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2019 Ensenada Race Wrap Up

International Winners and the Quest for VMG
Take Center Stage at N2E 72

ENSENADA, Mexico., April 28, 2019 – The International aspect of the 72nd annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race took on a whole new meaning today when Alive, Australian-based the Reichel Pugh 66, took home the NOSA Trophy for overall best elapsed time, the Amigo an Trophy awarded to a first-time skipper and the Lahaina Yacht Club Trophy for best elapsed time all PHRF. Luke Watkins, who accepted the hardware on behalf of skipper Duncan Hine and boat owner Phil Turner, also carved out a chunk of the race board; likely to be the only TSA approved-souvenir of the race.

Adding to the international element, the crew were a mix of Australians and New Zealanders with a Dutch navigator and an Italian bowman.

“It was a great race – light winds – but we managed to find a few holes and had a strong finish,” said Watkins. “We are happy to have stayed in front of the TP 52’s.”

Having won the classic 2018 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race this past December, it appears the boat, sailing for the Derwent Sailing Squadron in Tasmania, has a history of strong finishes.

David Nelson’s ID35 Kite 35 made another strong showing, stealthily returning to the podium this year to collect the USA Secretary of Navy Trophy ULDB-C for the third time in six years. Representing the Royal Lake of the Woods Yacht Club in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, Nelson said: “the race was tricky as heck, but we just looked to sail the shortest possible course, going just outside the Coronado’s for a bit, then jibed into shore and staying left.”

“VMG all the way and just drive,” proclaimed his navigator. “Teamwork was on point and we had a lot of fun,” Nelson said of his six-man crew, that included his son.

For many, this lighter-winds race, finding VMG (Velocity Made Good) was the difference between winning or ending up experiencing VNDG (Velocity No Dang Good) instead.

VMG, for those who do not speak sailor, is all about finding the heading that moves the boat fastest toward the finish line.

How to do that is made easier with today’s new instrumentation, but there’s more to consider depending on the individual characteristics of one’s boat.

“You know what you want to do, whether or not you can do it is another story,” said Nelson,

Stepping up for the Newport Beach and US-based competitors was Vesper, one the TP 52’ s that Alive managed to stay ahead of, which absolutely nailed VMG.

The Tommy Bahama Trophy for the Best Overall Corrected Time, the President of USA Trophy for Best Corrected – All PHRF, the President of Mexico Trophy for Best Corrected – Maxi Class and the Jack Bailee Trophy for Best Corrected Newport Beach Club will now be gracing the trophy case of the spectacular new Newport Harbor Yacht Club, no TSA clearance or international shipping required.

Skipper David Team credited his navigator Chad Hough for making the right calls. “At one time it looked bad, but we stayed outside and stuck with the strategy,” said Team.

Although this might have been the team’s first N2E on Vesper, the crew sails a lot together and they practice a lot together, said crew Paul Marshall. Many of the crew started sailing with junior programs and started racing with their Dads. Having also won First in Class at Long Beach Race week last year, the experience and the teamwork seems to be paying off.

Jim Bailey’s Destroyer, another TP 52, placed second in the Maxi-Class and contributed to NHYC’s win of the Spirit of Ensenada Trophy for the yacht club for having the most winners, at five.

Adding a touch of international flair, was Terri Manock’s all-female entry on Pole Dancer. Her crewmembers were originally Irish, Canadian, and a New Zealander although only one Idaho resident flew in to help the women not only win the Caroline Starr Trophy for Best Corrected All Female Crew, but the Carlos Avila Escoto Best Corrected J120. “We stayed out of the fray and got a good start;” said Manock. “It was a long race, but had a wonderful group of ladies to sail with.”

Robert Knox of Seahorse, a Beneteau 49 and his rugby crew won the Secretary of Foreign Relations – Mexico Trophy for Best Elapsed Time – Cruz. The former Australian teammates caught the sailing bug when they moved to Southern California. After not doing well in their first boat, Merlin, they moved up and found success. The men picked up the same trophy last year.

