Byline: Rick Roberts
NEWPORT BEACH — Race entries will be accepted starting Dec. 1 for Newport Ocean Sailing Association’s 65th annual Newport-to-Ensenada International Yacht Race. The 2012 event — set to start April 27 — will feature a new finish line within view of a new race headquarters at Hotel Coral and Marina.
Participants can sign up online at nosa.com. A $50 discount — bringing the entry fee to $125 — will be available until Dec. 31.
The 125-nautical-mile race will start at 11 a.m. Friday, April 27, with cruising class starts beginning at 11 a.m. and racing classes starts beginning at noon. Also, for the first time, both the starts and finishes will be viewable from shore.
Newport Ocean Sailing Association race organizers have made arrangements to move operations, including the lively Sunday afternoon awards ceremony, to Hotel Coral and Marina on the northern edge of Ensenada, where racing boats and their crews, friends and families can be accommodated. The race headquarters was formerly at the Bahia Hotel, near downtown Ensenada.
In 2009, the starting line was moved a half-mile up the coast — from just outside the Newport Bay entrance to near the end of the Balboa Pier.
The latest change will see the finish line relocated from outside Ensenada Harbor, which is generally out of sight from land, to the northern side of Todos Santos Bay, from where the boats will be visible in their tactical approaches to the finish line before proceeding into the Hotel Coral Marina or to the usual moorings downtown.
Who said ocean racing can’t be a spectator sport?
“The 65th race will open a new era for Newport-to-Ensenada,” said Newport Ocean Sailing Association Commodore Chuck Iverson. “It will be more inclusive for sailors and their families and broaden the experience with the Ensenada community.”
Race organizers have secured special rates for Hotel Coral and Marina. The hotel offers 147 guest rooms, which open to balconies.
The 353 slips in the marina can accommodate boats from 30 to 65 feet. There are end-ties for boats up to 109 feet.
To make room or marina reservations, visit nosa.org. Free and frequent shuttle service between Hotel Coral and downtown Ensenada will be available for visitors, so that race participants and spectators can enjoy festivities throughout the area during race weekend.
For those concerned about race conflicts, the 2012 schedule allows participation in one big race each month: the Islands Race in February, the Border Run in March, the Newport-to-Ensenada International Yacht Race in April, the Around Catalina Race in May and the Around the Islands Race in June.
For Newport-to-Ensenada International Yacht Race details, visit nosa.org.