N2E 75: The countdown is on

Published on April 26th, 2023

Hosted by the Newport Ocean Sailing Association, the beloved 125-mile Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race sails for the 75th time on Friday, April 28, 2023.

One hundred forty sailboats, an eclectic mix of serious sailors campaigning multi-million-dollar yachts racing alongside recreational cruisers – from 30 to 85 feet – will cross the start line off the Balboa Pier. Skippers hail from nine different states with one from Ontario, Canada, and one from Mexico.

Racers will sail on one of two courses, the extended run around the Coronado Islands finishing in San Diego, and the perennial favorite; the classic course to festive Ensenada. Sailing enthusiasts, friends, and family can watch the start action from the end of the Balboa pier.

N2E has long been known as a family event. Sailing on Jerry Fiat’s trophy-claiming Farrier 32 SRX Taniwha will be Peter Sangmeister. At 21, Sangmeister was tasked to pull the boat out of storage and put it together in preparation for the ORCA class start. Just 10 minutes before the ORCA start will be the UL-MAXI Class in which Sangmeister’s father John will be competing. John Sangmeister, a NOSA board member and speaker at last week’s Yachtsman’s Luncheon will helm Rock N Roll, an Andrews Dencho 68.

Returning for just his second year aboard a new L30 is Charles Ullman; son of sailing legend and Ullman Sails founder Dave Ullman, and grandson of NOSA founding member Charles Ullman. The eldest Ullman was the first handicap committee chairman and devised two racing categories; Long-Distance Racing and Arbitrary classes.

Last year Ullman sailed the first L30 in California in the Dana Point race. The boat, now named Dartt, is stepping up to the San Diego course. A sister ship, last seen on a trailer in Arizona, is registered for the Ensenada course. The skipper of that boat will be Rodion Luka, the brainchild of the L30 brand and a decorated Ukrainian yachtsman.

Luka is a 2004 Olympic Games silver medalist, the 2005 Class 49er World Champion, a European Champion, a Volvo Ocean Racer, and President of the Sailing Federation of Ukraine.

Weather conditions are not projected to be akin to last year’s near-gale conditions. Those 25+ knot winds blew Manouch Moshayed’s Rio100, a custom Bakewell White, into Ensenada before sunset for a record-breaking elapsed time of 07:02:17. Not far aft in Rio100’s wake, all but one in the Maxi fleet also broke the old record. Although John Brynjolfsson’s TP52 Saga, missed the old record by mere minutes, he won the battle for best-in-class honors and left Mexico with three trophies.

Dignitaries from Mexico and Newport Beach will kick off race night festivities with a reception at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club before the annual Skipper’s VIP party Thursday, April 27, at 5:30 p.m.

Event details

First run in 1948, the N2E has a storied history of mixing professional racers, celebrities, and recreational sailors to become a time-honored event for the city of Newport Beach, the City of Ensenada, and sailing enthusiasts who come from across the country to compete. In recent years, great winds have tested and challenged the skills of crews, many of who only sail overnight on this race. Orion, a MOD70, holds the record for fastest elapsed time on the 125nm course at 5:17:26.

Source: Laurie Morrison

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