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Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race underway

by NOSA Communications 27 Apr 2019 00:37 PDT 26-28 April 2019
Lots of Action on the N2E Startline today. © Tom Walker Photography

The 72nd Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race got under way today under picture perfect California skies and better than expected winds; to the cheers of a pier full of spectators who watched as the fleet sailed toward the horizon.

By 6 pm, all but one boat on the N2DP course had crossed the finish line. Blue Blazes was blazing the trail for San Diego course participants and was just 30 NM from the finish line. But three multihulls, Mental Floss II, Los Tres Amigos, and Uneven Keel were hot on the heels of frontrunners Anthem and Nui uliuli.

Pete Melvin was back to his winning ways piloting Jerry Fiat's AC45 from its ultra-exciting and crowd-pleasing start to the front of the pack by the time the hit Dana Point and by 6 p.m. was only 58 NM from the Ensenada finish line; but adjacent to San Diego Harbor.

While the majority of the fleet stuck close to the rhumb line en masse, as expected in lighter winds, (and looking like a school of sardines on the TB Tracker feed) the AC45 veered offshore in hopes of finding a few heavier gusts to keep the boat in optimal form. Instead, the tracker showed the water rocket slowing to only 8 knots; a far from record-setting pace. And a pace that would not likely get the boat to Ensenada before dark.

At about 6:30 p.m., the boat cut across the fleet and ducked into San Diego Harbor. Comments from Mr. Fiat and the crew about this N2E first and their adventure making it as far - and as fast - as they did, are pending.

Meanwhile, A Bell A Boy despite getting a few minutes head start has drifted to last place. If they finish before the Sunday 11 a.m. deadline, the tortoise could win the class.

"Thank you to all racers for making this day exciting for all of us to the port side of the course," said NOSA Vice Commodore Mary Bacon. "As each race peeled off the start line this morning, the excitement mounted. And after the start, watching the race on YB Tracker brought the racecourse to life."

Mid-Thursday afternoon, the NOSA Webmaster reported that heavy traffic for those following the YB Tracking resulted in a site crash. A quick systems upgrade and 40 minutes later, all was up and running again.

By 9:30 p.m. The Reichel Pugh 66 Alive was looking like the front runner to claim first to finish honors on the classic Ensenada course.

For more information visit nosa.org

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