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The 125-mile Newport to Ensenada yacht race will set sail next April

After the coronavirus pandemic hit earlier this year, the famed Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race was dry docked.

But organizers are already planning ahead to make up for the missed event, announcing plans to set sail on April 23, 2021, despite ongoing uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 restrictions.

The Newport Ocean Sailing Association said this week that the 73rd Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race will start off the Balboa Pier, with options for stops in San Diego and Dana Point with “prepared alternative routes, parties, and celebrations to ensure that the race, the fun, the camaraderie N2E is famous for, will go on,” according to a news release.

“If for any reason Mexico becomes off-limits, we will switch Ensenada entries to the San Diego course,” said Commodore William Gibbs in the announcement. “But there will be a race.”

The Newport to Ensendada race, which covers 125 nautical miles, brings sailors from California yacht clubs and others who travel even farther for a weekend of not just racing, but parties and camaraderie both in Newport and Mexico.

Hundreds of boats compete each year, some piloted by serious sailors hoping to be first across the finish line, and others who want to just join the fun. At the race’s peak in 1983, 675 boats participated, but in recent years the number of entrants has hovered around 200.

Generations of sailors have competed in Newport tro Ensenada, which started in 1948. Commodore Gibbs has been racing for two decades and has won many trophies over the years.

“The people, the parties, the race, Ensenada, it’s all great. It was those factors that led me to volunteer with NOSA,” he said in the release.

Sailboat racing throughout the country has been slowed by the the coronavirus pandemic, but Newport Beach has gained wind with a handful of races held with safety protocols in place, including recently the US Sailing Championships held mid-October. 

NOSA is asking the sailing community to support Newport to Ensenada by entering.

“N2E racers, while being safety conscious as always, deserve to have a good time on their boats again,” said Gibbs in the news release. “There are traditions and institutions, such as the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, that will persevere in the face of adversity.”

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Source: Orange County Register

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