(Newport Beach, CA – April 12, 2012) – For 64 years, seasoned pros and first-timers have gathered in Newport Beach, California to take part in the biggest international yacht race in the world, the Lexus Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race (N2E). First run in 1948, the event has attracted celebrities such as Humphrey Bogart and Walter Cronkite, as well as America’s Cup winner Dennis Conner, Roy Disney and Steve Fossett.
This year’s festivities, hosted by ExplorOcean/Newport Harbor Nautical Museum, Newport Ocean Sailing Association (NOSA), Balboa Business Improvement District and Visit Newport Beach Inc., kicks off with the second-annual city-wide festival on Sunday, April 22 from noon to 4pm at the Village of Balboa/Balboa Fun Zone, with the race starting on April 27th. Admission to the kick-off festival is free.
“The 125-nautical-mile Lexus Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race race is steeped in history and is a wonderful tradition with one of our International sister cities, Ensenada, Mexico,” remarked Gary Sherwin, President & CEO of Visit Newport Beach Inc. “The addition of the kick-off festival in Newport Beach invites not just fans of sailing but the whole community to experience this fun, exciting event.”
The Village of Balboa will be transformed into a “Margaritaville” festival featuring Mark Wood and the Parrot Head Band and will host a day of activities including a Woody Car Exhibition, exhibit of race boats, kids’ boat-building, plein air painters, exhibits by ExplorOcean/Newport Harbor Nautical Museum and more. Participating vendors at the Village of Balboa will offer special festival pricing including $2 Balboa Ferris Wheel rides, complimentary admission to all ExplorOcean/Newport Harbor Nautical Museum exhibits, and discounted harbor cruises and boat rentals from the Fun Zone Boat Co. and Balboa Boat Rentals
Other Pre-race events include:
- Yachtsmen’s Luncheon, Wednesday, April 25, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Newport Harbor Yacht Club. Everyone is welcome and Andy Rose, a co-owner of It’s OK, will be the featured speaker and share favorite Ensenada Race stories.
- The famous Pre-Race Fiesta Thursday night, April 26, begins at 5 p.m. at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club.
- Viewing of the race starts at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 27, from the Balboa Pier is always a great thrill.
This year marks a year of two new firsts: Luxury auto company Lexus has signed on as the title sponsor, with a host of other local sponsors contributing to this event. To mark the occasion, Lexus is offering a two-year lease on a 2013 Lexus GS 350 sedan to the boat owner with the fastest corrected handicap time in any racing class (crusing class boats are not eligible). The race also features a new finish headquarters at the Hotel Coral and Marina, with the finish line visible from shore. Ensenada will also host a fiesta on Saturday night at Hotel Coral and a spectacular trophy presentation on Sunday to close out this year’s race.