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Baja Ha-Ha Sign-ups Begin Now!

May 1, 2013 – Baja Ha-Ha World Headquarters

(Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

All sorts of boats, run by sailors from all walks of life, have entered the Baja Ha-Ha during the past 19 years. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you've been itching to pull the trigger on your Mexico cruising dreams, today is the day to commit. Online registration for the 20th Baja Ha-Ha cruisers' rally begins RIGHT NOW — noon on Wednesday, May 1.

If you're a regular reader you already know that the Ha-Ha is a 750-mile rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, with two stops along the way at Bahia Tortugas and Bahia Santa Maria. During the 20 years since the inaugural event, in October of 1994, the Ha-Ha has grown to be one of the largest cruising rallies in the world, drawing between 160 and 180 boats a year.

Dozens of kids of all ages have done the Ha-Ha, as it's two weeks of G-rated fun. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

This year's dates are October 27-November 9. To celebrate the 20-year milestone, the Rally Committee is cooking up some special added activities, and there will undoubtedly be many 'repeat offenders' who'll come back to run the course again. In fact, several will take a break from cruising Mexico to start their trek all over again.

You'll be shocked at how undeveloped and underpopulated the Baja Peninsula is. Photo Latitude / Archives
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

A complete breakdown of the event's important dates is available on the website, as are sections that answer frequently asked questions (About the Ha-Ha), and suggest cool stopover locations for your trip south to San Diego (Berthing Along the Way). If you're new to Mexico cruising, be sure to read our First Timer's Guide to Mexico also, as it is loaded with useful info.

"Heads up!" The annual frizbee toss from the cliffs above the Turtle Bay beach party. Photo Latitude / Andy
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

This year's Ha-Ha is going to be great fun, as always, and if past years are any indication, participants will enjoy great sailing and make boatloads of new friends. As many Ha-Ha vets tell us, the best thing about the rally is that it helps you quit procrastinating, throw off your docklines and jump-start your new cruising lifestyle. So what do you say, is this your year to Ha-Ha?

Once the fleet arrives at Cabo kids are amazed how warm the water is (80 degrees), and the adults are amazed it took them so long to throw off the docklines. Photo Latitude / Richard
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

- latitude / andy

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Classy Deadline the 15th

See the current magazine here

See the current magazine here.

British Sailor Lost Overboard in Pacific

May 1, 2013 – Pacific Ocean

Luke Stimson poses in front of Jonetsu before departing Osaka, Japan. Photo Courtesy Jonetsu
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

An experienced 38-year-old British sailor crossing from Osaka, Japan — where he'd been working for the last three years — to Hawaii, with plans to continue on to Southampton, UK, reportedly fell overboard on Saturday night about 575 miles west of Midway Atoll. Luke Stimson's fiancée, Laura Vernon, contacted authorities via sat phone after Stimson fell overboard — conscious and wearing a PFD — in 25-knot winds and 6-ft seas. According to news reports, Vernon was an inexperienced sailor and could only watch as the 38-ft Jonetsu sailed away from Stimson. She was rescued by a Navy helo Sunday morning.

An intense 50-hour search of the area, which turned up no signs of Stimson, was suspended yesterday. It's unknown how Stimson fell overboard. 

- latitude / ladonna

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Ad: NorthStar Marine Insurance

May 1, 2013 – Walnut Creek

NorthStar Marine Insurance

© 2018 NorthStar Insurance /

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May Issue Splashes to the Streets

May 1, 2013 – Bay Area and Online

The May issue of Latitude 38 is coming at you! Photo Latitude / Annie
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

It's May Day and you know what that means: Latitudes for all the workers of the world! Paper copies are making their way around the Bay Area today, but no matter where you are in the world, you'll be able to download the ebook version later this afternoon. Catch up on Jeff Rutherford's restoration of the 83-year-old 72-ft schooner Viveka; learn about Bay Area sailor Ronnie Simpson's Vendée Globe aspirations; read a brief history of the America's Cup; pick up some bottom painting tips in our annual Boatyard Tour; meet some more Puddle Jumpers; and let Lee Helm teach you how to make a long splice.

