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2nd Annual Bocas Del Toro Regatta

Here is the highlights of the 2020 Regatta. Special thanks to Latitude 38 Publication 2020

The Beauty of the Bocas Regatta

By Christine Weaver | February 21, 2020 | Bocas del Toro, Panama | 

Cruiser and Latitude 38 contributor Louis Kruk checked in from Panama with a report and photos from the Bocas del Toro Regatta, hosted by Bocas Marina on February 15. The Bocas del Toro is located on the Caribbean side of Central America, in the northwest corner of Panama.

Aerial of mark rounding
The beauty of a mark rounding in the archipelago.© 2020 Glenn Maddox

Louis owns the Bruce Farr-designed Beneteau 42s7 Cirque, with which he sailed the 2007 Baja Ha-Ha. He splits his year between a home in San Leandro and the IGY Red Frog Marina on Bastimentos Island in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago.

Louis’s Cirque. “Navigation aids are rare in the Bocas Archipelago,” he remarks. “This one was not even a mark of the course. But somehow the photographer caught this dramatic image of Cirque articulating with it. Those vertical black streaks on the hull — we had just had the topsides cleaned four days earlier. Really!”© 2020 Suzanne Tuck

Molly Arnold reported on the first-ever Bocas Regatta on ‘Lectronic Latitude last March 1. This year’s race was the second edition. “Twenty-seven boats participated in the pursuit race,” reports Louis, “nearly evenly split between the monohull and multihull divisions. Both divisions were sandwiched together for the start by way of their PHRF handicaps. The race consisted of sailing twice around a triangular course. The total waypoint distance for the race was 10.3 miles. The PHRF start times had the slow boat starting at 12 noon. The fastest boat started 45 minutes later, at 12:45.” The regatta used PHRF New England ratings.

The custom 38-ft trimaran Unknown Pleasures. “Like Cirque, this boat won its division last year,” commented Louis. “This year, the committee added 119 seconds per mile to its assigned PHRF rating. Notice the black jib! Bolivar, the owner/skipper, takes old Dacron sails and paints them black. He does this to intimidate his competition with the look of new carbon-fiber sails. It must work — Unknown Pleasures overcame the huge PHRF adjustment.”© 2020 Suzanne Tuck

“The entries ranged the gamut from a Hobie 16 to the maxi Don Juan, a carbon-fiber Soto 73. The official race instructions said the start was between the pirate flag on the pirate ship Black Magic and the APS inflatable mark.”

Cirque starting between the pirate flag and the inflatable mark. Boats had been starting for 25 minutes when Cirque’s turn rolled around. Twenty-one boats had already preceded Cirque over the start line, as dictated by their PHRF ratings.© 2020 Suzanne Tuck

Crewing on Cirque were Mark Langer and Sharon Reeves of Santa Cruz. Members of SCYC, they actively race their Sydney 38 Aboriginal and their Santana 22 Hot Tuna. They also own the Sand Dollar B&B in Bocas del Toro. Mark did the Ha-Ha in 2011. Elena Ross hails from New York and Arizona, and she’s a longtime resident of Costa Rica.

Cirque crew
Cirque crew, left to right: Mark Langer, Sharon Reeves, Elena Ross and Louis Kruk.© 2020 Suzanne Tuck

Podium Finishers

Cirque proved to be a David among Goliaths, as the results show:

MONOHULL —

  1. Cirque, Beneteau 42s7
  2. Kumulani, custom 54
  3. Don Juan, Soto 73
Don Juan and Chagi
“A major contrast,” notes Louis. “On the left we have the carbon-fiber Soto 73 Don Juan, scooting past the Lagoon 380 Chagi. Note that the catamaran has enough fenders deployed to transit the Panama Canal and has a spinnaker ‘two-blocked’ in a sleeve, sailing either close-hauled or close-reaching.”© 2020 Suzanne Black

MULTIHULL —

  1. Unknown Pleasures, custom 38-ft trimaran
  2. Parlay, Lagoon 450 catamaran
  3. Del Mar, Leopard 380 catamaran

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