BCYC’s own Dan Rosen, sailing the B32 Problem Child, once again lived up to its name, being a problem for anyone who dares enter in the double-handed category, winning the Volvo Best Corrected – Double Handed Trophy for the eighth race in a row. Rosen sailed this year with Peter Heck, a respected local sailor with a lot of experience winning on Maxi-class boats.

Also returning to the podium was Joe Markee of Ohana. The 55 Swede moved up classes this year to PHRF-B and takes home the Cliff Chapman Best Corrected -PHRF B Trophy to San Diego Yacht Club. “We had to figure out how far out to be to find the sweet spot for the boat to catch the breeze early,” said Markee. The older yet lean family cruiser does better in downwind conditions, but they clearly made the most of the available winds.

Cheerio II did not catch good winds until the final stretch.

“It was absolutely terrifying,” said skipper Dick McNish about crossing the finish at a little over 10 knots in an 88-year-old-boat designed to handle only 6! “The spinnaker was up; it was wild; we rushed to get it down,” after crossing the finish late Saturday afternoon. 91-year old McNish and his eight-man crew will once again take the Ensenada Chamber of Commerce Trophy Best Corrected PHFR E back to Corinthian Pacific Yacht Club where preparation will soon be underway for the 42nd Annual McNish Classic Yacht Race.

Andy Schwenk, of northwest rigging, a marine outfitter in Anacortes, WA, flew in to sail the race on Staghound. Although the boat did not do as well as it has in previous years when asked about dealing with lighter winds, Schwenk said there was nothing to complain about; “We are so blessed to be able to do this.”

At a NOSA luncheon, Saturday, Jared Gutierrez, International Press spokesperson for Mayor Marco A. Novelo Osuna also spoke about being grateful.

“It all started with an idea; today is about being grateful for all the history and the work that those before us have done (to make the race successful) and being grateful for simply having the opportunity to be a part of this event, and being grateful for the opportunities the future holds and our abilities to take action,” said Gutierrez.

No matter the wind.

FINAL RESULTS

GET SET! N2E 72 RUNS TOMORROW

WHAT: Sailing enthusiasts are converging on Newport Beach in final preparation for Friday’s 72nd Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race. Slips are filling, mooring balls are being grabbed and racers and guests will mix and mingle at the pre-race party this evening. At yesterday’s Yachtsman’s Luncheon, one attendee reported sailing the race 43 times. Speaker Keith Magnusson, of Ullman sails, said the race is a great opportunity to put cell phones down, to get away from daily distractions and do a little star gazing. But the race is. On.

NEW: Class breaks include ULBD or non-ULDB boats to create more competitive classes.

THEY’RE BACK: A trio of races will hit the start line off the Balboa Pier. In addition to the classic N2E, racers on the N2SD course will be San Diego bound and N2DP is the sprint course to Dana Point.

YB Tracking: was so popular with racers last year, and an amazing safety feature, each boat will sail with one again. After the start, head over to nosa.org or download the app to watch the boats sail down the coast.

FROM ABOVE: A drone, capturing live footage of the start will air with commentary on the race’s official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NewportToEnsenada starting about 10:30 a.m. You don’t have to leave your desk to watch, but hey, get out in the fresh air; join the crowd at the end of the pier. If you are not sailing, get your steps in!

LOOK FOR: Alive, a Reichel Pugh 66 is making its race debut. Formerly Stark Raving Mad, this boat has the lowest rating at –147. Remember, the current record-holder for fastest elapsed time in a monohull belongs to Aszhou, a R/P 63. These Australian-built boats are fast. Conversely, Sir Tuffy, a 38-Alberg, has a rating of +235. Handicap wise, that’s like giving Sir Tuffy a 14-hour head start.

BACKGROUND:  First run in 1948, the N2E has a storied history of mixing professional racers, the occasional celebrity and a raft of fun-loving but competitive recreational sailors all on one amazingly exciting start line. Through the years it has become a time-honored, iconic event for the City of Newport Beach, the City of Ensenada and sailing enthusiasts who come from across the country, and from two other countries to compete.  More than 40 trophy categories in monohull, multihull and cruising classes give this race a wide appeal.

NOSA Welcomes Dignitaries at Annual Mayor’s Reception

Traditional event means the start of N2E 72 is just hours away!

