February 24, 2011

3rd Annual La Manzanilla Cup - a fun race to watch and to film

LA MANZANILLA, Jalisco, Mexico - While my sailboat steering hand was twitching at the outset of the 3rd Annual La Manzanilla Cup sailboat race in Tenacatita Bay Tuesday, is was equally fun to watch the event from the race deck in front of Restaurant Raul, knowing that later I would be putting together a short video of the event.

Richard (right) accepts the Cup from last year's winner
The race is put on annually just for fun. And this year will be a real counter-point to an arguably serious yacht race this Saturday sponsored by the municipality of La Huerta. The Saturday race is serious enough that none of the boats that raced Tuesday are large enough to even enter. And in the villages, sounds trucks are driving around touting Saturday's event, encouraging people to come and watch.

It's doubtful that the people of these small pueblos will turn out in force to watch expensive yachts - some of which are worth 100 times the annual income of the villagers.

The winner of Tuesday's La Manzanilla Cup was Richard, best known as Richard of Richard and Nansee who have a house in La Manzanilla where they hold a variety of events each season.

Several years ago, I was there New Year's Eve and got a lesson in how to dance the tango from some professional instructors.

Six boats competed in the Cup race, which was a quick round-the-bay event with good winds and very light seas. The starting flag was a red tablecloth from Raul's Restaurant that did as fine a job as any America's Cup banners. Alaska Barb handled the start and finish line duties.

When not filming, I  sat at the press table with La Manzanilla's Lois Lane (aka Jane Gorby) who has written an account of the event for her newspaper, the Guadalajara Reporter. Jane was nattily attired with a very professional-looking hat that held her press credentials.

Here's a short video of the race:

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