by Rich Roberts
The 65th Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race will feature a new finish line within sight of a new headquarters hotel and marina in the resort city of Baja California. Entries for the 65th edition of the race will open on the 1st December.
Newport to Ensenada 2011
The 125-nautical mile race starts Friday, April 27, with cruising classes going off from 11 a.m. and racing classes from noon. Also, for the first time both the starts and finishes will be viewable from shore.
Newport Ocean Sailing Association organizers have made arrangements to move operations, including the lively awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon, about a half-mile from downtown near the Ensenada plaza to the Hotel Coral and Marina on the northern edge of town, where racing boats and their crews, friends and families can be accommodated.
In 2009 the starting line was moved a half-mile up the coast from just outside the Newport Bay entrance to near the end of Balboa Pier.
The latest change will see the finish line relocated from outside Ensenada Harbor, which is generally out of sight from land, to the northern side of Todos Santos Bay, from where the boats will be visible in their tactical approaches to the finish line before proceeding into the Hotel Coral Marina or to the usual moorings downtown.
Who said ocean racing can't be a spectator sport? 'The 65th race will open a new era for Newport to Ensenada,' Commodore Chuck Iverson said. 'It will be more inclusive for sailors and their families and broaden the experience with the Ensenada community.'
NOSA also has secured special rates for the Hotel Coral and Marina. There are 147 guest rooms, which open to balconies. The 353 slips in the marina can accommodate boats from 30 to 65 feet. There are end ties for boats up to 109 feet.
To make room or marina reservations visit nosa.org and click on the special room and slip rates area under the 'hot news' banner. Free and frequent shuttle service between the Hotel Coral and downtown will be available for visitors to enjoy the festive ambiance of both places.
Participants may sign up online starting Dec. 1. A $50 discount from $175 to $125 will be in force until Dec. 31.
For those concerned about race conflicts, the 2012 schedule allows participation in one big race each month: the Islands Race in February, the Border Run in March, Newport to Ensenada in April, the Around Catalina Race in May and the Around The Islands race in June.
Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race Website