The Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, with the assistance from the Balboa Yacht Club, will present the Flight of Newport on Sunday, July 17, in Newport Harbor.
According to information from race organizers, Flight of Newport was originally called the Flight of the Snowbirds and named for the type of wooden boats participating in the race. The event was renamed Flight of the Lasers in 1975 after organizers replaced the wooden crafts with more modern fiberglass boats, known as Lasers.
In 2020 the race was again renamed, this time as the Flight of Newport, to be more inclusive. It opened entries to ILCA (formerly known as Lasers), Harbor 20 and Tera RS boats.
The Flight of Newport will begin at 1 p.m. near the Balboa Pavilion. It takes about 90 minutes to complete the course, which circumvents most of the bay.
The first-place winner will receive the Albert Soiland Trophy, named after the first Commodore of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. Other placing racers first to cross the finish line in these categories will also receive prizes: ILCA fleet, the First Girl, Youngest Boy, Youngest Girl, Oldest Person and First Married Couple.
According to the Chamber’s Commodores Club, the Albert Soiland Trophy is engraved with the names of past winners; the trophy has frequently been awarded to sailors who have gone on to participate in bigger races, including the America’s Cup.
“Although it’s not the America’s Cup race and the small, single-masted, catboats are a far cry from the schooners and ketches of racing lore, the Flight of Newport has been the starting point for many blue-water sailors,” said Brett Hemphill, a Commodore and Co-Chair of the Flight of Newport.
There is no charge to enter the race. Each registered participant must provide their own boat. Entrants will receive a Flight of Newport T-shirt.
For more information and to sign up, visit www.FlightOfTheLasers.org.