Light Winds Eliminate Possibility of a Record in Race to Ensenada

Special to The Times

Forget about any records in the 42nd Newport-to-Ensenada yacht race. Mother Nature took care of that Friday night.

The race started in a light five-to-seven knot southerly breezes that dwindled to near zero off the Coronados Islands south of South Diego.

Dennis Conner, in Stars & Stripes, was spotted off Rosarito Beach, about 75 miles from Ensenada, with no wind. He called the committee boat about 9 p.m. and said he was still sitting off Rosarito Beach with no wind.

Doug Wall, Newport Ocean Sailing Assn. president, said no boats were expected to finish until early this morning and won't come close to the elapsed-time record of 10 hours 22 minutes, set by the catamaran Double Bullet in 1983.

Friday, clear skies greeted the 520 boats. First off the dual lines, in an orderly start, were the Ocean Racing Catamarans on the inshore line and the Ultra-Light Displacement monohulls on the offshore line. Conner's Stars & Stripes and Rudy Choy's Aikane X-5, the favored catamarans, were lost in a crowd of 28 multihulls. Blondie and Taxi Dancer led the 17 ultra-lights, known as downwind sleds, across the line in what was expected to be a close, 125-mile race.

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