The Regatta Del Sol Al Sol will be starting in the vicinity of the St Petersburg Pier on the 1st May. The fleet will then head south westerly through the three centre span piers towards the finish line 456miles away just off Isla Mujeres.
The first Regatta Del Sol Al Sol in 1964 came about when the then President of National Tourist Council in Mexico, Lic. Miguel Aleman Valdez, called together yachting principals from the gulf coast of the U.S. to meet with himself and his long time friend, Jose Jesus de Lima, Director of Sports. At this meeting, several regattas were organised from Houston, New Orleans, Pensacola, St. Petersburg and Naples, Florida to destinations of Veracruz, Isla Mujeres, Progreso and Cozumel. Only a few of these races have stood the test of time, one of these being the St. Petersburg to Isla Mujeres.
The competition is a navigator's race in that the course crosses three major current complexes, which makes for an exciting contest.
The regatta has had many eventful races; The 20th running in 1988 was a near disaster. A low-pressure system moved through the Gulf, producing winds in excess of 50 mph and seas up to 20 feet. Nine of the fleet of 37 boats were unaccounted for. Eight reported in, having dropped out of the race at Key West or the Dry Tortugas. But still missing was Shenanigan IV, skippered by Dr. Francis Traun. Friends and relatives had many anxious moments before the U.S. Coast Guard reported Shenanigan IV safe in Isla Mujere eight days after starting the 456-mile race in St. Petersburg.
The organisers now install YB trackers on all the boats. This helps the officials of the regatta keep a close eye on the competitors. They can track the contestants in real time so they know of any problems almost immediately. It also provides a way for loved ones at home to easily view an individual boat or the whole fleets progress with just a click of a button.
For more information on this regatta please visit the race website