Featured in Vallarta Lifestyles Magazine, Winter/Spring 2007 issue.
What makes a great sailboat race? Cruising World says Banderas Bay’s “ideal weather and breathtaking landscape” make it the perfect place for a regatta. Add in a highly skilled, competitive group of international sailors and a fleet of the world’s most popular one-design keelboats, and you have a winning formula. One of this spring’s great sailboat races, being held for the first time in a warm climate with consistent breezes, is the J24 Worlds.
Almost 80 J24 sailboats representing over 20 countries will vie for line honors two races a day for five days during the 2007 USB Vallarta J24 World Championship March 4 to 9. Hosted by the Vallarta Yacht Club, the world’s best amateur and professional sailboat racers will sail the brisk warm breezes off the beaches of Nuevo Vallarta.
The J24 is the world’s most popular one-design keelboat, and since joining the J24 International Association in 1979 Mexico has grown to 250 affiliates and over 70 active boats. Twenty-four Mexican crews and boats have qualified for spots in the competition.
How can you catch the excitement? In another first for the J24 Worlds, transponders will be installed on each boat, and using satellite technology you can track your favorite boat and the race on the Internet. Of course, you can always watch the world-class action from the world-class beaches of Nuevo Vallarta!
The J24 is a 24-foot (7.32 meters) fiberglass sailboat with a nine-foot (2.70 meters) beam, the measurements determined by the size of the garage attached to the family home of Rodney Johnstone, the creator of the J24. On May 15, 1976, “Ragtime,” the first J24 sailboat, touched water. The J24 is usually sailed with a crew of four or five, whose total weight can’t exceed 400 kg.
Currently, the J24 is second only to the Laser in worldwide popularity, with over 5,000 boats and 50,000 sailors in action. Its popularity can be attributed to its design, the skill necessary to sail it well, and the force of the International J24 Class Association, which has 2,728 active members in 27 countries around the world.
February 16 - March 3: PV ’07 Marina Del Rey to Puerto Vallarta Races. Follow this “big boat” race on the internet, all boats equipped with transponders. www.pv07.com
February 23 - 25: J24 National Championship. See the best Mexican J24 boats and crews compete for the national title.
March 5 - 9: 2007 USB Vallarta J24 World Championship. Internationally sanctioned race for J24 sailors from over 20 countries.
March 11 - 16: Vallarta Race Week. This biannual race takes place in Mexorc’s off years. Distance racing on Banderas Bay.
March 23 - 25: Banderas Bay Regatta. Good fun competition for all boats, from cruisers to performance racers.