This year’s race is expected to have over 250 entries divided into Maxi, PHRF, Multi/ORCA and Cruising classes cover three exciting race course options.
The main race with its over 200 boats is still considered one of the largest international yacht races in the world. The Newport Beach start will begin April 22 at 11am with classes starting every 10 minutes, while the short course will start the same day at 5pm off Shelter Island. “We’re looking forward to creating as inclusive an environment as we can,” according to NOSA Commodore David Shockley, “to allow more boats to participate and enjoy the excitement, competition and camaraderie of overnight coastal racing to beautiful Ensenada, Mexico.” “We’re also delighted to be running this new course in conjunction with Southwestern Yacht Club who will host pre-race events in the SD area. The new short course will be rated at 65 miles, while the traditional course will be 125 miles. The class rating break for the short course will be a SD PHRF rating of 50 or higher. The dates for the 2016 Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race are April 22 – 24, 2016.
NOSA experimented with alternative courses last year in conjunction with the Transpac 2015 Race to allow for a longer 150 mile course around San Clemente Island as a qualifying race. This year’s goal is to assemble an even larger fleet of 300 plus racing boats including the Maxi fleet, multiple PHRF, one design and cruising classes along with the ORCA or multi-hull racers. The 2015 race had 225 entrants with the top 5 lead pack of Maxi yachts all finishing within 3 minutes of each other for one of the closest First-to-Finish monohull wins.
NOSA will also be hosting a seminar series on Coastal Racing, Sailing and Seamanship January 6 – 14 at local yacht clubs from San Diego to Marina del Rey. Check the NOSA website for the location nearest you. It has always been NOSA’s goal to encourage as many type of racers to participate in this annual spring classic which first ran in 1948 around Catalina Island, before going to Ensenada a year later. The race grew to over 600 yachts in the 1980 and then slowly declined as the total fleet of PHRF racing boats shrank. The innovation of the Cruising Class allowed the heavier displacement boats to complete the course in an enjoyable time frame and in recent times, most of the racers have finished Saturday afternoon at the new finishing area off the Coral Resort and Marina.
“Farmers & Merchants Bank is proud to be a continuing sponsor of the Race and recognizes the extensive community volunteerism that has made this event a part of Southern California boating for 69 years,” said Jeff Spinelli, Vice President, Farmers & Merchant Bank. NOSA is also grateful for the continuing support of The City of Newport Beach, Ullman Sails, Kind Bars, Baja Tourism Board, TowBoat US, Ruby’s Diner on the Balboa Pier, Hornblower, the Newport Sea Base, artist Carole Boller, the Marriott Newport Beach Hotel and Spa and the Hotel Coral and Marina in Ensenada.