Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race title sponsor announced

On their way - Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race 2012
Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race, held off Newport Beach, California and runs 125 nautical miles to the colorful resort city on Mexico's Baja California peninsula, starts on Friday 27 April.

And you can call it the Lexus Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race.

The prominent producer of luxury cars has stepped aboard as an active title sponsor for the 65th annual offshore race.

Best corrected time wins a 2-year lease on a Lexus GS 350 - Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race 2012
.
Want to win a Lexus? Well, the boat owner with the fastest corrected handicap time in any Racing class will collect a free two-year lease on a 2013 Lexus GS 350 sedan.

Any boat entered in a PHRF Racing class is eligible. Family type sailboats as small as 26 feet have won that trophy in the past.

Also, participants at any of the six Sail to Win Seminars starting March 8 will receive a small Lexus gift bag with nautical themed key chain and a Business Reply Card (BRC) for a $1,000 Lexus discount certificate on a new car.

At the free seminars professional sailors will offer speed tips and other wisdom for sailing offshore. The schedule:

March 8, Del Rey YC, Marina del Rey, 7-9 p.m.
Mach 13, West Marine, Long Beach, 7-9 p.m.
March 15, Pierpont Bay YC, Oxnard-Ventura, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
March 20, West Marine, Newport Beach, 6-8 p.m.
March 27, West Marine, San Diego, 6-8 p.m.
March 28, Dana Point YC, 7-9 p.m.

Complete schedule of Lexus N2E events.

Since its debut in 1989, Lexus has earned a reputation for high-quality products and exemplary customer service from its 229 dealers. Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader, offering five hybrids that provide the best in innovative technology and first-class luxury. When it began, Lexus offered two models of vehicles. Now, more than 20 years later, Lexus offers variations of 10 vehicles, from the sporty CT 200h hybrid to the V10 supercar, the LFA.

With 170 boats already entered, the N2E is in resurgence toward its traditional levels of participation.

Hotel Coral & Marina, new Ensenada home of the Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race 2012
.
Along with the affiliation with Lexus, the race also enters a new era this year with the finish line moving from outside Ensenada Harbor, which is generally out of sight from land, to the northern side of Todos Santos Bay offshore from the new race headquarters at the Hotel Coral and Marina. From there the boats will be visible on their tactical approaches to and through the finish line before proceeding into the nearby Hotel Coral Marina or to alternative slips or moorings downtown.

The Hotel Coral, on the edge of Ensenada, also will serve as official headquarters for post-race activities. Free shuttle service between the hotel and downtown Ensenada will be available.

NOSA has secured special rates for various hotels in the Ensenada area. To make room or marina reservations visit hotel information, click on the Ensenada Hotels and Travel button, then click on Additional Hotels in Ensenada as the Hotel Coral is completely booked for Saturday, April 28.

Racers also may enter online. As of this report there were 161 entries, promising that the final count will far exceed last year's total of 175.

They'll be assigned to a variety of classes - Maxi, PHRF, Sprit and Cruz for monohulls and ORCA for multihulls - but most competitors, big boats and small, will be gunning for the prime prize, the President of USA Trophy for the fastest corrected handicap time. The last few years have raised hopes for that across the board.

Three years ago Cleve Hardaker, racing his family style Catalina 30, Sojourn, from Silver Gate Yacht Club well below the radar in PHRF-K class, found breeze in the right place at the right time and beat out all the big guys for the plum.

Then last year it came down to a duel between San Diego YC rivals Dennis Conner, sailing his 32nd N2E on his 60–foot Stars & Stripes, corrected out by only 18 minutes 29 seconds on Scot Tempesta's 33-foot Anarchy, a Flying Tiger 10, sailing in Sprit B class.

With that, Conner scored his first triple crown: first monohull to finish, first in the Maxi class and fastest CT overall.

Otherwise, a deficiency of wind protected the monohull elapsed time record of 10 hours 37 minutes 50 seconds by Doug Baker's Magnitude 80 in 2009. The virtually untouchable multihull record is 6 hours 46 minutes 40 seconds in 1998 by the late Steve Fossett on the 60-foot Stars & Stripes catamaran, the only boat ever to finish before sundown on the same day it started.

For those concerned about race conflicts, the 2012 spring schedule allows participation in one big event each month: the Islands Race in February, the Border Run in March, Newport to Ensenada in April, the Around Catalina Race in May and the Around The Islands race in June.

On their way - Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race 2012

but not without me - Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race 2012

Event website