Dear fellow sailor,

As a past participant in Banderas Bay Regatta, I’m sure you have fond memories of the beautiful scenery, the great parties, and the excellent racing on beautiful Banderas Bay. I wanted to touch base with you to tell you about changes that we’ll be making for next year’s BBR, the 26th year of the event, scheduled March 20-24, 2018.

Over the years, one of the most consistent things we hear from the top BBR racers is that they want to sail in classes where ratings are consistent, fair, and understandable. We have always tried to make sure that happened. However, while our BBR rating system has been proven to work well for cruising boats, performance boats have always been a challenge. We also recognize that as the sailing scene in Banderas Bay matures, there is a need to accommodate the “Big Boats” that are designed more for racing and not necessarily cruising.

So we’ve made a couple of additions to the event that we think you’ll like:

  • Introduction of an ORR class
    We have deliberately scheduled BBR to be just a few days after the finish of MEXORC. We are inviting those boats, and any others with ORR certifications, to race in BBR with their own start, and their own courses. We know that some ORR-rated boats that have participated in BBR didn’t use their best sails and configurations in order to accommodate their BBR ratings. This is an opportunity to “let it all hang out” and show us all what you’ve got. We will want to see an ORR certification for boats who wish to participate in this class.

  • Introduction of a PHRF-only class
    For the boats who want to race to their straight PHRF rating we will offer a class. This means no offsets for cruising gear, old sails, etc. In the cruising classes we encourage participants to “race with what you have” onboard, but in the PHRF-only class racers will be encouraged to do whatever is necessary to bring their boat to the same specification they had when it was PHRF rated. If that means stacking the dock with your cruising gear, well, that’s between you and your harbormaster! If you have a PHRF certification, we’d like to see it. If you don’t have a PHRF certification and you have a boat that’s on the US Sailing rating list, you can sail to the average in those tables. No offsets beyond what is in the PHRF certification. Straight PHRF.

“But isn’t this a cruisers regatta?” we hear you ask. Yep, it is and always will be, and we won’t forget our roots. For cruisers who want to shake out their sails or just want to sail in company around the buoys, we will continue to offer cruising classes for monohulls and multihulls. With enough interest, we’ll also offer favorite classes like Twenty-Something, Jack-n-Jill and JAM. These boats will be rated using our proven BBR rating system, which is based on PHRF/Schell Regression and includes variable offsets for cruising equipment, old sails, etc. The important thing is that cruising boats race with cruising boats, race boats with race boats. Simple, easy, safe, and fun.

Tradition is important to us, and we are determined that BBR will remain the same fun event that it was when Terry O’Rourke and his pals got together to have a little romp around the Banderas Bay almost 26 years ago. We also know that Banderas Bay is changing as a sailing venue, and we intend to change with it, while keeping as true as we can to our traditions.

We hope you like the changes that we’ve made in BBR, and we hope you’ll come and sail with us next March. Registration opens for BBR XXVI on September 1, 2017. Keep checking this web site for more informatoin. As always, the motto for Banderas Bay Regatta is “They had a party and a yacht race broke out!

We hope you’ll come and party with us, and perhaps do a little sailing.

See you in March.

Andy Barrow

On-the-Water Director

Vallarta Yacht Club