Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - With 225 members the Vallarta Yacht Club is certainly not the biggest kid on the block but it certainly acts and gets results like it is one of the big boys.
Upon learning that the sailing competition of the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico were going to be conducted out of Paradise Village Resort and Marina, former VYC Commodore Linda Green convinced the club's board of directors to offer the club's resources, facilities and knowledge of staging and conducting sailing events to the Organization Committee of the Pan American Games in Guadalajara (COPAG).
With the backing of the Mexican Sailing Federation and Paradise Village Marina, a joint presentation was made to the delegates of COPAG. As a result of this meeting COPAG and VYC became the official host. What a host they were.
Nineteen (19) countries and 140 athletes (113 men and 27 women) along with 87 boats were involved in the competition. Watercrafts competing in the competition were J-24's, Lightings, Snipes, Sunfish, Lasers, Laser Radials, Hobie 16's and sailboards.
During this time the club provided 98 volunteers, 25 support boats, and 2 VIP boats for on the water support. The club also worked with a local tour company, Vallarta Adventures (who by the way has a wonderful "good neighbor attitude") and secured from them 9 Pangas and a catamaran for additional support and to carry spectators - including skippers.
Although some of the support work like setting marks, manning start and finish line boats, operating VIP boats was fun and put the volunteers right out at the race scene, much of the important work involved much less glorious activities like making box lunches for the competitors, assisting with the launching and retrieving of the boats, dock management and simply putting out the little fires that always accompany such an undertaking.
VYC can now put another notch in it belt - that of assisting in staging a "mini-Olympics" sailing event for the entire Western Hemisphere. Already host and coordinator for a number of regatta and racing activities, including the Banderas Bay Regatta, which has become the premier cruisers regatta on the Mexican Riviera, the club is the official Puddle Jump headquarters in Mexico, and the sponsor of arguably the best junior sailing program on Mexico's west coast.
The Vallarta Yacht Club has also successfully become the home away from home for cruisers when transiting through the Banderas Bay Area. They provide direct phone service to the US and Canada, access to the Internet, will help you with transportation to local chandlery's and other boating services as well being a resource for all kinds critical services cruisers need. The club is located on the water at the Paradise Village Marina in Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico.For more information about the Vallarta Yacht Club and upcoming events, please visit VallartaYachtClub.org.