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Karla Moreno


A true pata salada

A true pata salada —the moniker used to identify those who were born locally—­ Karla Moreno has always considered the ocean her second home. “I remember our mother constantly struggling to get us out of the water after long hours of weekend enjoyment snorkeling or collecting seashells,” she muses. A very accomplished and competitive sailor, Karla couldn’t have asked for a better upbringing. From her mother, an artist, she inherited a deeply rooted love for all things creative, artistic and, most importantly, Mexican. And from her father, a successful businessman who founded Puerto Vallarta’s first diving school back in the late ’60s, she inherited her love for the sea and its many recreational activities. “I learned how to scuba dive with a fire extinguisher that my father had adapted for me,” she recalls.
Interestingly enough, her first encounters with sails were not on a sailboat. Like many teenagers visiting or living in the area at the time, she was caught in the windsurfing boom that arrived in Banderas Bay in the mid- to late ’80s. A few years later, several sailing enthusiasts from Guadalajara, Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta decided to invest in a fleet of Catalina Capri 37s and promote one-design sailing races around the bay. 
She joined a team in 1996 and was hooked on the spot, subsequently becoming captain of the Dreadnought Women Sailing Team, the first-ever all-women sailing team in the country. Last year, the high-profile team travelled to Palma Mallorca to participate in the Regata Copa del Rey, arguably one of the most important regattas in the Mediterranean and worldwide. The team didn’t go unnoticed, becoming ambassadors not only of the sport but also of our destination, frequently fielding questions about Mexico in general and Puerto Vallarta in particular. Nowadays, they strive to maintain their competitive edge with constant training and participating in important sailing events throughout the world. Thrilled to see how kitesurfing has increasingly attracted young generations to Banderas Bay in the last five years, she is also pleased to see windsurfing making a comeback, enriching the diversity of nautical activities available throughout the area.
A tireless promoter of nautical and cultural activities, Karla firmly believes that cities throughout the world become famous thanks to their cultural events. Beyond her active participation in the local and international nautical community, she has produced a number of successful concerts, fashion shows and dance performance in Puerto Vallarta, with a few surprises to look forward to in 2012. “Banderas Bay is a natural destination for nautical tourism,” she affirms. “Sailors inherently love nature and its many wonders, and our destination provides a natural backdrop like no other place in all of Mexico. And when you consider that important competitions that take place locally attract large vessels with substantial crew, the economic benefits to the region are substantial.”

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