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., April 24, 2018 – The Newport Ocean Sailing Association will celebrate more than seven decades of friendship and teamwork integral to the ongoing success of the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race Thursday, April 25 at the annual Mayor’s Reception.
The 5 p.m. festivities, at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa, 900 Newport Center Drive, help commemorate this 72-year-old iconic event; an amazing example of how cooperation between our two neighboring countries is beneficial to all when we work together.

Commodore Daniel Hodge will host officials from both namesake cities and extends an invitation to all participating boat owners to come to meet and celebrate those responsible for continuing the traditions of this iconic race and for making it happen year after year. There is much behind-the-scenes planning by organizers in both countries who conquer distance, language barriers and ever-changing policies, procedures, and laws so all sailors need to do is show up and race.  

“We are excited to welcome the biggest contingency of Mexican officials ever,” said Hodge. “It’s unprecedented – a sign of not only how amazing things happen when we work together, but it’s also an indication about how important our race is to the City of Ensenada; we’re not only contributing to its economic prosperity, we’re part of its history and its future.”

Mayor Diane Brooks Dixon and Marco Antonio Novelo, the Mayor of
Ensenada will be joined by the following:

Congresswomen Monica Almeida Lopez, Congressman Jaime Humberto
Perez Bernabe, Congressman Julio Carranza Areas, and Congressman
Juan Ortiz Guarneros, all members of the Marina Commission; Almeida-
Lopez is the commission president.

Along with; Carlos Manuel Luna Herrera, Delegate of Immigration in
Ensenada, Captain Daniel A. Maass Michel, Ensenada Harbormaster, DavidPerez Tejada Padilla, Customs and Port Administrator of Ensenada, Oscar
Escobedo Carignan, Secretary of Tourism, Baja California, ALMT. C.G. Dem Jose Luis Cruz Ballado, Commander; Naval Region 2a, International Affairs
Director, Jared Gutierrez Lopez, and other respected officials for whom
NOSA is grateful for their attendance.

These guests and others will then join NOSA board members on a
Hornblower dinner cruise, and later attend the Sail Away party with race
participants at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club.

The annual event honoring our valued City Officials and our partners south
of the border “shows a commitment to working together with the ultimate goal of returning this premier event to the anticipation and participation of yesteryear,” said Hodge.
 

ON YOUR MARK! N2E 72 STARTS THIS WEEK

Multiple Pre-Race Events Scheduled Wednesday and Thursday 

WHAT: Hosted by the Newport Ocean Racing Association, the beloved Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race is an eclectic mix of serious sailors campaigning multi-million-dollar yachts racing alongside recreational cruisers in an effort to break records, win one of more than 40 trophies and participate in this iconic race known for its camaraderie and the promotion of ocean sailing. 
 

First up is the Yachtsman’s Luncheon Wednesday, April 24, at the beautiful new Newport Harbor Yacht Club, at 720 W Bay Ave, Newport Beach. Starts at 11:30 a.m. RSVP required. Once again, the keynote speakers are Bruce Cooper & Keith Magnussen of Ullman Sails.
 

Later Thursday is the annual Mayor’s Reception at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa, 900 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach at 5 p.m. Not only will the Mayor of both host cities be at this event, two dozen dignitaries from Mexico, Congresswomen Monica Almeida Lopez, Congressman Jaime Humberto Perez Bernabe, Congressman Julio Carranza Areas, Congressman Juan Ortiz Guarneros, all members of the Marina Commission and International Affairs Director, Jared Gutierrez Lopez will attend. A complete list of attendees is available upon request.

NEW:Jerry Fiat’s LUX, an AC45, is a former Oracle training boat. The boat launched earlier this month in Long Beach where Team China is racing it as part of their training for Sail GP in San Francisco May 4. It’s the first of its kind to enter the race; the first to attempt to do a coastal race of any kind. Renowned sailor, yacht designer, and industry influencer Pete Melvin will be aboard. Melvin won N2E in 2014 aboard the 30-foot multihull Mama Tried
 

Sailing in the unlimited class against the AC45 is the Oceanis 40, A Bell A Boy. The last-minute entry from Mexico was unable to secure a rating to enable them to race in a more suitable class. Organizers are calling the matchup a classic “Tortoise and Hare” scenario that will make for one of the most interesting starts in race history.  

