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Vallarta Yacht Club is getting ready to host the 9th edition of the Signature Regatta WesMex 2014, to take place March 26 - 30. This event typically attracts some of the best sailors from all over Mexico and other countries. WesMex is one of the four main Regattas of the Mexican Sailing Racing Circuit, being also a qualifier Regatta for the Mexican Sailing team to represent the country in various International Youth Competitions.

Banderas Bay is recognized for being a prime spot for sailing in Mexico. The wind and weather conditions are ideal to the sport of Sailing, which guarantees the success of a Regatta. WesMex is a great example of seamanship, hard training and youth potential. Vallarta Yacht Club has previously hosted world class regattas, such as the Pan American Games, 2011.

Boat classes competing this year are Optimist, Lasers (Standard, Radial and 4.7), and the C420 class on its third year of participation, with an important fleet managed by the Mexican Navy. So far they are expecting over 180 competitors who will fill the waters of Banderas Bay with color and excitement.

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For those not familiar with the vessels, Optimist sailing teaches the foundations and the discipline of the sport of Sailing to girls and boys from 7 to 15 years of age. The Optimist boat was designed in 1947 and since has been the biggest youth racing class in the world. Most of the current International Champions, including Mexican Olympic Sailor, Tania Elias Calles, started as an Optimist Sailor. After age 15, competitors generally move into the Laser class in its different variants, which takes sailing to a peak level, being a much faster and more competitive boat, with a worldwide fleet or over 200,000 boats sailed by top competitive athletes in a global international tour, including the Olympic Games.

The C420 boat class has been recently adopted by the Mexican Navy and is being used as a training boat for developing racing and navigation skills. The C420 is a two person boat in which teamwork and synchronicity becomes a very important element of sailing this vessel, just as any larger boat.

Constantly stepping ahead and caring about our environment, WesMex 2014 is signed up as a Clean Regatta, under the best practice recommendations of the Clean Regatta Program (http://sailorsforthesea.org/programs-and- projects/clean-regattas.aspx) of the International Association Sailors for the Sea. The Purpose is to achieve an eco- friendly event where no traces are left behind and conservation practices are taught to the participants for a better future and the conservation of the Oceans.

This year, Copa Mexico is the star attraction of Banderas Bay, bringing in J24 North American Championship and Windsurfing Championship to LaCruz, KiteSurfing to Bucerias, all within weeks of the WesMex event. Copa Mexico is held every other year, bringing a wonderful opportunity to the local community and especially for those interested in learning how to sail, to get to know the sport of sailing at its best competitive level.

More information about WesMex 2014 can be found at www.wesmexregatta.org. To learn about the many activities available to the public at the Vallarta Yacht Club, please visit their website, www.vallartayachtclub.org.