From the Boathouse: On your marks for Ensenada

April 25, 2013|By Mike Whitehead


The last Friday in April signifies that it's time again for the start of the annual Newport Ocean Sailing Assn.'s (NOSA) Lexus Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race.

Two hundred and four sailboats among the 16 race classes are registered as of my deadline, and they will be battling for either inshore or offshore start lines in the waters seaward of the Balboa Pier. The racers are given the start time of their class and told which start line to cross.


The hundreds of sailboats with their crews will race through the night for the finish line 125 nautical mile away in Ensenada, Mexico. The finish line is in the bay off the Hotel Coral and Marina, where the festivities and awards ceremonies will be held this weekend.

I am asked constantly by those familiar with sailboats when the boats will finish. I simply respond that it's in the hands of Mother Nature and King Neptune, but all boats must finish by 11 a.m. Sunday.

Let's hope that the skippers and crew are not nursing their hangovers from the annual party held Thursday night at Harborside Restaurant. This annual event is one of the most attended nautical happenings in the boating community, and many in attendance are not boaters, just saying.

Everyone who is not aboard a boat can join me at the end of the Balboa Pier, where I will be announcing the various race starts. You will be able to hear what is happening on the water, and I'll also deliver facts about the race, my personal ocean experiences and a few famous jokes. NOSA has promised me a professional sound company and a sound engineer to bring quality sound.

I will be situated on the upper deck of Ruby's Diner, but that area will be closed to spectators. However, there is lots of room at the end of the pier, and parking is available in the parking lot at the base of the pier.

So grab your friends and come on down to the Balboa Pier and the watch the starts from 11 a.m. until noon Friday. You will witness an unbelievable sight of sailboats vying for the perfect start with the fastest boats starting last.

This race has been deemed the largest international yacht race in the world for decades, and entry numbers are starting to rise again. The race is organized by NOSA volunteers, who give countless hours to ensuring a safe and enjoyable yacht race.

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