Orion, an ORMA70, holds the record for fastest elapsed time on the 125-NM course at 5:17:26. 

Registration for N2E 72 Open – NOR’s for all three courses posted

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., September 25, 2018 – The Newport Ocean Sailing Association is so excited about the 72nd Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, that board members have opened registration early in hopes that more racers will plan to be a part of the iconic spring regatta’s storied history.

The official notice of race for all three courses are posted and available on the nosa.org website. Vice Commodore of Race, Bill Gibbs posted the documents and was first to register Wahoo, his race-winning Schionning GF1400.

The legendary race sets sail in the waters off Newport’s Balboa Pier on April 26, 2019.

Early registration is beneficial for sailors with busy racing schedules so they can plan their calendar in advance, said Gibbs. Additionally, it means racers don’t have to remember to keep checking for when registration opens. For the last several years, N2E registration has not opened until the first of January.

“N2E 72 is on the horizon and excitement for the race is beginning to mount with the early publication of our NORs,” said Mary Bacon, the Vice Commodore, Administration. Bacon also advised of upcoming and innovative programs, events, and website enhancements including a racing video produced by board member and chief marketing officer, Shaun Prestridge.

Another change that racers will find advantageous is the separation of planing boats from non-planing boats in the ULDB classes. Planing boats go faster in more wind in a way not covered by the basic PHRF handicap rating, Gibbs said. Separating them will provide more accurate corrected time results for racers.

Additionally, the sailing seminars NOSA has organized will be overhauled and improved by new board members Len Bose and Bruce Cooper. “There will be something for all levels of racers,” Bacon said.

Registration, NOR’s and much more about the history of the race and how to participate can be found at www.nosa.org. The race wraps with an award’s ceremony April 28 in the courtyard of the scenic Hotel Coral and Marina, our gracious hosts in Ensenada.

Cover Photo: Tom Walker

N2E 71: Where family, favorites, good ole’ boats, and newcomers come together!

ENSENADA, Mexico, April 30, 2018 – Although trophies won in the annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race honor those who have bested their competitors by hours, minutes and seconds, it was the difference between years that garnered the most cheers at the 71st awards ceremonies Sunday.

Photo Credit: Tom Walker

For the second time in three years, 91-year-old skipper Richard McNish was on stage collecting the City of Ensenada Trophy for Best Corrected Time, PHRF G, and the New York Yacht Club Trophy for Best Elapsed Time, Single Hull/Divided Rig. McNish has sailed Cheerio II, a 46-foot, 1931 yawl, in N2E for almost 20 years. Each year before the race, the certified State Historical Vessel is hauled out and checked over to make sure nothing is going to break.

McNish said they got a good start and were making great time until 2:30 am. Then the wind shut off, he said. Prior to that time, the YB Tracker was predicted an awards sweep for the boat. But it took a while to build to 2 knots, before finally catching a bigger breeze and Cheerio was happy again, McNish said.

For years, only “men of a certain age”, AKA over 50, crewed on Cheerio II. Recently though, McNish started taking on a couple of younger, yet experienced sailors as crew members. The collaborative group has worked really well, he said.

Conversely, the minimum age requirement to crew on ’s Ohana, is three. It was only the second time the classic 1982 Swede 55 sailed in N2E and the first with Hardesty’s son.

Photo Credit: “Father, Son, Grandson at sea, Courtesy of Joe Markee and Bill Hardesty

Hardesty, a 2014 Rolex ISAF World Sailor of the Year nominee and a 12-time world champion, turned a family cruiser into an award-winning long distance racer on their second try; taking home the coveted President of USA Trophy for Best Corrected – All PHRF and the Gil Knudson trophy for Best Corrected – PHRF D.

The seven-person crew, six of whom took turns at the helm, and for the most-part got involved in each position, sailed the boat to an overall corrected time behind only Mighty Merloe and Orion, the 60 and 70-foot trimarans that finished Friday before dark.

Aboard Ohana (which means family in Hawaiian), Friday evening the crew of Mom, Dad, Grandpa, and a couple of friends, watched the sunset and enjoyed a family-style dinner of pasta and a glass of wine. Cruisers, yes, but they take sailing seriously.

