It’s been a warm and sunny fall in La Ventana, with a slow start to the consistent pattern of El Norte winds. But no complaints on our part since Mother Nature is in charge of wind, and there are so many wonderful ways to enjoy Baja. Since mid October we’ve been having 2-3 days of sailable 5.0+ wind each week, and even a couple of days of 3.7-4.2 thrown in to get the juices flowing. One bonus is that the air and water temps have stayed warm, making time on and off the water very comfortable.
I’ve been sailing the new Panther Elite, and have to say the sail is very sweet! After over a dozen sessions ranging from 4.2 to 5.7 I can say that it has the power, balance and range that we have come to expect from earlier Panthers. My early opinion of the 4 batten design is that it rotates a little easier in transitions, and it has extended range at both the upper and lower wind settings. Several sailors have been testing the Elite, and everyone has been impressed with the sail’s power and balance. I’ll be passing along their impressions as we get more test time on the water.
The slower start on the water this fall has given folks more opportunities to get off the beach and explore Baja. One event that comes to southern Baja is the Baja 1000 off-road race. Every three years over 300 racers run the full length of the peninsula and this November the 1120 mile race finished in La Paz. You don’t have to be a “motor head” to share in this exciting event that pits the extreme ruggedness of Baja against every racers mental and physical limits. Just over half of the racers made it to the finish line in La Paz, and that was a record number. Congratulations to winners BJ Baldwin in the Trophy Truck division, and Team Honda’s Johnny Campbell Racing for the bikes.
We set up our camp with a group of friends from La Ventana at Check Point 8, the final check before the finish in La Paz. The race started in Ensenada just south of the US border at 6:30 on Thursday morning. The motorcycles start first with the first truck starting 4 hours later. The only stops are for fuel, tires and repairs as needed, so riders and drivers are focused only on speed and finishing the race in the shortest amount of time. Considering that 95% of the course is off road, it’s amazing that the winning trucks and bikes average nearly 55 mph; that includes stops. Top speeds are over 120 mph in flat open areas. I have to admit it’s a rush when an 800 hp unlimited Trophy truck roars by only a few feet away.
Back at the beach, prime time is here as the winter crowd is arriving daily; the campgrounds are filling up and sails and kites are filling the bay. By the looks of the number of people in town and on the water, it’s going to be a busy and fun filled winter in La Ventana. I’ve got the new Wave Tiger and Elite for everyone to try. So stop by South Park in the campground and take one out for a test ride. Find out for yourself why everyone is loving the new 4 batten wave sail. And if you have a question about rigging any Ezzy sail, just stop by any windy afternoon and I’ll be happy to answer your questions and check out your sail.
See ya on the beach, Gary