Records Fall in Ensenada Race

Published on April 23rd, 2016

Ensenada, Mexico (April 23, 2016) – The 63-foot Australian-built Reichel Pugh design Aszhou and the MOD70 Orion both capitalized on the conditions to establish new elapsed records in the 125-mile Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race.

Aszhou finished in 09:35:34, destroying the 2009 monohull record of 10:37:50 set by Doug Baker’s Magnitude.

“It was a good race with good competitors, well organized; winds were good and we had a good time,” said Aszhou’s owner Steve Meheen. He sails from both San Diego and Waikiki Yacht Clubs under the MisFits Sailing banner. Earlier this year, the 12-man crew sailed in the Puerto Vallarta Race and the Rum Runner race, winning their class in both.

“It was also great to see so many boats on the water at the start (on April 22),” said Meheen. “Although we expected wind earlier, we were happy to get that we got.” He and the crew thought the record might be possible, but no one wanted to talk about it as not to jinx their chances.

By Camp Pendleton, the boat was reportedly ahead of everyone else and they had a good long run to stretch Aszhou’s legs. Although this was the first N2E for Meheen on Aszhou, he has been sailing for 30 years, but admittedly getting more serious about the sport. “We got what we set out to do and had a great time; fantastic, really,” he said.

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Orion, based in the San Francisco Bay area and owned by Tom Siebel, broke the overall elapsed record with a time of 05:17:26. This demolishes the old record of 06:46:40, set by the late Steve Fossett on the yacht Stars and Stripes in 1998 by more than 1 hour and 29 minutes.

“It was light in the beginning, so it did not look good for a record-setting run,” said Orion Skipper Charlie Ogletree. “But the winds kept building to perfect conditions; we couldn’t have asked for any better.” Onboard, the crew of seven saw an average wind speed of 19 knots, maxing at 24. They hit a top speed of 37 knots yet averaged 25.6.

Through much of Orion’s record-breaking race Friday, Ogletree said they had a great side-by-side battle with the ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe. At one point, they veered a little farther offshore and found better wind. As to the record; Ogletree thinks this one could stand for a while, given how long it took to break the old one. However, “records are meant to be broken,” he said.

One hundred seventy-nine boats started, with Andrew Rasdal’s Bolt 37 Valkyrie taking PHRF overall honors and Bill Gibbs’s GF1400 Wahoo winning ORCA overall.

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BACKGROUND: First run in 1948, the N2E has a storied history of mixing professional racers, celebrities and recreational sailors to become a time-honored steeped in tradition event for Newport Beach, the city of Ensenada and sailing enthusiasts who come from across the country to compete. More than 40 trophy categories in monohull, multihull and cruising classes give this a race a wide appeal. In recent years, great winds have tested and challenged the skills of crews, many who only sail overnight on this race.

Source: Laurie Morrison

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