A World Class Race and Sailing Dreams
One of the premiere events to take place in Newport Beach each year is the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, or as it’s known by locals, the N2E. This year’s race will take place April 26-28 and almost 200 boats are registered.
The 125 nautical mile race has been taking place for 72 years. As the N2E has evolved over the years, it has grown from a small, just-for-fun race in 1948, to a large, internationally recognized sailing event offering 50 different trophy categories. Recent years have seen the addition of two shorter courses including Newport to San Diego and Newport to Dana Point.
With prime location in Southern California, its no surprise that this race has attracted celebrity participants over the years including Humphrey Bogart, Walter Cronkite, and Dr. Laura. World-class sailors are also attracted to the N2E with America’s Cup Skipper, Dennis Connor, participating for eight years in a row.
As times have changed, so has the N2E. In 2017, an award was created for the all-women crew who best the cruising class. In 2018, Teri Manok and her boat, Pole Dancer, won this award and she has already registered for 2019.
Events like the N2E may inspire future sailors to learn to tack and jibe. In fact, according to Commodore Daniel Hodge, one of the goals of the organizing body, Newport Ocean Sailing Association (NOSA) is to encourage and promote sailing for youth. The addition of the Newport to Dana Point race was specifically for this purpose. This race is intended to attract both newer and younger sailors and offers categories for high school and collegiate entries. Commodore Hodge says “NOSA hopes to grow this race into the premiere event for new sailors in Southern California.”
OCC School of Sailing & Seamanship is one great option for locals or visitors eager to learn more about sailing. Founded in 1960, this school offers year-round courses for both youth and adults. Each year OCC Sailing enrolls over 1500 students in its programs. Depending on the prospective sailor’s budget and availability, classes can be taken in a small group format or privately.
Brad Avery, OCC School of Sailing Director, says, “Newport Beach is an ideal place to learn to sail due to its mild weather and light to moderate winds. Students can rely on good sailing conditions most of the year.” During his tenure, Brad has seen beginner sailors work their way up to advanced skills, then acquire boats of their own, and even enter events like the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race.
The range of classes at OCC Sailing includes basic sailing, knotting, first aid, navigation, power boat handling, boat maintenance, and more. Registration is open to anyone on a first-come-first-served basis. It’s important to note that on water classes require basic swimming skills.
However, if the labor of sailing isn’t for you, you can choose to take the more luxurious route with a sailing charter. Newport Beach Sailing Charters offer a private sailboat and captain just for you and your guests. You can choose between 3 different charters; the captained charter, adventured charter or a corporate event charter. The captained charter is a full-day, half-day or sunset sail, led by a skilled and friendly captain. The adventured charter is a 3-5 day trip to the islands off the SoCal coast. Lastly, they offer multi-boat sailing charters for corporate events, designed to entertain and build camaraderie for groups up to 90 people. You can find pricing and addition details on their website, SailNewportBeach.com.
Written By: Wendy Lee