Bahia Hotel Courtyard, all the frustration seemed to dissipate rather
The Newport Ocean Sailing Assn. scoreboard was abuzz with skippers
straining to see how their boats fared in this most famous of races.
There were cheers and tears, with several hoping they had placed a little
farther up the ladder than they did.
"Hey, we didn't win, but we had fun," said Henry Hernandez of San Diego
after finishing his 11th Newport to Ensenada race.
Al and Sharon Schoneberger of Newport Beach parked their sloop, Blind
"I decided to leave the boat in San Diego and drive. The way we were
going we would have missed all the parties," Schoneberger said with a
Top honors went to Doug Baker's Magnitude in 15:96:39, edging Roy
Disney's Pyewacket by approximately 7 and 1/2 minutes. However this was
nearly 4 and 1/2 hours behind Pyewacket's record-setting finish of 11:54
in the 1998 race.
For Paul Potts, a member of the Southwestern Yacht Club in San Diego,
coming in first or last wasn't the objective; finishing this fun race
was. His boat, Dauntless, crossed the finish line in 37:96:56, trailing
all other entries in the Ancient Mariner Class.
The well-behaved crowd was in fine spirits as the warm Baja sun began to
set on Saturday evening. Many danced to the music in the lounge as the DJ
cranked up the volume to 10. The margaritas flowed freely and frequently
with crews sipping far faster than their boats had sailed.
The hotel room balcony overlooking the courtyard displayed signs of yacht
clubs, sponsors and businesses. Hundreds of people lined the rails
overlooking a sea of sunburned sailors. Many of the sailors only get the
chance to see one another once a year, and it's right there at the Bahia
Courtyard. There were hugs, kisses, high-fives and handshakes aplenty and
a place where long pants couldn't be found. Shorts, logo-covered T-shirts
and Mt. Gay Rum red baseball hats were the dress of the day.
Every restaurant appeared crowded beyond capacity, and the taco vendors
and fast food stands were as busy as Nordstom during a 70%-off sale. The
residents of Ensenada couldn't have been more friendly and appeared to be
having just as much fun as the racers and support crews.
Hussong's Cantina had a waiting line to get in, and the music could be
heard the entire length of the block. Pennants, shirts and hats were
being hocked from kiosks lining the streets, and the good people of
Ensenada were very thankful for a sport called boat racing.
Many racers were so exhausted from the length of the trip that partying
in the courtyard was out of the question. With the 2000 Newport to
Ensenada now history, it was time for a little siesta.