NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at www.BoatUS.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
Newport-Ensenada Racers Have Peace of Mind
With Vessel Assist Support
Official Sponsor of the Newport-Ensenada Race April 24-26
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., April 13, 2009 -- Over 1,600 crewmembers over 230sailboats will depart Newport Harbor on Friday, April 24 bound for Baja, Mexico in what’s known as the world’s largest international yacht race – the Newport to Ensenada Race . While it is expected to conclude on Sunday, April 26, not all vessels will make it back without a little help.
Escorting the fleet down and back will be the 34-foot towing and assistance vessel Shelter Island, helmed by Capt. Eric Lamb of Vessel Assist San Diego . “With this size fleet, there are bound to be some issues,” said Capt. Lamb. Ironically, sailboats running out of fuel on the return trip north to the US is the most common reason participants call for on-the-water assistance.
"Last year we responded to 25 requests from the fleet for fuel drops, battery jumps and on-the-water assistance,” said Jerry Cardarelli, vice president of BoatUS Towing Services, parent company of Vessel Assist , which is a sponsor of the race. ”Fuel is sometimes hard to find in Mexico and participants may have to depart Ensenada without topping off the tank,” he added. The fleetusually runs under motor power while returning "up hill," but if northerly winds are on their nose or the doldrums hit, their progress is slowed and they can accidentally drain the tank.
In addition, the Shelter Island will act as “spot boat” for the race committee, ensuring that all sailboats are accounted for at the finish line.
However, Vessel Assist’s participation in the race starts before the entrants get to the starting line. On Thursday April 23 from 10am to midnight and the morning of the race, a fleet of four Vessel Assist response boats will provide free water taxi service in Newport Harbor to hundreds of crew attending parties, performing registration duties, and provisioning. Participating sailors can hail Vessel Assist via VHF radio channel 78A or by calling 800-391-4869.
Racers may also take advantage of special pricing on BoatUS annual memberships, Vessel Assist towing services, as well as discounts on EPIRB rentals from the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. For more information, call Heather Sheward at 800-391-4869.
Vessel Assist is the largest on-the-water assistance provider for recreational boaters on the Pacific Coast. For more information go to http://www.BoatUS.com/VesselAssist . The Newport Ocean Sailing Association (NOSA) has operate the race since 1948. For more information about the race, go to http://www.nosa.org .
About BoatUS Towing Services:
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation's leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its 600,000 members with a wide array of consumer services, including on-the-water towing assistance provided by TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist Pacific. Combined, these two towing fleets offer North American boaters the largest network of US, Canadian and Bahamian towing ports with over 290 locations and over 600 towing assistance vessels — three times that of any other service provider.