As always, there's much more to discover, so pick up your copy today (after work, of course)!


- latitude / ladonna

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Weekend Racing Round-Up

May 1, 2013 – Northern California and Ensenada, Mexico

Bosporus II and Carmelita
The Columbia 36 Bosporus II and the Catalina 42 Carmelita stuck to each other like glue when they jibed around busy Harding Rock in St. Francis YC's Intraclub Regatta, which Carmelita won. Three races converged on the mark simultaneously. © 2018 /

The Singlehanded Sailing Society, with a little help from their friends at Berkeley YC, sent 100 boats Round the Rocks on Saturday. Besides the Rock (Alcatraz), Harding Rock, Red Rock and the Brothers served as marks on this Bay tour. Despite a raging flood, which was especially challenging at Harding Rock, the first finishers made it around the course in less than four hours. Darren Doud and Chris 'Lew' Lewis finished first and corrected out to first in Doublehanded Multihulls in the Corsair 31 Roshambo. The first monohull to finish and first Doublehanded Monohull overall was the JS9000 JetStream with Dan Alvarez and Rob Blackmore.

Taz!!, Emerald and White Knuckles
At least three collisions, resulting in four DNFs, marred the RTR Race, including this coupling of a singlehanded monohull with a singlehanded multihull. © 2018 /

The first singlehander to finish was Jonathan Livingston on the Wylie 39 Punk Dolphin, but Steve Wonner's Wyliecat 30 Uno corrected out to first place overall. Jeff Dunnavent and Andrew Moore on the J/35 Jarlen smoked not only the entire Non-Spinnaker fleet, but most of the spinnaker boats as well. The trophy ceremony for the Round Rocks Race on May 8 will coincide with the skippers' meeting for May 18's Singlehanded Farallones Race. See

Lola Bushnell (Radials) and Peter Shope (standard rig) were in top form in the Laser NorCals/US Sailing Singlehanded Sailing Championship Area G Qualifier at Santa Cruz YC over the weekend. Both won all six races. Even their throw-outs were firsts!

Just after 7 p.m. on Friday evening, after slightly more than seven hours of racing, Howard Enloe's Jenn 60 trimaran Loe Real became the second boat ever — after the late Steve Fossett's 60-ft Stars & Stripes catamaran in 1998 — to finish the Newport to Ensenada before sundown. Fossett's course record stands.

Loe Real finish
Loe Real finished the Lexus Newport to Ensenada Race in the golden light of early evening. © 2018 Leslie Richter

Bill Gibbs' 52-ft catamaran Afterburner blew in about 43 minutes later with plenty of time to spare to correct out and claim the President of NOSA Trophy, plus a free two-year lease on a Lexus! "We had four hours of screacher beam reaching, our fastest point of sail," reported Gibbs. "We split the Coronado Islands at 4 p.m. looking for more wind outside and had 18-20 knots to the finish. We overstood by a bit and jib-beam-reached to the finish doing 22+ knots." Afterburner sailed 135 miles, averaging 17.1 knots over the 125-mile course. Meanie, Tom Akin's San Francisco YC-based R/P 52 Meanie, took first in the Maxi class, thus earning the President of Mexico Trophy. See complete results and more photos at

Bill Gibbs
Bill Gibbs was thrilled to finish second and correct out over Loe Real with his 52-ft cat Afterburner. © 2018 Rich Roberts

Today at 5 p.m. is your last chance to enter the Great Vallejo Race, which opens the YRA's Party Circuit. And the party at Vallejo YC is not to be missed! Go to

The Lake Washington Sailing Club Thursday night series starts tomorrow. Lake Washington is the turning basin for the Port of Sacramento, where the fresh Delta breeze offers relief from triple-digit summer temperatures. The series is open to any centerboard sailboat under 20-ft. See

- latitude / chris

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