The weather was good to us, said Hardesty. Although they coasted for the last half-mile, it was about halfway down the course when became apparent that they were doing well. We were around some faster boats that we’re not used to sailing with, he said. Early weather predictions indicated better wind offshore, so we stuck with the plan, said navigator Frank Tybor. They did not fly the kite early, or moved inshore too early, wary of getting stuck.

Hardesty shared that boat does not have a large or fancy sail inventory. Which reduces the discussion about which one to use, said Markee. They flew the code zero for seven to eight hours, the spinnaker at night, and after 3 am when the wind became fleeting, went through everything they had and finished with a jib.

Although being sturdy, heavy; outfitted to go cruising and does not like to turn, the crew nurtured Ohana’s sweet spot. The boat’s got a narrow 9’7” beam; heels over quickly, and likes reaching, said Hardesty. The conditions were perfect for us, and it all came together. After crossing the finish line at 6 am, the crew’s phones started to buzz as texts from friends who were following the YB Tracking reached out to congratulate them.

For a while, it seemed that everything was falling apart for Some Tuesday, Steve Dunlap’s 2017 Lagoon 450-S on its inaugural N2E. First, they got yelled at while trying to find the check-in boat. Four hours into the race, a drone that had been capturing some beautiful footage of the boat at sea with its spinnaker flying, started struggling to keep up with Some Tuesday, now cruising at 9 knots.

Since slowing down was not an option the entire crew watched as radio contact was lost and the drone plunged into the ocean. Minutes after that, the nice new spinnaker ripped. Later, about 24 miles off Rosarito, the nut holding the gooseneck pin came off and with it, the boom fell, boom. At least that they could fix.

Of Dunlap’s seven-man crew, three had never even sailed before he bought the boat and for others, this was their first race. However, boat and crew made numerous practice sails and Dunlap taught everyone – including his father-in-law Stephen Estee who flew in from Springfield, Mass., for the race – how to man each of the sailing positions.

The training, and perseverance, paid off. Despite the obstacles and coming in 16 minutes behind the competition in ORCA B, they corrected 21 minutes faster; winning the class.

After all of this, might Dunlap and crew return for a second N2E? Absolutely, 100 percent yes, the entire team said, without hesitation. Next year, the goal is to win without the handicap. They won’t bring a drone and are pretty confident having a spinnaker will help too

Friends and Family: The Heart of N2E

Jim Bailey’s Destroyer, a TP52, finished second in the Maxi Class on its first N2E edging out last year’s big winner, Pyewacket by a mere 45 seconds. Bailey, who sailed with his three sons, said for a while, the two boats went back and forth ahead of one then the other, in an apparent drift-off. Pyewacket finishing only one minute and 30 seconds ahead of them but corrected out ahead – thanks to a one-point difference in handicaps.

Gregory Dorn’s Lady Jane, one of two boats sailing for St. Francis Yacht Club returned with Dorn’s 18-year old son Nick and his friend Charlie Wooler, sailing their first N2E. The Jenneau 391 placed third in the Cruz-Gen class.

N2E’s old friend Medicine Man, Bob Lane’s Andrew’s 63, returned to the podium after a couple years’ hiatus to claim best-corrected MAXI. The crew reported that they found an outstanding breeze, all the way to the finish. It was one jibe and straight to the bar.

Another multiple-time N2E winner Horizon topped PHRF B once again. Nope, winning doesn’t get old, said Len Bose, skipper of the Santa Cruz 50. “Each race offers new stories, new things to reflect upon,” he said, “It’s good to see the expressions on the faces of people who have not been there (on stage) before, I wish more people could see that.”

But Fast Exit, a relative newcomer on its second N2E, was making a run for Horizon and came up only 4 minutes and 30 seconds astern.

Merry Cheers, who has been sailing since 1998, raced with John Raymont on his modified Andrews 40. She was at the helm at during the moonlit sail and got the boat over 15. knots. “I just sail the numbers– one and in!,” Cheers smiled. During the course of the race, she said the crew shared stories about Scott Poe, who was supposed to be sailing with them.

