YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections


Monohull's Time Is of First Magnitude


ENSENADA, Mexico — Long Beach boats and a Long Beach yacht designer dominated the 55th and fastest Tommy Bahama Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race when the first six monohull boats beat the record of 11 hours 54 minutes set by Roy E. Disney's Pyewacket in 1998.

Doug Baker's sleek Andrews 70, Magnitude, led the way in what designer Alan Andrews called "perfect wind" after fighting off rivals in the last few miles to finish first in the final hour before midnight Friday night.

"No words to describe it," Baker said, alluding to Disney's near-legendary status in the sport.

The first actual finisher was Bill Gibbs' 52-foot catamaran Afterburner from Ventura, which started 20 minutes after the largest monohulls, but finished about 61/2 minutes ahead of Magnitude in a time of 11:17:27.

However, that missed the race's multihull record by 41/2 hours. Disney, vice president of the Walt Disney Co., didn't sail in the race this year because he is campaigning Pyewacket in the Caribbean.

Magnitude, in a time of 11:23:53, was ahead of Bob Lane's Medicine Man, 11:27:47; David Janes' J-Bird III, 11:30:24; Bill Turpin's Alta Vita, 11:34:52; Al and Vicki Schultz's Vicki, 11:36:02, and Mike Campbell's Victoria 5, 11:41:53.

Magnitude, Medicine Man, Vicki and Victoria 5 represent Long Beach yacht clubs. J-Bird III is from Newport Beach and Alta Vita is from San Francisco.

Magnitude and Vicki are ULDB 70 "sleds"; J-Bird III, Alta Vita and Victoria 5 are Transpac 52s, and Medicine Man is a one-of-a-kind Andrews 62. The numbers indicate boat length.

Andrews, who sailed on Medicine Man, designed the four Long Beach boats and J-Bird III.

"A record is produced not only by having fast boats but perfect conditions," Andrews said. "We had the wind off our beam the whole way, which is the ideal point of sail for maximum speed."

James McDowell's Santa Cruz 70, Grand Illusion, from Redondo Beach, missed the previous record by 31/2 minutes.

The 452 boats that started at noon Friday sailed into a strong breeze of 15 knots that built to as high as 24 knots into the overcast night.

The wind strength and westerly wind angle allowed the boats the rare advantage of following the direct "rhumb" line for the 125-nautical mile course--inside the Coronado Islands at the international border instead of the long way around outside the islands.

"It was a real boat race," Lane said. "We all had our moments in the sun."

Los Angeles Times Articles