Thinking about entering the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, and wondering what you should do next?
GET A RATING
To get a rating for your boat, you need to be a member of the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF), or the Ocean Catamaran Racing Association (ORCA). This applies to all racers, (except for One-Design and Unlimited classes). PHRF issues the Rating for all of the PHRF boats that participate in the Race. ORCA provides NOSA with an Official Ratings List for ORCA multihulls.
GET A SAIL NUMBER
You need to have a sail number for your boat. If your boat doesn’t have a sail number, contact Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA) to get one. If you are from out-of-state or out-of-country, you can obtain your sail number from your local or National Authority.
SCYA Sail Number Application
PICK A COURSE
N2E is the classic race to Ensenada.
N2SD is the new for 2021 longer race to San Diego, now around north Coronado Island.
Read the Notices of Race (NORs) for each, for details.
Online registration is provided via Regatta Network. View the Registration Form in advance to be sure you have all of the requested information available when you enter.
Fees are detailed in the Notice of Race. N2E & N2SD include a Yellow Brick tracker for each boat.
Make sure your boat and crew are equipped for the race by following the Notice of Race, the Sailing Instructions, and US Sailing Safety Equipment Requirements (US SER).
US Sailing Equipment Requirements
A number of race and safety seminars are available:
HOTEL & MARINA
Don’t wait to make your hotel and marina arrangements. Make sure you mention that you are racing in the N2E. Hotel Coral is Race HQ and the site for Awards. There are many hotels in Ensenada, as well as other marinas, such as Cruiseport Village Marina. Downtown is only a few miles away. Hotel Coral runs a shuttle service downtown. Uber is easy and inexpensive in Ensenada.
Required documentation to visit Mexico by sea:
– Certificate of Documentation or current vessel registration
– Current vessel insurance
– Current passports for owner and crew
– Current vessel Temporary Import Permit (TIP)
– Current Tourist Card
– COVID Health Inspection
– Copy of vaccination card, if you have been vaccinated.
A boat entering Mexico for the first time goes thru the official check-in process with both Mexican Customs and Immigration. By participating in the N2E race, these are expedited for you and handled at Race Headquarters at the Hotel Coral or possibly at the marina you are staying. Similarly, the boat exiting Mexico check-out procedure is handled by N2E Race management for you. You will not need to do the typical visiting of multiple downtown Ensenada offices when arriving and departing. One of the fees involved in sailing into Ensenada is a per boat fee to the Harbor Master. This is included in your entry fee and handled by N2E Race Management for you.
Tourist card fee (Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM)) for each person going ashore. This tourist card fee can be paid in Ensenada when checking in at Hotel Coral. The current amount is about $32 USD per person (it varies with the exchange rate). The local officials strongly suggest bringing cash and handling this in Ensenada. Mexican law also requires all passengers on a boat with fishing gear to have a Mexican fishing license.
COVID Health Inspection (As of 2022 Race, this is subject to change for 2023)
Skippers and crew to remain aboard their boat until a Health Official arrives to take temperatures and ask each person questions regarding their health. Health Officials will monitor the arrival of each vessel via Yellow Brick Tracker to provide expedited processing.
(1) The Skipper will complete a short questionnaire and deliver it to the Health Official when the Official boards your boat.
(2) The Skipper will complete the crew information on the International Health Inspection Report and deliver it to the Health Official when the Official boards your boat.
(see Ensenada-Health Procedures for forms)
In addition, upon arrival, NOSA personnel will provide each boat with the requisite number of clean masks.
US PASSPORT & CUSTOMS
You and your crew will need a Passport to re-enter the United States from Mexico.
The ROAM app is the US CBP preferred method of reporting your crew for entering the US. Also, you will need to obtain a customs decal for your boat if its LOA is 30 feet or more.
US Customs does not require a visit after rounding the Coronado Islands, as no landfall has been made and the last port is Newport Beach in the US.
Regarding sailing thru Mexican waters:
The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Section 3 addresses “innocent passage”. Innocent passage is essentially a vessel’s right to continuous and expeditious transit through a coastal state’s territorial sea for the purpose of traversing the seas (without entering a state’s internal waters, such as a port) (UNCLOS – Art. 18). Passage is considered innocent so long as it is not prejudicial to the peace, good order or security of the coastal nation (UNCLOS Article 19). A coastal state is not permitted to require prior notification nor authorization in order for a vessel to exercise innocent passage. (Operational Law Handbook – US Army JAG School)
There are 12 activities that are deemed not to be innocent. Relevant here would be pollution, fishing, research or survey activities, or any other activity not having a direct bearing on passage. Do not pollute, no disorder, and no fishing!
Cortez Racing Association races around the north Coronado Island every year in their Dennis Conner Around Coronados race.