Moderate southwest breezes sent the 561 boats in the Newport-to-Ensenada yacht race reaching down the coast Saturday in the 38th edition of the international yacht race.
The catamarans and trimarans sailing under the Ocean Racing Catamaran Assn. handicap rule were the first boats off the starting line at noon, and one or more of them should be first to cross the finish line this morning.
The most spectacular start was the Ultra-Light Displacement Boat (ULDB) Class-A group of 36, which hit the line in an even start. Despite the crowded starting conditions, there were no accidents other than an occasional hull-banging.
As the winds clocked around to the west later in the afternoon, indications were that it could be a fast race, at least as far as San Diego and the Los Coronados Islands, where the winds usually diminish in the late afternoon and evening. Most of the starters were tight, reaching offshore immediately after the start in hopes of picking up a westerly that would allow them to set spinnakers for the run down the coast.