Friday, April 28, 2017

Newport to Ensenada Race Preview!

Sunset on Newport to Ensenada Race (Newport Beach, CA)- Starting on April 28th around midday Pacific time, the Newport Ocean Sailing Association will be starting the fleet of 150 offshore keelboats in the famous Newport to Ensenada Race!  This 176nm Southern California classic starts just off the Balboa Pier in Newport Beach, CA, leaves San Clemente Island to port, and finishes at the Hotel Coral Marina, Ensenada, Mexico, just outside the harbor entrance.

A dozen J/Teams are participating, some with aspirations to head to Honolulu this summer in the biennial classic called the Transpac Race, this “sprint” will serve to further train their crews and help optimize their sail selections for their mid-summer 2,225nm adventure to Diamond Head.  The forecast for Friday’s start looks promising with Westerly winds gusting to 20 kts in the afternoon, shifting NW 10-20 kts gusting to 25 kts overnight.  Then, sometime by morning the breeze shifts into the NE 10 kts and become variable less than 10 kts.  Given that most boats are averaging well in excess of 8 kts on broad reaching points of sail, most of the larger J’s should be into the marina by sunrise…at least that’s the plan!

J/125 Timeshaver sailing Newport Ensenada raceChief amongst those boats that should finish in the midnight hours are the two speedsters in PHRF A, Paul Margis’ J/160 INDIGO and Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER from Dana Point YC.  Not far off their pace should be Lee Pryor’s J/130 SIROCCO in PHRF B class.

Class bragging rights for PHRF C almost always comes down to a recurring battle between the top J/120s, including Rudy Hasl’s HASL FREE, Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY, and Terri Manok’s POLE DANCER.  Of note, POLE DANCER is sailing with an all-women’s crew- please read her story below in the J/Community section about their program!

The mid-size J contingent hopes to finish by noon-time on Saturday before the winds “go AWOL- e.g. variable”!  In PHRF D, Ed Sanford’s well-equipped J/105 CREATIVE will be aiming to keep on handicap pace with their colleagues on Seth Hall’s gorgeous navy-blue J/124 MARISOL.  In PHRF E, Jack Mayer’s J/109 ZEPHYR hopes to grab silverware in their class.  Meanwhile, in PHRF F Mark Weinberger’s J/33 PRIMA and Juan Lois’ one-design configured J/105 ROCINANTE vie for their class awards.  Finally, in PHRF I, Scott McKenney’s pretty little J/32 BETTY is looking forward to the experience and the awards party afterwards!  For more Newport to Ensenada Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.