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Blondie Leads the Way in Race From Newport to Cabo San Lucas

March 16, 1987|ALMON LOCKABEY

Strong northwesterly winds Sunday had the 38 boats in the Newport to Cabo San Lucas race surfing their way to the tip of Baja California.

Led by the Santa Cruz-70 Blondie, under charter to Robert McNulty of the Los Angeles Yacht Club, the first five boats had averaged 200 miles in the first 19 hours of sailing.

Blondie had logged 207 miles; Ragtime, sailed by owner Pat Farrah of the Long Beach Yacht Club, had covered 201 miles; Prima, under charter to Rod Muir, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, 199 miles; Swiftsure III, Kenneth Ott, San Diego YC, 197 miles, and Drumbeat, Don Ayres, NHYC, 196.

Dick Steele, skipper of the escort and communications vessel Wide Water, said most of the fleet was reporting winds of 20-25 knots at the morning roll call.

Wide Water, anchored in the "lee" of the South Coronado Island south of San Diego, said winds were a steady 40 knots, gusting to 50.

The vessel Eclipse, out of San Diego, reported rudder trouble and was withdrawing from the race and heading back to San Diego. There were no reports of other mishaps.

If the favorable winds continue the lead boats could be arriving at the finish line off the Solmar Hotel by late Tuesday with new elapsed time records.

The race started Saturday at 1 p.m. in a brisk southerly breeze off the Newport Pier.

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