March 2007

In The Sea Of Cortez

Cinco De Mayo Is Also For Sailing

By Gustavo Ybarra

Alter a long Cinco de Mayo celebration at the malecon, in the oldest district of Puerto Peñasco, next day I prepared to cover what was to turn into my first Piñata Regatta experience; for others, it was their 27th race in the Sea of Cortez.

The sun was over my shoulders by then, and the wind was strong enough for any vessel-dummy like me.

The 32 registered vessels left Saturday and Sunday from Sandy Beach. The starting point was at Hotel Playa Bonita; then racers cruised north up to The Reef Restaurant and R.V. Park, then south down the first estuary of Las Conchas, then all the way back.

They’ve Made It

“We needed a little bit more wind, but we can’t complain; the weather was great,” said Barbara Pearl, 44, while drying her vessel, helped by her cruise mates.

According to the Oregonian who now lives in Tucson, Ariz., regattas at Puerto Peñasco are not only a sport challenge but also a family and friendly tradition. “We sail, we camp, we have fun.

“Besides, there’s no comparison to sailing on lakes …. This is our favorite place,” she adds, drops of salt-water still dripping from her head.

Sponsored by Tecate (salud!), Hobie Fleet 66, and Playa Bonita R.V. Park — located at the heart of Sandy Beach — vessel lovers from New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, and Arizona sailed their “wind ships” to this magnificent Sonoran destination.

Sailing Again

Will I be back? Of course! After this experience, I’m eager to meet more people and take hundreds more photos.

“We will be waiting for you in October, for our new regatta,” promised Roger Hensley, from Phoenix, who works as a contractor but has been organizing these nautical races over the years.

About Phoenix Hobie Fleet 66

Events organized by Hobie Fleet 66 are designed to help new sailors expand their knowledge about their boats and hone their skills for sailing. Fleet 66 is a member of the North American Hobie Class Association (NAHCA).