Rio100 sails into Ensenada before dark. Credit Lisa Bronitt Photography
Rio100 led by Moshayedi blows away previous N2E record
Rio100, a custom Bakewell White and its crew, led by owner Manouch Moshayedi, has decimated the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race's elapsed time record for a monohull with an unofficial finish of 7:02:17, a remarkable 2.33.17 less than the previous record set by Steve Maheen's R/P 63 Aszhous in 2016.
The record also represents the first time a monohull has crossed the finish line here before sundown.
Not far aft in Rio100's wake, the rest of the Maxi fleet; some also positioned to break the old record, battled for top-of-the-class honors.
According to the YB tracker, multiple-time N2E winner Bill Gibbs' Wahoo led the entire fleet down the coast until being passed by Rio100 off San Diego - about the time its spinnaker blew out. They recovered and were south of the border before Ray Paul's 65 Botin Armetis passed by. Still, the 45-foot Schionning was the first ORCA-class boat to arrive, setting a new personal-best finish for team Wahoo.
Friday morning winds that blew directly from the west at 18 to 20 knots off the Balboa Pier, represented one of the windiest and bounciest starts in recent memory.
Yet Moshayedi called the record-breaking conditions "Fantastic; a straight shot down the coast, a great experience."
Included in the crew of 16 U.S. and New Zealand-based sailors were his son Sebastian and Peter Isler. The win gives Isler the exclusive distinction of being part of two record-holding crews. The multihull record set by the Mod70 Orion in 2016, and now the monohull record set by Rio100.
By 1 a.m. about a dozen boats had crossed the finish line. Diminishing overnight winds between 4 - 8 knots have slowed progress for some but are predicted to pick up mid-Saturday morning and usher in the remaining competitors.
First run in 1948, the N2E has a storied history of mixing professional racers, celebrities, and recreational sailors to become a time-honored tradition for Newport Beach, the City of Ensenada, and sailing enthusiasts who come from across the country to compete. More than 40 trophy categories in monohull, multihull, and cruising classes give this race a wide appeal and bucket-list status.
In honor of NOSA's 75th anniversary the celebrations in Ensenada will be two-fold; for the successful racers, many trophy winners, and an organization that for the past 75 years has taken sailors on a fun, competitive coastal sailing adventure; making history and memories along the way.