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Baja Ha-Ha Lands in Cabo

November 11 - Cabo San Lucas, BCS

Profligate approaches the third leg finish line off the old lighthouse at Cabo Falso.

Prior to the Wednesday start of the 175-mile Baja Ha-Ha Leg 3 from Bahia Santa Maria to Cabo San Lucas, the Grand Poobah told the fleet of 530 sailors aboard the 132 boats that of the top ten sails of his life, perhaps three of them had come on final legs of the Ha-Ha.

And darn if the weather didn't come through again. After an atypically good Bahia Santa Maria start, the breeze filled in from the northwest, and the rally fleet was treated to some of the sweetest sailing imaginable. As Steve Williams of the Santa Cruz-based SC 52 Natazak put it, "We were hitting a lot of 14s, and the conditions rivaled the best of what we've seen in any of our races to Hawaii."

Oh yeah, baby, the wind was from aft at about 15-18 knots, the seas were almost flat, the fish were biting like crazy, and because the fleet was in the process of crossing the Tropic of Cancer, the wind and air were warm, warm, warm. Did we mention the brilliant canopy of stars?

So as it turned out, the first 12 hours or so of all this year's Ha-Ha legs were nothing short of spectacular. Conditions did tend to peter out in varying degrees after those initial 12 hours, so only two boats - Nel Toberson's Morgan Out-Island 41 Bronco and Michael Ganahal and Leslie Hardy's 60-ft modern schooner Millennium Falcon - sailed all of all three legs.

No matter if a crew sailed all of the last leg or did some motoring also, the arrival at Cabo San Lucas - aka Cabo & Gomorrah - couldn't have been more shocking. After the spectacular natural paradise of Bahia Santa Maria, which was the second stop, Cabo was like being hit in the face with a giant boom box. Every kind of boat imaginable seemed to be rushing off in different directions, the cruise ships were gushing well-fed passengers, time-shares and condos were being flogged with a will, and there were people everywhere. It had been a very busy year in Cabo even before the hurricanes ripped up the 130,000 hotel rooms and convention facilities in Cancun. So where in Mexico do you think all the tourists and conventioneers have been rerouted?

Chris Conner of the Marquesas 53 cat Rhapsodie found the waters of Bahia Santa Maria to his liking.

The Arch at the entrance to Cabo San Lucas Bay . . . with another darn cruise ship on the horizon.

But when in Cabo, you might as well do as the Caboans, so the Ha-Ha fleet - outfitted in brightly lettered Ha-Ha shirts and hats, and/or neon orange Some Like It Hot shirts - hit the dance floor in unprecedented numbers. Young and old, male and female, no Ha-Ha fleet had ever hit the Squid Roe dance floor as hard and as long as this year's fleet. It was wild but clean fun. Then the alcohol kicked in, and some people - we won't mention any names - got pretty naughty in a Cabo sort of way.

The Profligate crew is 'all in' at the Cape. Water temperature, 82 degrees, or about 18 degrees warmer than when they left San Diego.

Today is the Beach Party and Saturday night the awards ceremony. Speaking as the Grand Poobah, this has been a terrific Ha-Ha with wonderful folks. If you were part of the fun, we loved having you along. If you weren't, we missed you. And you missed something special. Maybe you'll be on hand next year for Lucky 13, which starts on October 30 and will feature a full moon at Bahia Santa Maria.

Bahia Santa Maria has a little bit of everything. Chris Hunt found it was a great place to work on his surfing.

Kayaks weren't bad in the surf either. These folks from the big schooner Talofa even kayak surfed with their dog.

Kids love the Ha-Ha. In fact, there was a special net for both the boys and for the girls.

Most of the Ha-Ha is about sailing and water sports, but at Bahia Santa Maria there was mini mountain climbing with great views of the Pacific. Herb McCormick, editor of Cruising World, and Suze, check it out.

Want to draw a sure crowd? Just announce a Pusser's Rum tasting with free hats for skippers and crew.

When Loretta of Natazak won a bottle of Pusser's for being the only dentist in the crowd, some doubted such a lovely young woman could really be a dentist. So Profligate crewman Robert was enlisted to play patient on the back deck of the cat, and the 28-year-old dentist playfully demonstrated her drilling technique with a bottle of rum.
Photos Latitude/Richard & Andy

Geronimo to Begin Transpac Record Attempt Tomorrow

November 11 - San Diego

Less than a week after she arrived, the 111-ft trimaran Geronimo is departing San Diego this afternoon for a possible rendezvous with destiny. Tomorrow morning at 6 a.m., she will cross a starting line off Los Angeles for an attempt on the 2,215-mile TransPacific sailing record to Hawaii.


Joining Geronimo's regular eight-man French team attempting to break Bruno Peyron's 5 day, 9 hour, 18 minutes and 26 seconds record will be American sailors Cam Lewis and Larry Rosenfeld. Cam and Larry are no strangers to maxi multihulls - both are veterans of the 110-ft Team Adventure catamaran in 2000's The Race, and Cam was part of the Explorer team when she set the current Transpac record in 1997. Also onboard for this trip is longtime friend of Geronimo creator Olivier de Kersauson, French sailor Pierre English, who raced with Eric Tabarly on Pen Duick II, III and VI.

It's an unusual time weather-wise to attempt this record, but Geronimo's routers claim a favorable window is in the offing. Our feeling is that, even with less than ideal conditions, Geronimo should easily set a new LA to Honolulu mark.

De Kersauson and crew will spend a couple of days in Hawaii after the run, then return to San Diego. Next on the docket: a trip to San Francisco in January and a go at the SF to Yokohama record.

Call First

November 11 - Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

Headed to Nuevo Vallarta this season? Here's a good reason to call Harbormaster Dick Markie before entering the channel to Paradise Resort Marina.

Photos Latitude Archives

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