The Newport Ocean Sailing Association (NOSA) has confirmed — the 73rd Newport to Ensenada (N2E) International Yacht Race will start on Friday, April 23.
At press time, there were 171 entries with 18 from the Long Beach area. In 1983, a record 675 boats entered, giving the N2E race the title of “World’s Largest International Yacht Race.”
Every year has something special, like in 1984 when the race committee should have been given hazard duty pay when 180 boats crossed the finish line within 10 minutes.
This year, the Mexican Navy is celebrating its 200th anniversary. Navy Admiral Hilario Duran Tiburcio will host special recognition and celebratory events at the host hotel, and as vessels reach Mexican waters.
Sailors will be greeted by Naval ships at the Coronado Islands, while cutters and patrol boats will remain on the course and in the harbor for most of the race weekend. In addition, there will be a Wet Wednesday-style Sunday race around the bay that N2E sailors will be invited to join.
Seal Beach YC’s Mark Itnyre has entered his new-to-him Farr 40, Jazz. One of the things Itnyre said he is looking forward to is the welcome from the Mexican Navy. He said, “The Regatta al Sol to Isla Mujeres, held every two years, starting in Pensacola, Florida, features a similar greeting and it is always special and adds to the festivities.”
Another entry to keep an eye out for is Alamitos Bay YC’s Jerry Fiat, who wrote,” I thought of doing the N2E with one of the foiling GC32s, but with COVID, it is not responsible as we would need to mobilize a shore crew, sailors, and safety crews.”
He did enter his Farrier, and explained, “The Farrier is an older, conventional boat, 32-foot high-performance folding trimaran. It has been out of commission for the last four years. It has done N2E before.”
In the past Fiat tried for a course record with his AC45, now in moth balls, and said, “The Farrier could be fast depending on conditions, not foiling fast, but fast for a small conventional boat. It will not set a course record. Nor do I think it will be first over the line, but it is a fun boat, and with Pete Melvin, Ferdinand Van West, and a fourth (Mat Bryan has to bail so not sure of the fourth yet), it should a great time.”
As many sailors are still making plans for entering foreign waters, Fiat said, “Not sure we will stop in Mexico, maybe just turn and burn, we will have to see how we all feel about the stop in the current climate.”
Officials have made adjustments to the schedule and this year the wild party on the night before the race will be replaced with a quiet dinner for skippers and crew at Bahia Corinthian YC on April 22. This year’s racers can also attend the annual Yachtsmen’s Luncheon on April 21, 2021, at Balboa Yacht Club at noon.
The N2E race has great history — the 60-foot trimaran that stared in the movie "Waterworld" won best elapsed time honors in 2009 and 2010. Actors Humphrey Bogart and Buddy Ebsen, news anchor Walter Cronkite and comedienne Vicki Lawrence were just some of the celebrities who have raced in N2E.
Long Beach YC’s Pete Hogensen remembers his first N2E in 1963. He crewed on board Long Beach Mercedes dealer Arch Van Palmer’s boat. According to Hogensen, “The slogan that Van Palmer used was “too honest to be rich!”
Here are the local entries, listed by club:
Alamitos Bay YC: Steven George, Shadowfax; Jerry Fiat, Taniwha.
Long Beach YC: Chris Wacker/Robert Zellmer, Flyingfiche II; Gregory Moore, Inconceivable; Bob Lane, Medicine Man; Douglass W. Baker, Peligroso; Raymond Godwin, Temptress; Tom Camp, Trouble:
Little Ships Fleet: Steve Dunlap, Some Tuesday.
Navy YC: Brad Hunter, California Stars; John Setchell, Windfall.
Seal Beach YC — Andy Horning, Day Tripper II; Joe Negron, Galatea; Billy Sapp, Good Grief II; Mark Itnyre, Jazz; Bruce L. Davis, Blue Goose; Larry Malmberg, Hassle; Larry Goshorn, Imagine Too.