When the 74th Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race starts today, 164 boats will be on the line.
In honor of NOSA’s 75th anniversary, the celebrations in Ensenada will be for the successful racers, trophy winners, and an organization that for the past 75 years has taken sailors on a fun, competitive coastal sailing adventure, making history along the way.
Taking to the Dana Point racecourse is Charles Ullman on his L30. He’s not only the youngest son of sailing great and Ullman Sails founder Dave Ullman, he’s grandson to Charles Ullman, one of NOSA’s very first directors, named handicap chairman in 1947. Also on the Dana Point course, racing for Parkinson’s awareness, will be California Inclusive Sailing’s 16-ft RS 4U.
More than 20 first-time sailors have registered for the classic course south of the border. A few are big enough and fast enough to break the monohull elapsed-time record. Topping the list is Manouch Moshayedi’s Rio100, (the largest entry in recent memory), which, although second to finish the Puerto Vallarta race this year, still beat the previous record.
Others include Ray Paul’s Artemis, a Botin 65 from SFYC, and from CBYC, George Hershman and Mark Comings’ R/P 63 Good Energy, a sistership to the monohull record holder Aszhou. The record is 9:35:34.
But N2E is not just for serious racers. PHRF racers are the heart and soul of the regatta, as illustrated by Joe Markee’s Ohana. The 1975 Swede 55 does really well in light conditions and has won its class the last few years. Andy Horning’s Day Tripper II, an inauspicious 1990 Hunter 40, has been a PHRF class winner 15 times. He attributes the winning streak to a maintenance ritual before race day.
N2E has been a favorite of Southern California sailors — and a bucket-list race for racers across the US and Canada — not just because of the camaraderie and the fun, but because no matter how big or small the boat that floats up to the start, any boat that starts could win. In 2009 Doug Baker’s Magnitude 80 set a record for monohulls that would stand for seven years. But it was Sojourn, a Catalina 30 in PHRF K, that won Best Corrected Time honors despite finishing 10 hours behind the record-setter.
More Boats to Watch
David Nelson and his Kite 35 return to the course after a two-year COVID hiatus. The class winner represents the Royal Lake of the Woods Yacht Club in Kenora, Ontario, Canada. For the first time, his 1D35 will face direct competition from Herwig Baumgartner’s Black Marlin.
Another boat to watch will be John Raymont’s Fast Exit II, a modified Ker 51. The UK boat that sails with designer Alan Andrews aboard just won overall honors in the PV Race.
Last year’s winner of the President of USA Trophy for Best Corrected All PHRF and Jack Bailee Best Corrected – Newport Beach Club trophy, Steve Sellinger’s Triumph, a modified Santa Cruz 52, will be back on the start.
Four Farr 40s will make up the biggest class fleet. Three doublehanded entries will take to the San Diego Course 2 to Ensenada. The J/145s Palaemon and Andiamo2 will face off again on the San Diego course.
Phillip Friedman’s custom 85-footer Sapphire Knight (DRYC) on its first N2E is rumored to have a professional chef aboard. It brings back memories of the golden age of N2E when racers showed up in costumes or with a grand piano on the bow — oh, we miss you so, Prospector!
Weather models are calling for epic winds and a wild and bumpy ride. Sailing enthusiasts not racing can watch the action via YB trackers. See https://nosa.org.