Less than a month after returning the boat from previous race to Mexico, there have been many unhappy reports that Poe has fallen seriously ill. “We knew that he was there in spirit, we felt him aboard,” she said. Of the Go Fund Me posts circulating and being shared to offset expenses, Cheers says “Sailing is more than a community, it’s a family.”

NOSA’s family, Bill Gibbs, who served this year as Vice Commodore of Race, tried to fly under the radar, but still managed to score another four trophies for Wahoo’s, his Schionning GF 1400 time of 15:16:43 in ORCA-A. The win has more than secured Gibbs as one of the most winningest skippers in N2E’s history.

Mighty Merloe, the ORMA 60, may not have claimed the record this year, but as a consolation prize, they took home four trophies: Best Elapsed Overall, Best Corrected Overall, Best Elapsed and Corrected Orca-Maxi Class.

“It was really exciting to have the MOD 70 Orion come down from San Francisco to race against us. They are a great crew, and we had to push very hard to beat them.” said tactician will Suto. “I’d like to say thanks to Enloe, the owner of Mighty Merloe, for putting together such a fast boat and talented crew. It’s a special thing to have boats like this racing. We hope to see more of it in Southern California in the future.”

COMPLETE RESULTS

 

N2E 71, Fast Starts Slow Finishes Leaves a Trail of Sailing Fun

N2E 71: Fast or slow, YB tracking shows a tale of three fun races

ENSENADA, Mexico, April 28, 2018 – Mighty Merloe, HL Enloe’s ORMA60 and Tom Siebel’s Orion, the MOD70, approached the start of the 71st Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race like thoroughbred horses; chomping at the bit, side by side, jockeying for position, waiting to spring from the gate and best the other to the finish line, in front of the Hotel Coral and Marina.

Orion was defending their 2016 best elapsed time record and Mighty Merloe was looking to claim it to go with all the other records it has collected in the last four years. But Orion stumbled at the start, one of its hulls slightly over early, and had to circle back to the start while Mighty Merloe sailed for the horizon.

Following yet another dual between the two mighty trimarans, as seen thanks to the YB Trackers, it was Mighty Merloe at the finish line by 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Orion’s record; safe for another year.

Meanwhile, in Dana Point, the race saw its first ever 1:48:41 finish courtesy of Charles Brewer’s Heartbeat 4. With Richard Mendoza’s Cricket, bringing up the rear at 3:21:19 in his Cal20, the entire fleet including a handful of Lasers, completed the first-ever N2E Dana Point Sprint before happy hour.

Melissa Herzfeld, who was has been volunteering on the check-in boat for 4 years now, was a little surprised when the first Laser pulled alongside, its enthusiastic skipper reporting the sail number and its sole passenger. Conversely, fifteen was the largest crew reporting in this year.

Dennis Pennell’s Reichel/Pugh 50, Blue Blazes, blazed down the Border Run Course home to San Diego like it was late for dinner, finishing with a time of 7:48:27. Dave Griffins and his Fair Haven crew likely had a dinner at sea, finishing the course with an elapsed time of 19:08:31.

The largest boat to finish, Damon Guizot’s Zephyrus, Reichel/Pugh a 77 had a stellar race, being the first monohull to finish at 12:27:03. Most of the larger boats, which sail outside the rhumb line, crossed the finish line before 2 p.m., Saturday. Racers reported that the coastal winds that propelled many of the competitors into Mexico began perishing about midnight, and stayed lax with shifty pockets through most of the day.

As the sun set on the Hotel Coral, the YB Trackers show 10 boats still drifting towards the sounds of the mariachi band at between 3.8 and 5.6 knots. With all having less than 11 nautical miles to go, it’s possible they will arrive just in time for the fireworks, a fitting finish to N2E 71, given that a burst of firecrackers is how the YB Tracker shows the race starting.

Final results and trophy winners to be announced at Sunday’s awards ceremony. Watch race replays to all destinations online via YB Tracking on the nosa.org website.

N2E Update: Junior Sailors help Mighty Merloe Tune-Up for N2E

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., April 24, 2018 – The 71st Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race is just three days away, but before Mighty Merloecrosses the start line in hopes of setting yet another record, the ORMA 60 championed by owner HL Enloe, will be making a pit stop at Newport Harbor Yacht Club for a playdate.

