from the 22-year grip of Joss, the MacGregor 65 that sailed the 1,125 miles in 4 days 23 hours 14 seconds in 1985.
Magnitude 80 passed Raincloud late Sunday and by Monday afternoon had left Lorenzo Berho’s J/145 98 miles behind, with the other boat taking a more northerly course to its home port, making 5.9 knots with 233 miles to go. The Mexican entry had a two-day head start in PHRF-B class.
The Salsa fleet started its third and last leg around mid-day Monday with three boats—Jim Puckett’s Amazing Grace (3-1), David Kory’s Barking Spider 3 (1-3)and Gil Maguire’s Tenacity (2-2)—sharing the lead with four points each in the spinnaker class on overall handicap time. They were expected to cross the gulf in two or more days.
Awards will be presented at separate banquets in Puerto Vallarta Saturday and Sunday. Corum, the lead sponsor, will present the Admiral’s Cup Trophy 41 watch to the winner of each class within each division. The timepiece with a 41mm stainless steel case and nautical pennants instead of numerals to indicate the hours was introduced by Corum before the 2005 race.
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