YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT going into the Newport-Ensenada race with its famously variable conditions not only over the duration of the 125nm course, but in just a matter of a mile or so either side of the rhumbline. A key strategic question is "inside or outside of Los Coronados," the small desolate islands just across the border off Tijuana.
Again this year your Ed. is racing on the Andrews 50 IT'S OK!, with a corinthian crew led by co-owner and veteran offshore racer Lew Beery. Last year IT'S OK! completed the race in record time for the team, under 12 hours, finishing before midnight. Two years ago, it was a more typical 18-hour race, finishing at 0700 Saturday in the normally light, fluky early-morning Bahia Ensenada breeze (photo).
Today, the 180-boat fleet is expecting more than the usual 8 knots at the start off Newport Beach. Perhaps as much as 20 knots, and a residual NW swell from windy conditions in the Pacific over the past 36 hours. Cowabunga!
Tom Leweck, our longtime friend, and famously good tactician, texted this morning that the last time he saw these conditions they went inside and finished before midnight – on LOCOMOTION, a 45-footer. Another longtime friend, N2E veteran and Long Beach denizen John Sangmeister, just texted to say, "You'll finish before 9pm." No doubt another challenging race ahead.
We conclude with a famous photo taken of the 2015 finish from the deck of the Hotel Coral and Marina, race headquarters in Ensenada. IT'S OK! (white kite, red stripes) finished with the Maxis, almost first-to-finish among the monohulls, handily winning the Fast 50 class.