Newport Harbor Yacht Club Among Big Winners in N2E

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Vesper, representing the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, during the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race.
— Photo by Jim Collins ©

Vesper, representing the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, earned a handful of trophies this week for the 72nd annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, officials reported in an announcement shared on Sunday.

Sailing a Transpac 52 in the ULDB-MAXI class, Vesper earned the Tommy Bahama Trophy for the Best Overall Corrected Time, the President of USA Trophy for Best Corrected – All PHRF, the President of Mexico Trophy for Best Corrected – Maxi Class, and the Jack Bailee Trophy for Best Corrected Newport Beach Club.

Skipper David Team credited his navigator Chad Hough for making the right calls, N2E officials reported in the press release.

“At one time it looked bad, but we stayed outside and stuck with the strategy,” Team said in the prepared statement.

Although this might have been the team’s first N2E on Vesper, the crew sails a lot together and they practice a lot together, crew Paul Marshall explained in the message. Many of the crew started sailing with junior programs and started racing with their dads. Having also won First in Class at Long Beach Race week last year, the experience and the teamwork seems to be paying off.

Another big winner was Alive, an Australian-based sailboat with a rookie skipper and a globally diverse team.

Alive, a Reichel Pugh 66, took home triple trophies: The Newport Ocean Sailing Association Trophy for overall best elapsed time, the Amigo Trophy for the first-time skipper, and the Lahaina Yacht Club Trophy for best elapsed time all PHRF.

Adding to the race’s international element, the crew were a mix of Australians and New Zealanders with a Dutch navigator and an Italian bowman.

An AC45 called Lux takes off during the start of the N2E race.
— Photo by Jim Collins ©

Luke Watkins accepted the hardware on behalf of newcomer skipper Duncan Hine and boat owner Phil Turner, N2E officials wrote in the press release shared on Sunday.

“It was a great race – light winds – but we managed to find a few holes and had a strong finish,” Watkins said in the prepared statement. “We are happy to have stayed in front of the TP 52s.”

Having won the classic 2018 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race this past December, it appears the boat, sailing for the Derwent Sailing Squadron in Tasmania, has a history of strong finishes.

Representing the Royal Lake of the Woods Yacht Club in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, David Nelson’s ID35, Kite 35, made another strong showing, race officials explained in the announcement. Nelson stealthily returned to the podium this year to collect the USA Secretary of Navy Trophy ULDB-C for the third time in six years.

“The race was tricky as heck, but we just looked to sail the shortest possible course, going just outside the Coronado’s for a bit, then jibed into shore and staying left,” Nelson said in the prepared statement. “You know what you want to do, whether or not you can do it is another story… [But our] teamwork was on point and we had a lot of fun.”

His navigator explained that the idea was to “VMG (Velocity Made Good) all the way and just drive.” Nelson’s six-man crew on Kite 35 also included his son.

For many, this lighter-winds race, finding VMG was the difference between winning or ending up experiencing VNDG (“Velocity No Dang Good”) instead, the announcement explains.

“VMG, for those who do not speak sailor, is all about finding the heading that moves the boat fastest toward the finish line,” the message reads.

Jim Bailey’s Destroyer, another TP 52, placed second in the Maxi-Class and contributed to NHYC’s win of the Spirit of Ensenada Trophy for the yacht club for having the most winners (five).

For more information and to view all the winners, visit

Boats in the 72nd annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race.
— Photo by Jim Collins ©


Boats in the 72nd annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race.
— Photo by Jim Collins ©
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