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Sailfest 2024 summary - Sailing off till next year.

Updated: Mar 12

Sailfest 2024 was a huge success again this year with every event surpassing last year’s attendance and almost all in revenue. We had over 200 volunteers and more wanting to come on-board next year.


It has been our hope for years to involve more local volunteers and this year of the 15 committees involved in organizing Sailfest, 1/3 of these events are now being chaired by Mexican volunteers and together we all helped Sailfest net just over $2 million pesos!

Now we wait for the big donors and matching grants.


Website was published in Dec 2023 and hit the ground running. Thanks to Tracey Cooper for donating her expertise in setting the website up and Karen Cooper who is now behind the scenes managing it... and me who constantly asks her to do more. There are still a few tweaks to work out, but we are off to a good start.


House Music Events Tickets were available for purchase online to all 7 events. Each location was beautiful and unique with the music donated by exceptionally talented and entertaining local musicians.  These concerts brought in a total of $313,559.


Run/Walk 3 - 5km and over 169 participants - Mexicans, locals and visitors all participated to raise a total of $18,000 pesos and had a fun morning doing it! 


Sales & Cruiser’s Desk – a new location at the beginning of the pier was a perfect ‘cool’ space to keep volunteers and participants out of the hot sun and a bonus of being able to store the merchandise at the end of the day.  37 volunteers manned the Sales Desk and sold a gross total of $260,325 in merchandise and tickets.  Next year Sailfest is considering setting up a satellite station near the cancha to ensure people know where we are located, and due to feedback from participants, we will be considering extending the hours.


WELCOME PARTY – with an audience of over 300 guests, the students of Colegio de Bachilleres put on an exceptional show of dance and music, followed by Steve’s FriendZ band who donate their time and talent each year so we can all have fun and dance the night away.


Auctions – a few challenges right before it started!  Who knew the angle of the sun at the Casa de la Cultura would put the event totally in the sun. A quick location change thanks to Madana Restaurante and Auctions Chairperson, Sandra Impey had her crew running everything smoothly. 

The Live Auction finished off with two gentlemen in a bidding war… on a $3,700 dinner at Tentaciones.  In the end the meal certificate went for a whopping $60,000 pesos!

Thank you, guys!!!  

Also, a huge thank you to the Donations team lead by Sara Hart. Her team canvassed and brought in the donated items for all the auctions and raffles from local businesses and individuals. Between the Live Auction and the Silent Auction, Sailfest made $323,650. The Raffles team sold $26,800 pesos worth of tickets.  Auctions and Raffles couldn’t do it without the hard work from the Donations team!


Cruises: With never knowing how many boats were actually going to turn up in Zihua, Donna and Tim Melville and their dedicated volunteers preformed magic with their fine juggling act, coordinating the many requests for cruises. And of course a very special thank you to the cruisers that stepped up and were prefect hosts to the over 635 guests.

 Sunset Sails    197 guests paid   $  500 each                   $98,500.00

Parade       180 guests paid             $  500 each                   $89,500.00

Rally         71 guests paid             $  500 each                   $35,500.00

Sunset Music 128 guests paid    $  700 each                    $89,600.00

Singles Cruise  28 guests paid     $1000 each                   $28,000.00

 Valentines 32 guests paid   $1500 each             $48,000.00

2024 Total: 635 guests donated over     $389,000.00

Special Mention: 

Catamaran 'Ziva' – hosted 107 donating guests

Hylas 54 'Voyager' – hosted 85 donating guests

Catamaran 'Elan' – hosted 68 donating guests

Calcutta raised $51,834 pesos as friends and guests put their bid on their favourite boat in the Rally.


Chili Cook-off – a new location on the pier which turned out to be great. Lots of room for delicious chili from 12 chefs!  With chili tastes, the bar sales and games, the Cook-off raised a total of $7,600.


School tour to Colegio de Bachilleres, a school built from the ground up with Sailfest/Porlosninos funds and donations, was a huge success!  As always, we had a chance to see these awe-inspiring young minds and talent.  100% of our students graduating from Colegio de Bachilleres will be applying to university this year – this is incredible!


School Parade a spectacular display by the students, teachers, and parents to thank Sailfest/Porlosninos for their support. The children were adorable in all their colourful costumes and managed to endure the setting sun shining in their eyes…but they did it…with big smiles.


Literario – a change of venues, but Casa para Niños put it together at the last minute. The kids love reading to the adults, the adults enjoy listening to the kids read in English or Spanish…and a few sponsors were picked up along the way.


 Garage Sale– held at the Casa de la Cultura gave the event lots of space for all the donations that were dropped off. There was a line-up around the block of both locals and visitors before the doors even opened. Helen, the volunteers and the donors made this event successful and raised $30,120!


Benefit Concert – Held on the pier, everyone enjoyed listening and dancing to M-Dock Band and all their guest performers…the choir at Colegio de Bachilleres, local talent – Estephania, and several of the band members from Steve’s FriendZ!  The M-Dock Band played to a sold-out crowd of 298 paying customers.  The Benefit Concert was once again, a huge success!  Thank you M-Dock Band!!


 School Visit – Casa para Niños… always a delight as the children put on a little show, followed by Carol Romain briefing guests on how they can sponsor a child. Please contact if you want to sponsor and give a child a future!  For only $350US (tax receipt issued) you can keep a child in school!


Gala Dinner – Held on the pier, Chayo Verboonen, owner of Barracruda Tapas, Bar & Grill, worked with a variety of local restaurants to provide food to over 250 guests.  The students of Colegio de Bachilleres again provided entertainment with dance and brilliant costumes and the Mariachi Mujer Mexicana finished off a perfect evening.


Champagne Brunch – La Vista Restaurant at the Pacifica Grand Resort offered a special brunch for guests as they watched the Rally Round the Rock from the start and finish line with a bird's eye view. Pacifica Grand Resort then donated the proceeds from the brunch of $15,350 to Sailfest.


Porlosninos now takes over the spending of the money raised from Sailfest, the sponsorships and all the generous donors. The Mayor of Zihuatanejo has committed to continue matching the construction costs that Porlosninos spends on construction for this next year.


Sponsoring - The school tour to Colegio de Bachilleres was a huge success as always, and a chance to see these talented students. Twenty new sponsors signed up, but there is still a need for 5 students currently studying in university, 2 who want to attend university and 2 who want to attend high school next year, 6 in secondary or middle school and 5 in primary.  If you are interested in helping one of these deserving children, please contact Carol Romain -


Interesting Facts – in 2004 Sailfest was a 5-day event which consisted of a Kick-off party at Rick's Bar, Cruiser's seminars, a Beach Party, Dinghy raft-up potluck, Pursuit Race, a Chili Cook-off and street fair. A Sail Parade was followed by a wrap-up BBQ beach party, and an awards ceremony. There were 46 boats that participated which was down from 67 in 2003. A guest paid $25 US for the Sail Parade...and everyone got to the boat by dinghy.   $15,142 US was raised and this was matched by the Bellack Foundation for a total of $30,284 US. We’ve come a long way and it's thanks to all of you!!

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Newsletter May 2024

An update on projects with the funds raised by Sailfest and other generous donors .


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