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All Fresh Beef, Chicken and Eggs to Be Confiscated in Mexico

October 17 - Cabo San Lucas, BCS

Captain Patricia Rains, co-author, along with her husband Captain John Rains, of the Mexico Boating Guide, explains why these products will be confiscated again this year:

"Victor Barreda, a ship's agent in Cabo San Lucas, asked me to please remind all yatistas - and especially those in the Baja Ha-Ha and Class of '05 - that all fresh (uncooked) U.S. beef, chicken, and eggs are still banned in Mexico, and will be confiscated and incinerated by officials. This is due to Mad Cow disease and the Avian (bird) Influenza HFN1 and H5N2. Officials have the right to inspect all boats and their freezers.

"The bird virus is a serious problem for Mexico because their entire poultry industry got wiped out to zero about 20 years ago. Ever since, they've been inoculating against N5H2, but the newest outbreak is N5H1, which the chickens aren't protected against. If one tiny scrap of uncooked chicken or egg got into the garbage dumps or went overboard into coastal waters, it could be picked up by seagulls and pelicans, and be transported far inland through their droppings. That's how the last epidemic got passed from coast to coast. So, yeah, they're real edgy about it. And yes, we ought to do all we can to help. So I hope all the cruisers headed south get the message before they provision for an entire winter, as nobody wants to have to confiscate a lot of expensive food."

Rains also has some definitive information on the rumor - which apparently got started in Charlie's Charts - that yachties are required to have health certificates when they arrive in Cabo:

"Cabo San Lucas is NOT requiring a health certificate from yachties who enter the country there. John and I have been getting a lot of calls from worried and angry cruisers, so we contacted Victor Barreda in Cabo. He's been there for 40 years and hadn't ever heard of it, but just to be sure, checked with the port captain and also with both the state (Baja) and federal (international) health department officials. Everyone said, 'No way.' Not at Cabo nor at any other port in Mexico. With tourism such an important part of the Mexican economy, they'd like to know who started this false rumor."

But we also have some bad news from the Rains. The much-improved Second Edition of their Mexico Boating Guide will not be ready for the start of the cruising season. It won't be printed until about Thanksiving. We'll let you know as soon as it become available and where.

BMW Oracle Invites You to their Private Reception on October 28

October 17 - San Francisco

It will be at the Golden Gate YC in San Francisco to review the events of the last year and what's ahead in their quest for the 32nd America's Cup. It's starts at 6 p.m. with an hour long reception with members of the BMW Oracle afterguard. From 7 to 9 p.m. there will be a three-course dinner with wine pairing and live auction. Among things auctioned will be the 18th Man position on BMW Oracle during training in Valencia, Spain, next summer. Proceeds of the auction will go to the GGYC Junior Sailing Program and the Gulf Coast YCs lost in Hurricane Katrina.

Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

Featured guests will include Eric Doyle of the Sailing Team Afterguard; Rodney Daniel, Sailing Team Grinder and Pit Assistant; and Tom Ehman, Rules Compliance and External Affairs.

There will also be an ACC Racing Highlights film from the past year produced and narrated by Gary Jobson.

The cost is $95 inclusive.

The Wait Is Nearly Over

October 17 - New York, NY

When you think of people setting great sailing course records, you think of them ripping through the spray and over the waves, wasted by fatigue, and battling to stay alive. In reality, much of their time is spent just sitting around and waiting.

Take the great Ellen MacArthur and her 75-ft trimaran B&O, who together set the around the world singlehanded record. Having missed the last Transatlantic Record by a mere 75 minutes, she's been eager to recapture it. But unlike yacht racing, which has a fixed time for starting, when record setting, you must wait until the long range weather forecast looks perfect for what you're trying to do. Which is why MacArthur and her boat have been sitting in North Cove Marina in New York waiting and waiting and waiting. Although she's been there since August 23, and on standby since September 1, conditions for setting a record just haven't been right. And if she doesn't start in three days, poof!, the attempt is off because she has other sailing commitments in France.

Ellen MacArthur
Photo Vincent Crutchet/DPPI Courtesy www.teamellen.com

Baja Ha-Ha XII Starts on Halloween

October 17 - San Diego

As all of the 550 Baja Ha-Ha participants undoubtedly know, this year's event starts on Monday, October 31 - Halloween - off San Diego's Point Loma. Due to a typo in the entry packets, however, there has been some confusion about the actual starting time. It is 11:00 a.m., rather than p.m. as the entry packet erroneously noted.

"How that typo could have gotten past three proofreaders is beyond me!" said a slightly exasperated Lauren Spindler, the Ha-Ha's head honcho. "We regret any confusion this has caused." The start time, along with all other pertinent details about the Rally, will be clarified, of course, at the Skipper's Meeting, to be held at 11:00 a.m., Sunday, October 30, at San Diego's Cabrillo Isle Marina - the day before the start.

The Ha-Ha Costume Kickoff Party, co-sponsored by West Marine and Cabrillo Isle Marina, begins at 1:00 p.m. this year, immediately following the Skipper's Meeting. Valuable prizes from West Marine will be awarded for the best costumes. See www.baja-haha.com for an entry list and further details about this year's event.

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