Harken Derm

N2E71: One Start, Three Finishes

Published on April 28th, 2018

Mighty Merloe, HL Enloe’s ORMA60 and Tom Siebel’s Orion, the MOD70, approached the start of the 71st Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race on April 27 like thoroughbred horses; chomping at the bit, side by side, jockeying for position, waiting to spring from the gate off of Newport Beach, CA and best the other to the finish line, in front of the Hotel Coral and Marina in Ensenada, Mexico.

Orion was defending their 2016 best elapsed time record and Mighty Merloe was looking to claim it to go with all the other records it has collected in the last four years. But Orion stumbled at the start, one of its hulls slightly over early, and had to circle back to the start while Mighty Merloe sailed for the horizon.

Following yet another dual between the two mighty trimarans, it was Mighty Merloe at the Ensenada finish line by 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Orion’s record; safe for another year.

New this year was how the Newport Ocean Sailing Association, which was founded in 1947 to organize the inaugural Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, acquired the competing Border Run Race to be combined with the 71st edition of the international classic.

As a result, the 2018 contest offered three courses after the start off of Balboa Pier, with the finish lines positioned down the coast in Dana Point (14nm) and San Diego (70nm) in California along with Ensenada, Mexico (125nm).

The Dana Point course saw its first ever 1:48:41 finish courtesy of Charles Brewer’s Heartbeat 4. With Richard Mendoza’s Cricket, bringing up the rear at 3:21:19 in his Cal20, the entire fleet including a handful of Lasers, completed the first-ever N2E Dana Point Sprint before happy hour.

Melissa Herzfeld, who was has been volunteering on the check-in boat for 4 years now, was a little surprised when the first Laser pulled alongside, its enthusiastic skipper reporting the sail number and its sole passenger. Conversely, fifteen was the largest crew reporting in this year.

Dennis Pennell’s Reichel/Pugh 50, Blue Blazes, blazed down the Border Run Course home to San Diego like it was late for dinner, finishing with a time of 7:48:27. Dave Griffins and his Fair Haven crew likely had a dinner at sea, finishing the course with an elapsed time of 19:08:31.

In Ensenada, Damon Guizot’s Reichel/Pugh 77 Zephyrus was the first monohull to finish at 12:27:03. Most of the larger boats, which sail outside the rhumb line, crossed the finish line before 2 p.m. on April 28. Racers reported that the coastal winds that propelled many of the competitors into Mexico began perishing about midnight, and stayed lax with shifty pockets through most of the day.

Final results and trophy winners to be announced at the awards ceremony on April 29.

Event Details: http://nosa.org

Source: N2E Communications

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