For the past few years, Mighty Merloe, and its remarkable crew have been systematically checking off best elapse time records in almost every long distance yacht race in California like they’re running down a shopping list.

SD to Puerto Vallarta   – check
NYHC to Cabo             – check
SoCal 300                    – check
Islands Race                – check
TransPac                      – check

N2E might be the only record Mighty Merloe does not hold. But according to Mighty’s longtime Sailing and Technical Team Member Will Suto, the massive trimaran’s tune-up run before Friday’s race will be manned by kids.

In what is becoming a mighty good tradition, the boat and crew will spend the afternoon of April 26 inspiring NHYC’s junior sailors. It will be the third time that Mighty Merloe has spent the day entertaining and educating the small sailors about the sport of big boat racing. About 20 kids will have the chance to get out on the water and see what it takes to sail a record-breaking boat.

It’s rare for the juniors to sail on large boats, much less a big fast trimaran like Mighty Merloe, said Suto. As long as the weather cooperates and there are no malfunctions or boat issues that need to be remedied before N2E’s start on Friday, the plan is to take six of the young sailors out at a time.

Although the boat is large, the kids do not all go at once as the boat is quite sensitive to weight and weight distribution. And everyone wants a turn. Last year, the kids were all smiles; steering the boat, working winches, and riding on the bow, said Suto. For safety purposes, the boat won’t be run full out, but at about 19-20 knots, it will certainly go fast enough to be memorable.

Mighty Merloe

According to Cara Vavolotis, NHYC’s junior sailing director, fun events things like this, which are super exciting for the kids, is one of the best parts of her job. Compared to the Naples Sabot and the CFJ’s the kids usually sail, Mighty Merloe is super-fast. But not only are the kids thrilled at the speed, it’s the entire experience, Vavolotis said. They get to spend time with an international crew; they get to drive, grind and trim the sails,” she said. “It’s all very exciting.”

Suto said when on the water, the crew is usually focused on boat handling, performance, boat speed, and racing. It’s a nice and rare chance for the team to have fun.  “We love sailing our boat, so it is always special to share the experience, particularly with the younger generation,” he said.  Not only do the kids look forward to the sailing event, so do the crew and Mr. Enloe. At 82 years young, Enloe is considered a pioneer of multihull sailing in Southern California. “It seems especially poetic that he’s making the effort to share the experience with the next generation,” Suto said.

Howard Enloe is a devout multihuller. With the ORMA 60, Mighty Merloe, he’s spreading his big-multihull stoke on the West Coast.

The real hero, besides the kids, is the boat, said Mr. Enloe who also reports the crew’s anticipation of the annual event and sharing the multi-hull sailing experience. Suto hopes that the experience will inspire the novice sailors, some of whom might be sailing boats that are even bigger and faster in the future.  With some exposure to the sport, you never know where the kids will take it.

Surprisingly, Mr. Enloe did not learn to sail until he was 60 years old. “22 years later we’re setting records and having fun,” he said.

But come Friday, the crew’s back to business. According to Suto, Enloe structures his crew with a mix of seasoned veterans, ambitious young professionals, and adventurous Corinthians, all of whom are onboard to break N2E’s elapsed time record. Orion, Tom Siebel’s 70-foot ORMA set the record time of 5:17:26  in 2016 after a 125-mile dual with Mighty Merloe.

After a year off, Orion and crew are back to defend their record. With their sparring partner back on the water, look for Enloe, Suto, and crew to be rested after a day of play yet more driven to check that last box off their Ensenada shopping list.

Orion

NOSA Announces N2E 71 Event Schedule

ALYC Embraces Pre-Race Party; a Sailors Fav, while Skippers VIP Fundraiser Benefits Ensenada School

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., April 11, 2018 – The 71st Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race is less than three weeks away, which means Newport Ocean Sailing Association members are not only putting the final touches on preparations for the iconic race but on the celebratory events leading up to race day.

