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November 10, 2008

Ha-Ha 15 Launches Cruiser Dreams

Mix kids with gentle surf and you’ve got an ideal recipe for fun in the sun.

©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

As Baja Ha-Ha 15 came to a close Saturday night, it was clearly apparent to its organizers that the event had met its primary goal: to safely launch a new ‘class’ of sailors into the cruising life.

The annual ‘From Here to Eternity’ kissing contest is always a crowd pleaser. This year’s competition drew more challengers than ever.

©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

After an unusually breezy third leg, the fleet arrived at Cabo during daylight hours last Thursday, then dominated the dance floor that night at the notorious Squid Roe bar. On Friday, fleet members chilled out at the Mango Deck restaurant within sight of the famous rock pinnacles which define the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. The event’s finale was a lighthearted awards ceremony hosted by the Ha-Ha’s longtime supporter, Cabo Marina. In addition to prizes for every boat in the fleet, special awards were presented for a variety of dubious distinctions such as Best Boat Bite, Extreme Snoring, Naked Sailing and more. Look for a complete recap report in the December edition of Latitude 38.

The most often-heard question in Cabo late last week was, “Who are all those people in the salmon-colored T-shirts?” Members of the Baja Ha-Ha class of ’08, of course.

©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The Baja Ha-Ha Rally Committee will go into hibernation until April. In the meantime, the answers to most questions relating to future events can be found at the official website.

Cat Burglar of La Paz

Tranquila, a Leopard 45, was stolen last Wednesday from Marina Palmira in La Paz.

Leopard Catamarans
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Both U.S. Coast Guard and Mexican Naval resources are searching for the Leopard 45 catamaran Tranquila, which was stolen from Marina Palmira around midnight last Wednesday.

Word around the docks is that a thief or thieves motored the boat out of the marina without nav lights, then returned a short time later to retrieve the boat’s dinghy and outboard, and headed out again. A cruiser in the marina is said to have recognized the thief as a worker on another boat in the marina. Local sources report that an American citizen named Leif William Lindstrom has been named a ‘person of interest’ in the case.

If you see Tranquila, please contact the authorities or marina.

Leopard Catamarans
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

If you see this boat, which is white with a brown stripe, please contact U.S. and Mexican authorities or the marina, (011-52-612-123-7000 or toll free (1-877-217-1513).

Death for Deleon

The same jury that found Skylar Deleon guilty of three murders — including those of cruisers Tom and Jackie Hawks — spent 10 hours last week deciding his fate: life in prison or death by lethal injection. In his opening statement during the trial last month, Deleon’s lawyer acknowledged his client’s guilt, hoping to prove during the penalty phase that the murders were a direct result of his unhappy childhood. The jury didn’t buy it — they recommended the death penalty.

The Hawkses’ son Ryan has attended every day of both trials — Deleon’s and his ex-wife’s, Jennifer Henderson, who received life without the possibility of parole — and there’s little doubt he will do the same for the trial of John Kennedy, the Long Beach gang member who was the alleged "muscle" during the Hawkses’ murder, which is scheduled to start in January.

Caribbean 600 Drawing Big Crowd

The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s inaugural RORC Caribbean 600 looks likely to get off to a good start. It will be even stronger if an anticipated first — a head-to-head battle between the two 100-ft super maxis, Mike Slade’s much modified Farr-designed Leopard and Alex Jackson’s Juan K-designed Virgin Money/Speedboat — comes to fruition.

Since the announcement earlier this year by the RORC and Antigua Yacht Club to hold the first-ever offshore race to circumnavigate the Caribbean Islands, interest in the race has been flooding in, according to the club. George David’s much-modified R/P 90 Rambler, winner of the 2007 Rolex Middle Sea Race, is joining the battle with Leopard and Speedboat. Peter Harrison’s 115-ft super yacht Sojana is a definite entry, and classic yachts such as the 155-ft schooner Windrose and J Class Velsheda are also probables.

The RORC Caribbean 600 Race starts on February 23 off Fort Charlotte outside English Harbour, Antigua. The 605-mile non-stop race around the Leeward Islands takes the fleet to the north, passing a mark off Barbuda, the islands of Nevis, Saba and St. Barths, to circle St. Martin before heading down to Guadeloupe as the most southerly point, then back up to a mark off Barbuda before returning to finish in Antigua. Entries close on February 5, and boats are encouraged to register their interest in the race by contacting the RORC. More info can be found on the new RORC Caribbean 600 mini-site here.

Shortly after the 7 a.m. start of Leg Three, chutes were popping all across the horizon.
Francis Joyon and his IDEC 2 just took 15 hours off the singlehanded Route of Discovery record from Cadiz to San Salvador via Grand Canary Island.
The Coast Guard and family of Bob Arvin are asking for help finding the 49-year-old sailor who left Honolulu on July 14 bound for San Diego aboard his Cape Dory 30 Ua Noa.
Apparently not all of our readers believe in being fair and balanced. In an email responding to Isabel Tifft’s request in Wednesday’s ‘Lectronic for more beefcake photos in the pages of Latitude 38, Captain Lewis Keizer of Moss Landing-based Ericson 27 Sandpiper says: "I don’t care for men’s butts.