Ensenada Race obstacles
The Newport Ocean Sailing Association’s 61st race to Ensenada, a 125-nautical mile run to Baja California, is looking less fun these days. This race attracts a broad spectrum of sailors, from the very serious all the way down to cruiser with no previous yacht club affiliation. The Scuttlebutt Sailing Club (SSC) usually gets a lot of calls before this race, as there are plenty of folks that want to do it, but don’t want to pony up the big yacht club fees to do their very first race. The problem is that the event requires local entrants to be members of a Yacht Club recognized by the Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA), and this organization doesn’t want SSC as a member.
SSC would gladly pay the SCYA annual fees to support their organization, but we weren’t able to get the sponsors needed within SCYA to complete the membership application. We suspect the problem is because SSC doesn’t charge membership fees, and the brotherhood of SCYA clubs is simply protecting their turf. Apparently the sport is doing so well so as to keep these “fringe” racers from joining this fun race.
Maybe these newbies are better off staying in the marina this year, as there has been no shortage of news regarding violence along Mexico’s border cities that support teams would be frequenting on their way south to meet the boats, and that crews would be driving through to return home. While race officials have reported no problems during their organization trips to Ensenada, they still felt the situation was bad enough to publish the following list of precautions:
* Fill your gas tank before you leave the USA and cross the border; fill up your tank again in Ensenada before you return home.
* Use the main highways only, don’t travel back roads.
* Travel in caravans – if possible.
* Travel during the daylight hours when driving.
* Limit how many credit cards you take with you to 1 or 2.
* Don’t carry large quantities of cash on hand.
* Stay away from campsites, rest stops, and similar stop areas.
* Don’t exceed the speed limit, and don’t drink and drive.
* Don’t carry any firearms, illegal drugs, or large quantities of alcoholic beverages.
* Make sure you have valid insurance for the country you are driving in.
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