The Harbor Report: It looks to be a banner year

By now I would assume that most of my readers have an Assn. of Orange Coast Yacht Clubs 2012 racing calendar and have targeted which events they plan to sail in this year.

There have been some format changes to a number of events that you should consider before the ink dries on your schedule for 2012.

Most of you have heard about the changes made to this year's Newport-to-Ensenada race on April 27-29.

This year's event has been moved to The Hotel Coral and Marina in Ensenada. That alone has deflated most of the participants' security concerns in crossing the border. Everything will be centered around The Coral, with the finish line being placed closer to the marina. Buses leaving from Newport Beach, Dana Point and San Diego will take people to the event and return them, with round-trip tickets costing $70 and one-way tickets costing $50.

That's a huge savings and the safest way to travel!

Participation has already reached last year's numbers, and the cruising class numbers are returning, along with sponsorship. This is going to be way too much fun!

Our harbor's next big event is the Newport High-Point Series, which consists of the following races: the American Legion Midwinter Regatta on Feb. 18 and 19; Balboa Yacht Club's 66 Series race on March 17; Newport Harbor Yacht Club's Ahmanson Cup Series on April 21 and 22; the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club and South Shore Yacht Club's Gil Knudson Series on July 14; and the NOSA Argosy Regatta on Aug. 18 and 19.

The big change to the High-Point Series this year is the change of format in the Ahmanson Cup Series. NHYC Fleet Capt. Robert Kinney and the Race Council have come up with a brilliant idea to return the event more toward its original format, which ultimately will increase activity throughout the harbor. The first two races of the series will be a random leg in a pursuit format, and the last race of the series will be on May 5.

The first part of the Ahmason will be a perfect warm-up for the Ensenada race.

The other events I plan to attend this year are the BYC 66 Series and BCYC Angelman Series. Both yacht clubs are going the extra mile in supporting our harbor's PHRF racing and it's looking to be a banner year.

BCYC is also planning an islands race for June 8 that will go around Santa Barbara Island and Catalina Island. Go to my blog at and check out the BCYC promo for the Island Race. It's classic!

I also plan to be active in the Harbor 20 fleet this year, and will be running with one of my silly ideas starting at the time change this March on Wednesday nights. The idea is an informal team race series for the Harbor 20 owners, yacht clubs, high school and college teams.

Peter Haynes and I are working on the format on how to make this work. The whole idea is to encourage people ages 23 to 30 to stay active in sailing and our local yacht clubs.

Who knows — if this catches on, maybe we can even get one of our local yacht clubs invited to the NHYC Baldwin Cup.

Sea ya!

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.

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