While all eyes were on two monster trimarans that flew off the Balboa Pier start line and down the coast to Ensenada, Pete Melvin’s eight-meter (28-foot,) catamaran Mama Tried sailed under the radar into Ensenada and cleaned up at the awards ceremony. On her inaugural Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race, Mama Tried took home three trophies – first place in ORCA Class, best corrected time for a trimaran and the coveted Tommy Bahama Trophy for best overall corrected time of every class.
Melvin, an ABYC member and renowned Newport Beach boat designer/engineer/builder with partner Gino Morrelli, reportedly built this boat in New Zealand. Coincidentally, Morrelli and Melvin designed Stars and Stripes, the boat Steve Fossett sailed to the 1998 N2E elapsed time record that the attention grabbing Orion and Mighty Merloe failed to break in this race. The 70-foot MOD Orion and 60-foot ORMA, Mighty Merloe arrived at 7:40:38 and 7:42:23 respectably.
Trip Ivey, an industrial designer with Morrelli and Melvin, said he had spent time on Mama Tried a couple of times before this race - which was sailed by Melvin and just two other crewmembers. Ivey, who explained that the boats` name was a Grateful Dead/Merle Haggard reference, was left to bring home the beautiful, significant and large trophies as Melvin sailed Mama home.
Winning his first first-place of this race was Jerry Finnegan of KHYC aboard Celebrity. Picking up the Porter Sinclair Trophy for PHRF-I, Finnegan said he`s been sailing this race since high school and that his Cal40 was previously owned by Ted Turner, who sailed it in the Congressional Cup. Crew member Kevin Welch said of the trip, 'We beat second place by more than an hour because no one else dared put up a spinnaker in that weather.' That weather, he said, was wind gusts of over 30 knots with horizontal rain at 16 knots of boat speed.
Patricia Escorihuela, an Ensenada resident, also reported seeing boat speeds from 16 -19 knots on the FT10 Abacus. She was part of the eight member women’s team, lead by Kirsten Zillmann of SGYC, that won the Caroline Starr trophy. Although all experienced sailors, this was the first time the women had all sailed together.
Amidst celebrations for Horizons’ double trophy win, the exuberant DPYC crew tried to convince skipper Jack Taylor not to sell the Santa Cruz 50 and retire. Horizon won the Governor of California trophy for the best PHRF-A performance and the President of the USA trophy for best corrected time, all PHRF boats. Taylor has sailed Horizon in this race each of the 13 years he`s owned the boat. On Horizon`s first N2E, it took them two days and two nights to finish. 'It’s been a great run,' said Taylor. 'To win this last race is huge.'