Newport Harbor will be a flurry of activity Friday as sailors make their final preparations for a finish line that is 125 nautical miles away.
At the same time, many of the skippers and crew will be nursing hangovers from the annual party to be held Thursday night at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. I do believe that BCYC’s bash has to be one of the largest pre-race parties on the sailing scene.
Also, I wonder how many recreational boaters will not be on the water this weekend as some might be finishing their taxes at the last minute. However, I bet a few certified public accountants will be eyeing the starting line and if you are not done then there is an extension waiting for you.
What race am I talking about? Well, the 64th Annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race that begins at noon on Friday, when the first class of boats will cross the starting line. You can watch the various classes start from the tip of the Balboa Pier, where the start line was moved to a few years ago.
This yacht race was once hailed as the largest international yacht race in the world with hundreds of boats sailing to Ensenada. Unfortunately with the rise of violence across the border, many sailors have opted to not enter the race anymore. This fear not only decreases the number of boats entered in the race, but also the number of family and friends who would drive to Ensenada for the various parties and the awards ceremony.
Nevertheless, this race still attracts a wide range of sailors and vessels, from the professionals to the Sunday sailors, and in between is every variety of sailboats and sailing level who are either sailing for the chance of a trophy or just for fun.