Friday the 27th of April marks the start of the 44th annual regatta del sol al sol 2012. The Regata del Sol Al Sol is a offshore open ocean sailing regatta held in April each year that starts in St. Petersburg, Florida and Finishes in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.
The race dates as far back as 1964 when the Past President of Mexico, Lic. Miguel Aleman Valdez, then President of National Tourist Council, called together yachting principals from the gulf coast of the U.S. to meet with himself and his longtime friend, Jose Jesus de Lima, Director of Sports. At this meeting, regattas were organized from Houston, New Orleans, Pensacola, St. Petersburg and Naples, Florida to destinations of Veracruz, Isla Mujeres, Progreso and Cozumel. Of these only four persist, the St. Petersburg to Isla Mujeres, the Pensacola to Isla Mujeres and the New Orleans to Isla Mujeres. The Regatta de Amigos is still being run every even year from Houston to Veracruz.
The first race of the series organized by P/C Tom Downs from the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and Rear Commodore Esteban Lima of the Isla Mujeres Yacht Club was the Regata Del Sol al Sol in 1969. The Commodores of each of the yacht clubs at this time were Jack Clark of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club and Lic.Vicente Erosa of the Isla Mujeres Yacht Club. It has been sailed each year since, and this 44th annual regatta will begin on Friday, April 27, 2012.
As with many races of this scale they are certainly far from smooth sailing in places. Take the 20th running of the Mexican Race in 1988, a near disaster when a low-pressure system moved through the Gulf, producing winds in excess of 50 mph and seas up to 20 feet – many of the boats were lost for days.
Fortunately with technology such as Yellowbrick Tracking, Race officials can keep a close eye on competitors and their condition throughout. Yellowbrick will be providing trackers for all entrants in the Regatta in 2012.
In the 43 years of racing, the competitors look forward to the hospitality and relaxation of the Island community as opposed to the “high frequency” life of Cancun or Cozumel. This is indeed one of the few remaining family fun events in the yacht-racing world.
for more information and a schedule of events please visit the website http://www.regatadelsolalsol.org/