October 6, 2014

San Diego To Ensenada Race | Report From The J-125 Timeshaver

By Keith Magnussen | Ullman Sails Newport Beach
Little Ensenada is always one of my favorite races of the year.  You get the chance to sail along the northern Baja coast during the day (something you do not get to do during the N2E) and experience the joy of coming into Ensenada Bay at a relatively decent hour.

Viggo Torbensen's J-125 Timeshaver was my ride for this one and I was looking forward to getting out and stretching the boats legs.  Unfortunately the turnout showed us that people were not as keen this year as they have been in the past.  Not sure what is causing the huge decrease in people wanting to go south of the border.  Ensenada is really a beautiful place, safe and has a lot to offer.

The forecast was light for the 30 boats that chose to partake.  We started under Code 0 and were looking to get some leverage on the fleet.  The ghost like conditions were favorable to the grand Mighty Merloe as she passed us with ease.

Our game-plan was looking good as we stitched to our trusty 3A spinnaker. Eventually we drifted a little further outside rumb line than I liked and we were forced to try and soak a little with our monster 2A.  The wind was decent, in the mid teens, and we were scooting down the course with relative ease.  The flat water was a blessing!

San Diego To Ensenada RaceI was keeling a close eye on the competitors and our distance away from the land was un-nerving since the forecast showed more wind on the beach as the day progressed.  The wind shifted to around 320 and we threw in a gybe heading for Salsipuedes.
This is where we had our most fun.  The wind continually built until we were in a steady 23kts of breeze doing a constant 14+kts of boat speed.    Blue Blazes was just ahead with Staghound and Stars & Stripes in front of them.

Beautiful sailing and an excited team were greeted by a wall of no wind.  A big shift, another gybe, and twenty minutes later we were back moving along in the westerly.  This stop was enough to watch a J-120 and Columbia 30 come roaring up from behind.  That twenty minutes really decided the race as we did not have enough room left to regain our advantage.

The sunset coming into Ensenada Bay was nothing short of amazing.  A little slice of heaven as we knew our finish position was going to be ugly.
San Diego To Ensenada Race
Todo Santos | San Diego To Ensenada 

San Diego To Ensenada Race

Naturally we ended up tacking into the finish around 8pm.  Good enough to beat Staghound and Blue Blazes but that was about it!  Kudos to the smaller boats for taking this one!

Keith Magnussen