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Ha-Ha Fleet Reaches Cabo

November 4, 2011 – Cabo San Lucas


(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

This unusual folding cat was trucked from Wyoming for the San Diego start. Aptly named Cat 2 Fold, she was looking good at the start of Leg 2. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2014 Latitude 38 Publishing, LLC

There are dozens of reasons why sailors from all along the West Coast and beyond join the Baja Ha-Ha rally each year. But one of the most common motivators is to escape the arrival of winter. This year, as always, as fleet members moved south, they replaced the grey skies of the U.S. and Canada with brilliant blues above, and traded the chilly fall temperatures with ever-increasing warmth — culminating with air temps in the 90s and water temps in the 80s upon arrival at Cabo San Lucas

Now that the fleet has arrived at the Cape, there's a celebratory mood among the 500+ participants. After a big night of unwinding at the famous Squid Roe dance bar, we're presently gearing up for the annual Baja Beach Party at the Baja Cantina Beach Bar. So we'll keep this report short and let the photos tell the story of the past two legs.


For the first time ever, immigration officials from San Carlos made a special trip to the Ha-Ha's second stop, Bahia Santa Maria, to clear in members of the fleet. Their efforts saved fleet members time in Cabo, and the officials greatly enjoyed meeting this disparate assortment of sailors. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2014 Latitude 38 Publishing, LLC


Once anchored at Bahia Santa Maria -- or anywhere else, for that matter -- it's great to have a watersports toy or two, such as this stand-up paddleboard. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2014 Latitude 38 Publishing, LLC


One of the highlights of the fleet's visit to Bahia Santa Maria is the annual rock 'n roll party on the bluff overlooking the massive anchorage. Musicians from Cabo and La Paz travel 120 km up the highway, then 40 miles across the desert, followed by a stream of crossing and another 20 miles down the beach at low tide, just to arrive at the gig. And they play for tips only! Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2014 Latitude 38 Publishing, LLC


The 7 a.m. start of Leg 3 was one of the best ever, as a light breeze held all morning and built in the afternoon to 10 knots -- a perfect formula for relatively flat seas and low-stress sailing. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2014 Latitude 38 Publishing, LLC


The closer you get to the Cape, the more dramatic the sunrises. The warm evenings were memorable too. During the final night, many crewmembers sacrificed sleep to enjoy the warm, starry night. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2014 Latitude 38 Publishing, LLC

- latitude / at

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Emma Delivers

November 4, 2011 – Salvador de Bahia, Brazil

Emma Crieghton Mini Transat
Emma Creighton rode her 21-ft Pocket Rocket some 4,200 miles from France to Brazil . . . solo! © 2014 Pierrick Garenne/GPO

After 4,200 miles of sailing alone in a 21-ft Mini 6.50, Emma Creighton became the first American woman to finish the Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50 since '01. Yesterday Creighton, who has hailed from the Bay Area for the past few years, was the 23rd proto to arrive in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. In doing so, she became only the third American woman to finish the race throughout its 34-year history. In a race where a total of 15 of the 72 boats have had to drop out, finishing the trip is an amazing accomplishment. Creighton has so far done a great job of sharing her campaign through her blog. We expect she'll take a few days to catch up on sleep before updating it, but keep an eye out for it — we're sure it will be worth reading.

Emma Crieghton Mini Transat
Emma gets the traditional Bahia welcome. © 2014

- latitude / rg

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Ad: AC World Series - San Diego

November 4, 2011 – San Diego


Don’t miss the America’s Cup World Series – San Diego, Nov. 12-20, taking place inside San Diego Bay.

The cutting-edge AC 45 wing-sailed catamarans will fly through the water at speeds over 30 mph and, with the stadium setting of San Diego Bay, you can get within feet of the action.

The action within the AC Village on Broadway Pier is not to be missed either. See the teams and AC 45s up close, experience on-the-water conditions in the Flying On The Water race simulator, and enjoy interactive and educational displays, concession booths and nightly entertainment on Wednesday and Thursday.

For more information, race and entertainment schedules, and preferred ticket options, visit www.americascup.com/sandiego.

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Taking Sailing to the Kids

November 4, 2011 – Alameda

As a vocal advocate of teaching kids how to sail, Kame Richards, owner of Alameda's Pineapple Sails, knows that many children aren't able to take advantage of learn to sail programs, even if they're free. Transportation to and from the venue is just one obstacle, but most such programs also require the kids to know how to swim — and many low-income kids have never had the opportunity to learn. So instead of forcing the kids to come to the boats, Kame and his cohort in creativity, Brent Drainey, have devised a way to take the boats to the kids. Check out this video by Vince Casalaina of Brent's son Jeff testing out the 'land sailer'.

Kame and Brent developed this prototype in conjunction with the Youth Sailing Initiative of SailSFBay.org, a group of marine industry leaders whose aim is to grow sailing in the Bay Area. They're hoping that folks who have old El Toros lying around will consider donating them so they can be converted to 'land sailers'. Email Kame if you'd like to help out, and check out the December issue for more on this fantastic project!

- latitude / ld

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Race Notes

November 4, 2011 – Alicante, Spain, Cable TV

Groupama 4
The Volvo Ocean Race gets underway tomorrow -- and this one should be one for the ages. © 2014 Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race

After the first in-port race was held last weekend, the six boat fleet in the Volvo Ocean Race gets underway tomorrow on the 6,500-mile Leg 1 to Cape Town, South Africa. It's shaping up to be the most competitive race to date, and every team but one will be riding a brand new whip. Unlike the past three editions of the race, when there was a clear favorite — Illbruck in '01-'02, ABN Amro 1 in '05-'06, Ericsson 4 in '08-'09 — this year's group all have about the same amount of preparation and experience. This should be one to watch, and we'd be surprised if it's settled before the end of the final leg. There will be plenty of good media options for race fans at the race's website, so make sure to check in there.

For those of you with cable TV — specifically ESPN Classic and ESPN 2 — US Sailing President and long-time producer/broadcaster Gary Jobson will have a line-up of shows on today, some of which will re-air later. The run kicks off with Championship Sailing: The Best of One Design Racing at 4 p.m., followed by The 2011 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup at 5 p.m. (it re-airs on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN 2). Wrapping up the line-up at 6 p.m. is Racing for an Ocean Record, a look at the Annapolis Newport and Marblehead-Halifax races.

- latitude / rg

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Ad: Sale Boat of the Day

November 4, 2011 – Mazatlan, Mexico

38' Irwin CC 1986
38' Irwin CC at anchor
Ready to cruise Mexico right now.
© 2014 / mazatlanmarinecenter.com

Start your Mexico cruise in Mazatlan aboard this ready-to-sail cruiser. You would be hard pressed not to fall in love with this beautifully maintained Irwin center cockpit cutter. Ted Irwin must have had in mind comfort for cruising and living aboard when he designed this model. Immaculate would be a good description, evidenced by the photos. This conscientious owner ordered a pre-sale survey to guarantee that vessel would be in tip-top condition.

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