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No wedding blues, major waves in Mexico race

By DAVE ELLIS Sailing
Published May 16, 2007


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The 39th edition of the race from St. Petersburg Yacht Club to Yucatan Peninsula's Isla Mujeres was a mostly smooth-seas adventure for the 456-mile journey.

Fred Bickley, on last year's winner Mango Latitudes, reported that they had a "mutiny' aboard. It seems that among the crew was son Freddie and his bride-to-be's wedding gown. The wedding was to be on the Mexican island and the groom and dress really had to be there. So they elected to motor until the breeze picked up halfway across. They made it to the church on time.

First to finish to the island was the longest and fastest-rated boat of the fleet, Robert Walker's Macgregor 72 Enigma hailing from Key West. Their handicap rating, however, dropped them in the standings.

Finishing a little over two hours later, Renegade, Tom Slade's Santa Cruz 52 from Ponte Vedra, saved her time to win the spinnaker class

The nonspinnaker winner was Malcolm Smith of Ormond Beach on his Lafitte 44 Twilight. They recorded the event's best finish time after handicaps were applied.

The True Cruising fleet was divided into three divisions. Mi Vida Loca, the Beneteau 40 sailed by Mike Boom, one of the race organizers, finished well ahead of TC-A fleet. TC-B was led by Ted Riley of St. Petersburg on the Pearson 424 Bel Esprit II, while the TC-C winner was Mike Noble of Madeira Beach on Nobility, his Morgan 41 Out-Islander. Their corrected time was second in the fleet.

In the multihull class Otis Tavlin's Condor 40 Thunderbird had a rudder problem. Bob Webster's Catana 52 Minnow towed him all the way across the Gulf, making it in time for the parties. That left Rick Short of St. Petersburg's Vitamin Sea, a Voyage 43, the winner.

The event's tradition of doing something for the inhabitants of this idyllic island continues. This year Larry Wissing and Mike Boom implemented a boat poster coloring contest among the island's 600 elementary school students. The winner's creation was reproduced on the back of the official T-shirt. Almost all of the three elementary schools' students were given rides around the island.

For full results and the track of each boat across the Gulf, visit mexicorace.com.

HIGH SCHOOL SAILING: A regatta at St. Petersburg Sailing Center qualified Plant and Lakewood for the National Team Racing Championship in New Orleans the end of the month. Only 12 teams qualify nationally. Lakewood's sailors include Mateo Vargas, Chris Gardiner, Andrew Jones, Margaret Jones and Kyle Sowers.

ANTIGUA SAILING WEEK: Robert and Darlene Hill, who usually sail out of Davis Island YC, raced a 51-foot catamaran competing in the Cruising Multihull class. They won all five races in the event. Crew was local sailors Neil Harvey, George Smith, Loren Potts, Jamey Rabbit and Bob Glaser. After racing, the boat departed for the Azores on the way to the America's Cup venue in Spain.

[Last modified May 15, 2007, 23:49:38]


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