H.L. Enloe’s ORMA 60 trimaran Mighty Merloe slipped into Ensenada minutes before dawn on Saturday at 5:55:35 to secure Best Elapsed Time honors at the 68th annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race. Last year’s first finisher, Tom Siebel’s MOD70 trimaran Orion, came in second, crossing the finish line in the light of day at 6:24:29 a.m.
By 8:00 a.m., the masts of the sleds and maxis could be seen peeking above the horizon. They crept in slowly, along with a bank of clouds that had been hovering offshore during the night. A group of five maxis and Fast 50s clustered together to finish only seconds apart. The breeze picked up at 10:00 a.m., giving a welcome push to the remaining competitors.
On Friday, the start may have looked like a raft-up from afar, as early morning showers had put a damper on the wind. However, within the fleets a lot of jockeying for position was going on while the various classes drifted toward the start line. By 1:00 p.m. the entire 205-boat fleet was headed for the dark gray horizon in search of wind.
Nineteen boats called in during the night to drop out of the race, including last year’s overall winner, Pete Melvin’s 8.5-meter trimaran Mama Tried.
We’ll have more in the June issue of Latitude 38.