Before starting the West Coast’s largest, most fun and competitive race Friday, April 27 off the Balboa Pier, racers are invited share the race committee’s enthusiasm and appreciation for N2E sailors at three local events.  “We look forward to spending time with sailors before the race, to show our appreciation, to impart last-minute tactical strategies, ensure pre-race preparedness and of course and most importantly, share in the camaraderie that made N2E famous,” said Vice Commodore John Long.

The annual Skippers Luncheon, a 25-plus-year N2E tradition, will take place at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club on Wednesday, April 25 at 11:30 a.m. Ullman Sails professionals will be the keynote speakers. For the past four years, the Ullman team have provided valuable inside-information about racing that only sailmakers are privy to, along with how to use sail knowledge to effect winning strategies. Topics also include the latest in weather forecasting, and recognition is given to skippers who have sailed N2E more than 20 times.  RSVP a must. Cost $15.00 per person.

The Skippers VIP Reception typically earmarked for boat owners and crew, city officials and sponsors is also on Wednesday, April 25. Sterling’s BMW’s Newport Beach showroom has graciously hosted memorable N2E events. For the past 5 years, this reception has become the primary fundraiser for the charities the organization supports in Ensenada via raffle prizes and silent auction. Last year, just over $9,000 was raised for Centro de Atencion Especializada Para Autistas, an under-served and deserving school for autistic children. RSVP a must! 6:00 p.m. to 9:00p.m.

On Thursday, April 26, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., skippers, crew and guests are invited to the must-attend N2E event of the year – the annual Sail Away Party – at the glorious and ever so hospitable American Legion Yacht Club. This tradition dates back to the second race when sailors attended a formal dinner in suit and tie. Today’s racers show up in festive team gear to enjoy tasty bar favorites and dance to live entertainment, and maybe win raffle prizes.

For those partaking in the festivities in Ensenada, “Fiesta de Baja” will be held at the Hotel Coral & Marina from 6:00 p.m. to midnight.  All sailors and their support crew are welcome to enjoy a Guadalupe Valley style barbecue dinner with local beer, wines, and cocktail pairings. Dance the rest of the night away to a live band and enjoy fireworks at 11 p.m. to begin or end your night!

 

2018 Ensenada Race Update

On April 27th, 2018, hundreds of yachts will jockey for position off the coast of Newport Beach, California for the 71st running of the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race. The Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race (N2E) began with one hundred and seventeen boats crossing the startline in 1948 and peaked with 675 boats in 1984. We are very excited to introduce two new courses to the race and new ways to follow the fleet as they head south of the border.

3 COURSES (Newport to Ensenada, Newport to San Diego and Newport to Dana Point)

In addition to the landmark 125 nautical mile course from Newport Beach to Ensenada, Mexico, two additional courses, finishing in San Diego and Dana Point, will be offered this year. Adapting to an ever-changing world, the San Diego course will allow those who lack the time commitment to race to Ensenada a great opportunity to join the fleet, while the 14 NM Sprint Course to Dana Point is perfect for smaller sportboats, beach cats, and dinghies. The race organizers are hopeful the additional courses will bring back racers who have not participated in recent years, provide an opportunity to expose the next generation of sailors to the fun and challenge of a large race, and help grow the future of the sailboat racing.

YELLOW BRICK TRACKING

For the 2018 edition of the race, the race organizers have partnered with YB Tracking to allow spectators to track the fleet online as they head to Ensenada. “We’re all about safety first, but it’s also an amazing opportunity for the sailing community and nonsailors to see what this classic and storied race is all about,” said NOSA Commodore Daniel Hodge. “It’s a very exciting opportunity for N2E that also provides the race true international exposure. I’m really excited that NOSA has stepped up; not only to create more opportunities for racers but also for up-and-coming racers all the while garnering worldwide exposure for our sponsors.” The move means that N2E joins the like of other major sailing regattas like Transpac, the San Diego to Puerto Vallarta Race, the Islands Race and even the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race in using YB Tracking.

With a diverse fleet ranging from small beach cats to gargantuan maxis, we are very excited for the start of the 71st Newport To Ensenada Yacht Race. We are very passionate about continuing the legacy of this landmark race and bringing it into the 21st century and hope that you can join us on April 27th.

Please check out our website and SIGN UP to join us for the start on April 27th.

COVER PHOTO: Tom Walker Photography