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October 29, 2007

Smashing Kickoff for Ha-Ha XIV

Flintstones, meet the Flintstones, the modern sailing
family . . .

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Roughly 600 sailors gathered in San Diego for the annual Baja Ha-Ha Costume Kickoff Party which, by any measure, was a smash hit. Despite the fact that every boater who’s about to go cruising has a to-do list a mile long, most found time to put together highly creative costumes. The festive atmosphere which resulted helped de-stress the crowd, most of whom had been working frantically to prepare for the
750-mile cruise to Cabo San Lucas.

How Superman really got his start: sailing
south with his super family.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC
Christian and Mary of Capricorn Cat enjoyed the great

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Due to complications brought on by the San Diego fires, the party venue was moved to the West Marine parking lot. Store employees, in addition to Cabrillo Isle Marina staff and various volunteers did a bang-up job of feeding and entertaining the troops who were all greatly appreciative.

Turns out Jack Sparrow (okay, CAPTAIN Jack
Sparrow) works for West Marine.

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC
For some reason, Flintstone imitators
were in abundance this year.

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Of the 178 registered entries, at least 155 are expected to be on the starting line this morning at 11 a.m. in boats ranging from 28 to 94 feet. First stop, Turtle Bay, 360 miles down the Baja Peninsula. Look for a report from there in Friday’s ‘Lectronic. Winds for the beginning of Leg One are expected to be ideal: 15-20 knots from astern!

Alan the Knife – Marina Village Harbormaster Alan Weaver, celebrating his …uh…39th birthday, brought the house down with a stirring rendition of Mack the Knife.

©2007 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Three Dead in Chicago J/35 Accident

Four crew aboard the Chicago-based J/35 Jason were on their way to the boatyard on last Wednesday to haul out for the winter when crewmember 38-year-old Alexander Childers fell overboard. A small craft advisory had been issued just hours before and the seas had built to 10 feet when the accident happened. Owner John Finn, 45, called a Mayday and tried to rescue his crew but the steep seas slammed the boat into a breakwater, destroying it in a matter of minutes. Rescuers were on the scene quickly but were unable to retrieve Childers, Finn, and Adam Kornen, 33, for about 45 minutes. Autopsies will be performed to determine if they died of hypothermia or from injuries from the wreck. The fourth crewmember, Joseph Sunshine, survived and was treated for hypothermia. All four were wearing PFDs.

The Great Pumpkin

Even though the winds were less than thrilling this weekend, racers in the Great Pumpkin report a fantastic time.

© Peter Lyons

The winds were less than ‘great’ this weekend for Richmond YC’s Great Pumpkin Regatta. Saturday’s winds maxed-out at about 18 knots – and most of that came after the racing was over. The total lack of wind on Sunday forced the race committee to abandon the pursuit race around Angel Island and Alcatraz.

If there was an award for best costumes, Desdemona’s crew would get top honors.

© Peter Lyons

Regardless, the crew aboard the 256 participating boats had a ‘great’ time. The three races Saturday (save for the IOR division which had one long race) were short and fun, and many competitors remarked at the lightheartedness of the racing. "After a highly competitive racing season, it’s refreshing to just have fun and not worry about results," said 1D35 racer Kevin Moon.

There was just barely enough wind on Saturday to fill a spinnaker.

© Peter Lyons

While waiting for the wind to materialize on Sunday, many boats rafted together and socialized. The wind never came up but racers enjoyed bobbing around the Bay in the mild and sunny conditions. Most headed back to RYC for the awards party and continued to ‘socialize’ on the deck.

Bill Mastrangelo cozies up to his best Bud.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Though they weren’t posted as of this morning, check for full results.

Women’s Circuit Wraps Up November 4

With just one race left, a queen of Latitude 38’s unofficial women’s circuit will be crowned soon. Whether you’ve done lots of women skipper events or are considering entering your first race, you’re encouraged to enter Island Yacht Club’s Jack & Jill + 1, to be sailed on the Estuary Saturday, November 4. Jill drives, Jack crews, and they get to bring along another crew of either sex.

Could one of these lovely ladies be crowned the next Queen?

© Cheryl Lincoln

For more info go to and scroll down. You can enter right up until race day morning at 11:30, when the skippers’ meeting will be held at the clubhouse in the Alameda Marina. The race is followed by a chili cook-off, and you’re welcome to compete in that too.

Classy Classifieds Page Temporarily Down

If you’ve been having trouble submitting a Classy Classified ad via our website in the last couple days, you’re not alone. That page is temporarily down and our techies are working feverishly to get it back up by Wednesday (but hopefully sooner). The deadline for the December issue of Latitude 38 is November 18, so you’ll still have plenty of time to get your ad in. We know it’s a bit of a pain but just keep checking back until the page is up.

From the Grand Poobah himself, here is some important info relating to the Ha-Ha: 1) Offshore flow is returning to SoCal and the air quality is much better.
Brian Thompson’s Pindar 60 was dismasted in mild conditions last night on its way to La Havre, France, for the start of the doublehanded Transat Jacques Vabré.
If you’re heading south to the sunny latitudes of Mexico and are new to the cruising life you may not be aware of the cruiser nets that keep sailors updated on weather, local events and other topical news.