Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race

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2013 Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race
Loe Real 60-foot Water World Tri 2013
2012 Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race first to finish yacht Bad Pak

The Annual Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race is a 125-nautical-mile International Yacht Race. First run in 1948, sailors gather each spring in Newport Beach, California, to take part in one of the West Coast's premier regattas. The Newport to Ensenada yacht Race (N2E) is a race to the city of Ensenada, Baja California. [1]


The Newport to Ensenada race is organized and run by NOSA - the Newport Ocean Sailing Association. [2] Newport Harbor Yacht Club hosted the first race, called at the time, the Governor’s Cup. A total of 117 boats paid $22.50 each to compete in the first 125-nautical mile race from Newport Beach, Calif. to Ensenada, Mexico on April 23, 1948. With winds estimated at 25–35 knots, only 65 boats finished the race that year. [3]

The event has attracted celebrities such as Humphrey Bogart and Walter Cronkite, as well as America’s Cup winner Dennis Conner, Roy E. Disney David Ullman and Steve Fossett. Stars & Stripes, a 60-foot catamaran set the record for fastest time, finishing in 6 hours, 46 minutes and 40 seconds in 1998.[4]

With over 20 classes, the race provides competitive classes for a variety of sea-going sailboats ranging from large ultra-light and maxi-yachts to smaller yachts in non-spinnaker classes. The racing teams compete for the coveted First-to-Finish Honors, the President of the United States Trophy and the President of Mexico Trophy, among many other awards.

Doug Baker’s Andrews 80 from Long Beach "Magnitude 80", holds a race record for monohulls of 10 hours 37 minutes 50 seconds—7 minutes 3 seconds faster than the record of 10:44:54 set by Roy E. Disney’s Pyewacket III, a Reichel/Pugh 77 set in 2003.

The multihull record of 6:46:40 set by Steve Fossett’s 60-foot Stars and Stripes catamaran in 1998 remains intact as the only boat ever to finish before sundown, although in 2014 two Maxi trimarians finished in under 8 hours, finishing the race in 7:40 & 7:42 respectively: "Orion" followed by "Mighty Merloe". [5]

In 2009, A dispute arose between a Huntington Beach boat designer Randy Reynolds and the nonprofit Newport Ocean Sailing Assn., which denied him entry into its Ensenada race. At issue was whether his twin-hulled catamaran is unsafe because it is prone to capsizing. Reynolds in response created the Border Run.[6] A Newport Beach to San Diego race that was billed as a safer alternative then transiting south of the border.[7]

The 2009 race moved the start to allow for spectators on Balboa Pier it had previously been set just outside the entrance to Newport Bay. Winds blew steadily from start to finish at 9-12 knots, even in Todos Santos Bay near the finish line, and from an off-wind direction that allowed everyone to sail the rhumb (direct) line all the way. Of 260 starters, there were 257 finishers, and all finished by 4 p.m. Saturday, 19 hours ahead of the usual 11 a.m. Sunday cutoff time.

During the 2012 race the yacht Aegean, a 37-foot Hunter 376 likely collided with the North Coronado Island resulting in the death of the 4 sailors on board, the first fatalities in the event's history. An "inadequate lookout" likely played a key role in a boating accident that claimed the lives of the four sailors during the race, according to a report released by US Sailing, the sport's national governing body.[8] Wreckage was found at North Coronado Island and in the debris field under water at the North Coronado Island.

2014 saw strong head winds for most the race, with the "MOD 70 Trimaran" first to finish "Orion" [9] finishing in 7 hours and 40 minutes with "MIGHTY MERLOE" a ORMA 60 Trimaran finishing at 7 hour and 42 minutes. The Maxi yacht "Wizard" finished the 2014 race in 11:38:34 making it first monohull. The fleet experienced seas of up to 8 feet as well as a heavy rain shower approx. 4 am, Saturday morning making the race a rather wet one. The strong winds, assisted most of the 2014 fleet in finishing the race in under 24 hours. [10]

Trophy Classes[edit]

NOSA awards a variety of trophies to the winners of the Ensenada race, ranging from the First to FInish - Corrected and Elapsed Times, to various PHRF class winners, to specialized trophies for particular one design classes like the Beneteau cruising class, to the first all female crewed boat to finish to the Spittoon trophy, given to the last boat to finish the race.

First to finish; elapsed time[edit]

LoeReal 60 foot Waterworld trimaran 2009, 2010 & 2013 First to Finish
  • 1948 Albert Long
  • Dick Rheem, 1953 - Morning Star, 96' OR Monohull
  • Howard Ahmanson, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1959 - Sirius, 10m OR Monohull
  • Warren Seaman, 1955 - Tokerau (Unofficial First), 32' Proa, inspired by the outrigger canoes of Hawaii.
  • Ken Murphy/Rudy Choy, 1957 - Aikane, 46' Choy Catamaran (pre-C/S/K)
  • Louis Statham, 1958 - Nam Sang, OR Monohull
  • Richard Steele, 1960 - Odyssey, 57' OR Monohull
  • Carter Pyle/Mickey Munoz, 1960 - (Unofficial First), 18' P-Cat
  • Arnold Haskell, 1961, 1962 - Chubasco, 67' OR Monohull
  • John Pursell, 1962 - Patty Cat (Unofficial First), 27' C/S/K Cat
  • Jack Swart, 1963, 1964 - Imua!, 36' C/S/K Cat
  • John Pursell, 1965, 1966, 1969 - Patty Cat II, 44' C/S/K Cat
  • Ken Murphy, 1967 - Aikane, 46' Choy Cat (pre-C/S/K)
  • James Arness, 1968 - Seasmoke, 58' C/S/K Cat
  • Boy Scouts of America, 1970 - Seasmoke, 58' C/S/K Cat
  • Michael Kane was fastest in 1972 on Hurry Kane and in 1980 on Crusader, a 55’ trimaran.
  • Rudy Choy, Aikane X-5 in 1985, 1987, and 1988.
  • Steve Fossett was fastest in 1995 and 1997 on Lakota, an ORMA 60 trimaran, and in 1998 on Stars & Stripes, the 1988 America’s Cup catamaran.
  • Dennis Conner who finished first in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1996 on the same Stars and Stripes AC catamaran.
  • Mike Leneman first in 2000 on Delta Vee (F-31 tri).
  • Bill Gibbs on Afterburner (52’ cat) in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2011,
  • Loe Enloe on Loe Real, the 60’ Waterworld trimaran, in 2009, 2010 & 2013.
  • 1975 a mono finished first, the famous Ragtime. She was also first in 1977, both skippered by a Mr. White.
  • 1982 it was the Merlin that beat the multis, skippered by P. McEachern, B. Gardner, and H. Schofield.
  • In 1985 it was Fred Preiss on Christine.
  • Roy Disney, fastest in 1999, 2001 on the old Pyewacket, and in 2006 on new Pyewacket.
  • Mike Cambell & Stephen Williams were fastest on Peligroso in 2005.
  • Doug Baker was fastest on Magnitude 80 in 2007 and 2008.
  • Tom Holthus and Bad Pak were fastest in 2012.
  • USA 02, "ORION" a Multi One Design "MOD70", 70-foot trimaran finished the race in 07:40:38 in 2014, second fastest race finish ever. [11]

External links[edit]