Stormy theme for Southern California dash to Mexico

Published on April 27th, 2014

For the 168 entrants in the 2014 Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race, a good time was had by all, if your definition of fun is sailing through a 3am squall that reduced visibility to zero while thrashing the deck with rain.

In the aftermath of the 125 nm race, which started on Friday, April 25, the courtyard of the Hotel Coral and Marina was filled with lively chatter about the best wind in ten years. And with heavy weather gear, towels, sail bags and countless pieces of apparel hanging over stanchions and booms to dry, the marina looked as if gypsies had moved in.

Besides the stormy conditions, race veterans had a hard time remembering the last time they sailed this race without flying a spinnaker.

Winning PHRF A and Overall was Jack Taylor’s Santa Cruz 50 Horizon, with the Andrews 50 It’s OK winning the 10-boat Maxi fleet. The elapsed race winner was the MOD 70 Orion, finishing in 7:40:38. Orion finished third in the 11-boat ORCA fleet behind the 8.5 meter Mama Tried and the Orma 60 Mighty Merloe. Pete Melvin’s Mama Tried also won the best corrected time for a trimaran and the coveted Tommy Bahama Trophy for best overall corrected time of every class.

Down in the courtyard, a couple of newcomers reported they found the conditions and the experience to have been exhilarating. “Trimarans love squalls,” said John Spurlock of his F31, which he had trailered from Boise, Idaho for the race. Heading for the finish line with four other boats at 4:30 am, Spurlock made a maneuver that spared a collision but lost him a rudder. “It was a wonderful flight, we are really happy and will be back,” he said.

Aboard Tomahawk, Zoran Barbaric’s 43-foot home-build catamaran, were a crew of race virgins; four seniors with an average age of 72. “If there was a list of things that could happen on a race, it happened,” said Keith Moore of his very first race. The Channel Islands Yacht Club member said there was one point they were barely moving, yet another when the GPS showed a boat speed of 16.9 knots and they were busy double-reefing. “It was thrilling, an E-ticket ride,” he said.

Dr. Wright and Dr. Pahnke, co-owners of Daydream, a 32-foot Pierson, have sailed this race for 33 years. They’ve won their class, come in last and everything in between. Pahnke called this race unbelievable; too much fun. With the squalls and limited visibility, he said it felt like they were in the Transpac race somewhere in the middle of the Pacific. The steady crew – together for 27 years – made all the difference in this race, he said.

Event website:

President of NOSA Trophy, for Best Corrected Time, Mama Tried, Skipper Pete Melvin, ABYC
Alice Pursell Trophy, Best Elapsed Time, Orion, Skipper Tom Siebel, STFYC
Stern-Choy Trophy, Best Corrected Time ­ Trimaran, Mama Tried, Skipper Pete Melvin, ABYC
NOSA Trophy, Best Elapsed Time All Boats, Orion, Skipper Tom Siebel, STFYC
Tommy Bahama Trophy, Best Corrected All Boats, Mama Tried, Pete Melvin, ABYC
Amigo Trophy, Best Corrected Time, First Time Racer, Orion, Skipper Tom Siebel, STFYC

President of USA Trophy, Best Corrected PHRF, Horizon, Skipper Jack Taylor, DPYC
Caroline Starr Trophy, All Women Crew, Acacus, Skipper Kirsten Zillmann, SGYC
MAXI, President of Mexico Trophy, It`s OK, Skipper Lewis Beery, Mgr for Tres Gordo Sailing, LLC, BYC
PHRF-A, Governor of California Trophy, Horizon, Skipper Jack Taylor, DPYC
PHRF-B, City of Newport Beach Trophy, Van Diemen, Skipper Rob Vaughan, NHYC
PHRF-C, Newport Harbor Chamber of Commerce Trophy, J Almighty, Skipper Mike Hatch, SDYC
PHRF-D, Gil Knudson Trophy, Uhambo, Skipper David Chace
PHRF-E, Secretary of Navy, Mexico Trophy, Sleeper, Ron Simonson, CBYC
PHRF-F, Governor of Baja Trophy, Brown Sugar, Steve Brown, BCYC
PHRF-G, City of Ensenada Trophy, Gator, Todd Wheatley, ABYC
PHRF-H, Ensenada Tourism Trophy, Take Five, Skipper Paco Stevens, CCC
PHRF-I, Porter Sinclair Trophy, Celebrity, Jerry Finnegan, KHYC
PHRF-J, Almon Lockaby Trophy, Wild Thing III, Skipper Rhonda Tolar, BCYC
CRUZ-SPIN B, Donavan & Seamans Trophy, Calibreeze, Skipper Larry Rizzo, NYCLB
CRUZ-GEN-A, Blue Gavel, Pura Vida, skipper Robert Kennedy ­ WORSA
CRUZ-GEN-B, Centennial Trophy, Skipper Dennie Jensch, WHYC
Cruz-NonSpin, Union Bank Trophy, Fly`N-Bry`n, Skipper Jerry Bryan, ALYC
BENETEAU-PHRF Trophy, Best Corrected Beneteau Trophy, French Kiss, Christopher Hillseth
BENETEAU-CRUZ Trophy, Best Corrected Beneteau; Cruz, Miss Lorelei, Skipper Michael Niggli, SDYC
Bill Schock Trophy, Best Corrected Schock, Uncle Bob, Skipper Larry Leveille, SBYC
Frank Butler Trophy, Best Corrected Catalina, Bon Vivant, Richard Caselli, DPYC
Carlos Avila Escoto Trophy. Best Corrected J120, Mike Hatch, SDYC
Don Carlos Avilla Trophy, Best Corrected Mexican Boat, Pajaro Madrugador, Skipper Jorge Hernandez
Secretary of the Navy, 2nd Naval Zone Trophy, Best Elapsed Time, Mexican Boat, Pajaro Madrugador, Skipper Jorge Hernandez
New York Yacht Club Trophy, Best Elapsed Time Single Hull, Divided Rig, Golden Skye, Skipper Richard Mulvania, BYC
Jack Bailee Trophy, Best Corrected Member of a Newport Beach Yacht Club, It`s Ok, Lewis Berry, Mgr for Tres Gordo Sailing, LLC, BYC
Lahaina Yacht Club Trophy, Best Elapsed Time, PHRF, Wizard, Skipper David and Peter Askew, NYYC
Secretary of Foreign Relations Mexico, Trophy, Best Corrected CRUZ, Wild Thing III, Skipper Rhonda Tolar, BCYC,
Coral Hotel and Spa Trophy, Best Corrected CRUZ, Wild Thing III, Skipper Rhonda Tolar, BCYC
Jeff Deaver Trophy, Yacht Club Winning the Most Perpetual Trophies, Club: BCYC
South Bay Yacht Club Racing Club Trophy, Club: DPYC
Spirit Of Ensenada Trophy, Most Mug Winners, DPYC
Spitoon Trophy, Highest Corrected Time, Gunslinger, Dana Coelho, ALYC

Report by Laurie Morrison. Photos by Leslie Richter.







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