ABC’s of N2E

Updated: 4/2/2024


Thinking about entering the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, and wondering what you should do next?


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.

Helpful links:

PHRF Southern California

PHRF San Diego

ORCA Contact ([email protected])


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.

Helpful links:

SCYA Sail Number Application


N2E is the classic race to Ensenada.

N2SD a race to San Diego, around north Coronado Island.

Both start in Newport Beach on 4/26/24

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.

Register on Regatta Network


Fees are detailed in the Notice of Race. Both courses 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).

Helpful links:

US Sailing Equipment Requirements


A number of race and safety seminars are available:

Helpful Links:

NOSA Pre-Race Seminars

US Sailing Coastal Safety at Sea Seminar

US Sailing Coastal Safety at Sea online class


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.


To avoid delays at marina boat check-in , send the following documents via email to [email protected] (by April 19)

  • Passports for skipper and crew
  • Certificate of Documentation (or state registration) – current
  • Evidence of insurance
  • TIP (Temporary Importation Permit)
  • Name of boat
  • Crew list – incoming and outgoing.  If any names change on either list, notify the marina. 
  • IMPORTANT:  If a boat comes to the fuel dock only it is considered touching land and must pay the Tourist Card fee.

Helpful links:

Hotel Coral

Hotel Coral Marina

Cruiseport Village Marina



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

 – Copy of vaccination card, if you have been vaccinated.

Required documentation to visit Mexico by land:

Use the link to review the Entry, Exit, and Visa Requirements

Helpful links:

TIP Application

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 the Hotel Coral Marina or possibly at the marina you are staying.   Similarly, the boat exiting Mexico check-out procedure is handled by Hotel Coral Marina 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 $39 USD per person (it varies with the exchange rate).   The local officials strongly suggest bringing cash and handling this in Ensenada.  

Boats can avoid the tourist card by not entering a Mexican harbor and by not touching land.  Stopping at a fuel dock is considered touching land.

NOSA continues to lobby for the elimination of the tourist card being applied to N2E racers, and there is always hope one year we will be successful.

Fishing License

Mexican law also requires all passengers on a boat with fishing gear to have a Mexican fishing license.

COVID Health Inspection (As of 3/22/2024)

(1) COVID Health Inspection The Skipper will complete the crew information on the International Health Inspection Report and deliver it to the Health Official when checking in. 

(2)  Upon arrival, the Skipper shall proceed to  Health Inspection Office (open 24/7) and deliver the following

  • skipper and crew original passports 
  • completed health form referred to above in (1)


Skipper will then proceed to Immigration Office to pay the tourist card fee and to the Marina office to check in (refer to Coral Marina Check-In).    If these offices are not open, return later.


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.

Helpful links:

Passport or Passport Card

Customs Decal

ROAM app


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.


The California Boater Card program is phased-in by age for operators of motorized boats on state waterways (see phase-in schedule below). As of January 1, 2023, the card is required for operators 50 years of age or younger.

Refer to


When a racing sailboat engages its engine, it becomes a Power-Driven Vessel as
described in the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (IRPCS) Rule
3 (b) and shall act as required by Rules 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18. When a racing
sailboat engages its engine at night it shall show the lights of a Power-Driven Vessel,
Rule 23. When a racing sailboat engages its engine in daylight it shall display the day
shape required by Rule 25 (e). (Note this day shape is not required under Inland Rules
for vessels under 12 Meters but only under International Rules - meaning vessels at sea
and not in US bays or sounds.) It is a conical shape, apex downwards. Note that this day
shape could be obscured by a head sail or even a mainsail and it is the responsibility of
the racing sailboat which has engaged its engine to be sure this day shape is fully
visible. Note that any racing sailboat which has engaged its engine is likely to be the
Give Way Vessel whenever encountering a racing sailboat not having engaged its
engine. Although an overtaking sailboat not using its engine is an overtaking vessel and
any overtaking vessel is usually a Give Way Vessel. Other Rules of IRCPS may apply.

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