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20 Years Ago October

Big O is a great ocean-going boat, and was a terrific ‘Mothership’ for the inaugural Baja Ha-Ha.

Big O
©2013 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

A little more than 18 years and nine months ago, Latitude‘s Ocean 71 ketch Big O led an intrepid group of 39 boats south to Turtle Bay, Mag Bay and Cabo San Lucas in the first-ever Baja Ha-Ha cruisers’ rally. (See the entry list here.) It was blowing about 22 knots, so none of the America’s Cup boats in San Diego went sailing the day or our start. Since then, roughly 2,500 boats have done the Ha-Ha — with close to 10,000 sailors participating. If you haven’t Ha-Ha’ed yet, you’ll get your chance in late October. Don’t miss it.

What do you say? Will you be among the fleet members for the 20th annual Baja Ha-Ha Rally?

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Speaking of missing things, we sure miss Big O. While not large or luxurious compared  to today’s 71-footers, she was a heck of an ocean-going boat and, in the Caribbean in particular, she was a party boat par excellence. For three years in a row, Joylon ‘Mr. English Harbor’ Byerley pronounced her the "Outstanding Party Boat" at Antigua Sailing Week. It’s an honor we still cherish.

As great a yacht as Big O was, we love our Surfin’ 63 Profligate. There is a lot to be said for sailing flat, in the teens, with dozens of your best friends aboard. But it’s not so much the boat as the event that counts with the Ha-Ha, so we recommend you ‘come with what you got’ to the Baja Ha-Ha starting line at 11 a.m. October 28. (For full details, click here.)

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Who are these sailors and what are they celebrating? To find out, see the first item of Race Notes on page 136 in the August issue of Latitude 38, due out tomorrow.
Offshore sailors make note: Effective Wednesday, August 1, the US Coast Guard will no longer monitor voice frequency 2182 kHz for International distress and safety.