The rest of the fleet has skills/patience tested
ENSENADA, Mexico, April 29, 2017 – The days when you could be on the water in Newport Beach for the start of the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, then drive south in time to see the first boats finish is officially over.
Two years in a row now, heavy Friday afternoon traffic south of Encinitas, backups at the border plus a pit stop for insurance and gas have hindered the timely arrival of photographers and volunteers. “Who would have thought a sailboat could make it to Ensenada faster than a car?” questioned Jr. Staff Commodore Dave Shockley.
Lloyd Thornburg’s, MOD70 Phaedo3 and Howard Enloe’s ORMA60 Mighty Merloe crossed the finish line of the 70th annual N2E with times of 5:45:52 and 5:49:28 respectively. No records were broken this year but amazing that after 125 miles, they finished by only 3:56 apart! Also impressive is that Mighty Merloe, that has previously claimed best elapsed time honors, made it with only a 12 minutes and 30 second difference than last year! Congratulations to both teams for a great run.
It was so windy in here yesterday afternoon, creating a hazy visibility; the Port Captain closed the port to outgoing traffic. But winds here did little for the rest of the fleet; many of which got caught in doldrums at or just south of San Diego.
Despite Friday starting with a wind advisory for the Huntington Beach area winds dissipated as boats converged on the start at 10:30 a.m. By 12:30 p.m.and the final start, big swells remained but wind had slowed to between just 6-8 knots.
By 7 a.m., only 18 boats had crossed the finish line. Last years’ monohull record-breaker Aszhou, Steve Maheen’s 63 Reichel Pugh clocked in with a time of 15:06:14.
Bill Gibbs Wahoo, last year’s Tommy Bahama Trophy winner for best corrected time, all boats, arrived with a time of 18:53:01.
By 10:30 a.m., only boats in PHRF A had an arrival or two, all others were in transit. All Fast 50s were accounted for.
Those who were slowly converging on the courtyard at the Coral Hotel and Marina reported big swells and spotty wind. A slow bumpy night, said a few. The crew of Encore II reported changing its sails 15 times. Incoming reports from many sailors coincided, in the struggle for wind; they used every sail on board in hopes of finding one that provided an edge.
“Spotty winds – this is sailboat racing. But you’ll be able to relax and have a good time once you are here,” said Commodore Tom Kennedy.
Other unofficial times are:
It’s Ok 17:55:01