After a 10-year lapse, the San Diego Yacht Club is bringing back its San Diego to Bahia de Manzanillo Internation Race, an 1,120-mile run down the coast. The race, which starts off at Point Loma in San Diego, has always attracted the fastest "state of the art" racing yachts.

Beginning with a pre-race Taco Party on Saturday, Feb. 21, the race will officially begin on Feb. 23 with the Performance Cruising Class start at noon.

On Tuesday, March 2, at "Race Central," at Las Hadas, a Brisas Hotels 5-star resort, those present  from 7:30 to 9:30 may listen to the morning roll call of the cruisers by shortwave radio. Pastries, coffee and juice are available.

From 5:30 to 7 p.m. later that day, visitors are invited to attend a cocktail party/fashion show, featuring designer originals by Paco Silva.

On Wednesday, March 3, through Friday, March 5 each boat that finishes, regardless of class or finish place will be greated with a Maraichi band, cowbells ringing and attractive young ladies offering tasty "coco locos," a popular drink served in a coconut.

Left: Regatta, February 1992
Los Frailes, Manzanillo, Mexico

The San Diego Yacht Club's history goes back 118 years, when a local group of boating enthusiasts joined together to found what has become a cornerstone yacht club in the annals of American yachting. From humble beginning and a series of locations (including an old Ferryboat), the Club has occupied its present property on Point Loma since 1924. Operating year-round, the facility includes tennnis courts, swimming pool, picnic area, sail drying area, dry boat storage, 575 slips, as well as a full service restaurant, bar, banquet facilities and snack bar.

The year 2004 marks the 26th  anniversary of the southbound Regatta. The return to Manzanillo is being welcomed by the Mexican government and the people of Manzanillo. Many events are planned to make this a very special finish.

For the first time a Las Hadas Race Week is planned as an add-on Regatta. This is a charity event that will benefit the orphanages of Manzanillo. It promises to be great racing, especially since the Regatta committee suggested that it "give back" to Manzanillo for their tremendous support.

On Saturday, March 6, the Yacht Club will join with two private schools in Manzanillo, the Las Hadas Resort,, and the Regatta skippers to participate in a charity luncheon and regatta benefitting the orphanages of Manzanillo. The two private schools, St. John's and Campo Verde, will coordinate this event. A large contingent of visitors from Minneapolis/St. Paul (Manzanillo's sister city) will also participate, and media and press from throughout Mexico will cover the day's events.

Proceeds from activities and a portion of the luncheon costs will be donated to Manzanillo's three orphanages: Amor y Amistad, Los Angelitos and Para Minores. The children range from infants to 18-year-olds who have been abused, neglected or abandoned. All these kids have been invited to see the boats and to be part of the event.

Left: Children at Los Angelitos Casa Hogar see Santa at Christmas. There are currently almost 30 children at the foster home.

Regatta Chairman Pete Higgins stated that the 2004 race will bring back all the theatrics of the original races from 1976 to 1994. With Mariachi music trumpeting while the boats cross the finish line, the crowd cheering and the festive Mexican atmosphere, all participants and visitors will be sure and get into the "fiesta" mode. Following the cruisers' arrival, there will be a Commodore's Reception, the Barefoot on the Beach Awards Party, and inauguration of Las Hadas Race Week, scheduled for March 6-11.

Higgins and other members of the Regatta Committee have made a number of recent trips to Las Hadas to meet with the Mexican organizers and resort management." The hotel looks spectacular," Higgins connfirmed, mentioning that there are great package deals for anyone who wants to attend. Travel arrangements can be made through Connie Thompson of San Diego Travel Group, phone 1-800-ASK-SDTG or 619-278-7421; e-mail

To contact Pete Higgins e-mail:, and to see the Yacht Club's web site, go to: More information about the race is available on this site.

For more information about Manzanillo, order Susan Dearing's guidebook, "Manzanillo & the state of Colima, Facts, Tips & Day Trips."