More than 450 boats are entered in the 58th annual Lexus Newport-to-Ensenada Yacht Race, which begins at noon today at Newport Harbor with staggered starts until 2 p.m.
The international regatta, which for some is as much a party as it is a competition, has 466 entries and, in its Maxi class, features some of sailing's elite: Roy Disney and his new Z-86 Pyewacket, Doug Baker aboard Magnitude 80 and Randall Pitman on the 90-foot Genuine Risk.
Disney, nephew of Walt Disney, holds the record for fastest time aboard a single-hull vessel, 10 hours 44 minutes 54 seconds in 2003. Stars & Stripes, a catamaran, covered the 125 miles in 6:46:40 in 1998.
There are 23 classes of boats, including the Cruise class, in which motors can be used but not without incurring a penalty on corrected time. The faster vessels may arrive at the Mexican port late tonight or early Saturday; the slower boats may not finish until Sunday morning. The forecast calls for light winds.