Newport to Ensenada: A Year of Firsts
Published on April 24th, 2015
Newport Beach, CA (April 24, 2015) – The 68th annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race that sails today, with starts from 11:00 am through 12:30 pm, has a lot of firsts to celebrate this year. The Newport Ocean Sailing Association, the volunteer group that works tirelessly to organize and host this massive event, have created four firsts in the name of inclusive racing. Befitting with NOSA’s mission, there’s something for everyone who wants to sail.
There’s a new a new longer course around the islands so the race could be a qualifier for July’s Transpac to Hawaii. The new Unlimited Class allows sailboats with new foiling technology to join the fun, and grow as a class in Southern California. And with a record 37 new entries in one year, word must be spreading. The American Legion Yacht Club hosted its first Sail Away party last night, to a full house of race revelers enjoying the camaraderie the sport is famous for.
With any luck, the wind will show up to play. Forecasts have changed over the past few days but according to the latest prediction by buoyweather.com, racers will find inconsistent light winds until late Saturday when it should really start to blow. That might be too late for the bigger boats, but could be a great aid in getting the cruising class across the finish line before the 11:30am cut off time Sunday.
For John Szlay, who will complete his 50th race this year aboard the 34-foot Pussycat, it might be his last. Szlay had engine trouble last year and pulled out of the race at Oceanside harbor, just before the storm hit. Sailors do not use their engines during the race, but sometimes they are needed on the return trip. However, should the 79-year-old win his class, again, he might be coaxed out of retirement for 2016.
And there are two more firsts. 2015 is the first of three years with The Los Angeles Times as a presenting sponsor, and NOSA welcomes Hotel California Tequila, its new libation sponsor.
Report by Event Media
Photo by Bronny Daniels