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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

ENSENADA - 63rd Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race

63rd Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race, April 23–25
by Benjamin Eugene

After 62 years of the oldest of all races from the U.S. to Mexico, it's never the same. From year to year, the wind and sea conditions are seldom the same.

The race is open to boats from high-tech ocean racers to Mom and Pop trailerables. The minimum size limits are 18 feet for monohulls and 20 feet for multihulls.

Don't be one of those West Coast sailors still kicking yourselves for missing last spring's 62nd Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race that had a moderate but steady breeze for the ages and swept the fleet all 125.5 nautical miles on a direct track to the finish, leaving most of the weekend to party.

Keep the faith. There is only hope of another dream breeze this year and, as always, the onshore fun is guaranteed.

The historic race is organized by the Newport Ocean Sailing Association (NOSA).

Like other major sailing events in the early days of the recession last year, the usual turnout of 400 to 500 boats slipped to 270 entries and 260 starters; but only three failed to finish by 4 p.m. Saturday after a single night at sea, leaving the rest of the weekend to enjoy the hospitality of the colorful seaside pueblo.

Like last year, non-sailors also may join in the fun by opting for a Carnival Cruise ship, tour buses or personal ground transportation.

The fun picks up a beat for 2010. It will start with the pre-race fiesta at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club the Thursday night before the start, continue after the finish with a new program of musical entertainment on the Ensenada waterfront plaza Saturday night, then conclude Sunday with the Fiesta del Vino leading into the colorful awards ceremony Sunday afternoon.

Entries for the 63rd world's largest international yacht race starting Friday, April 23, opened in early January, but there is still time. Online entry is available on their website. The entry fee is $155 through March 31 and $205 afterward. Registration, including payment of entry fees, will be available online at www.nosa.org or call U.S. (949) 644-1023.


Photo by Rachel Pack

Photo by Mary Longpre, Longpre Photography, shesailor1@aol.com