October 20, 2014

Farr 40 Worlds Wrap-Up

The fun-loving crew of Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Australian-flagged Transfusion switched sports from sailing to halyard-skurfing in response to Friday’s conditions.

© John Navas

The fickle winds of October failed the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds on Friday, but many of the 19 crews made the best of the warm weather and long postponement that stretched out all afternoon. St. Francis Yacht Club hosted the championship October 15-18 on the Berkeley Circle.

Crew from Tony Pohl’s StFYC-based Twisted enjoyed Friday evening’s munchies and hosted bar back at the club. Left to right: OJ Olson, Alisa Hawkins, Dana Riley, Don Teakell, and Evelyn Hull.

©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Going into Saturday’s final day of racing, Alex Roepers’ Plenty, which won the Rolex Big Boat Series last month, had scored bullets in four out of six races, but Roepers said, "We don’t let up. We have a goal to win this regatta in particular."

The new Farr 40 world champion, Plenty, at a mark rounding on Saturday.

© 2014 Daniel Forster / Rolex

Even though the race committee had optimistically planned to fire off the first warning at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, they again had to wait for proper wind conditions. The Bay breeze finally showed up, and the seventh and final race of the series got underway at 3:00 in a 10-12-knot southwesterly. Plenty placed 10th, but it was enough to secure the victory with ten points to spare.

Let the celebration begin! Plenty’s skipper, Alex Roepers, and tactician, Terry Hutchinson, prepare to pop the bubbly.

© 2014 Kara Hugglestone

We’ll have more on this sometimes exciting, sometimes frustrating regatta in November’s Racing Sheet.

Kids Going Cruising

"We may be geese, headed south for the winter, or the Ha-Ha may just be the first leg of a very, very long vacation," say Tom & Kelly Miller of the Alameda-based Panda 40 Stochastic.  We’re guessing that their 10-year-old daughter Sophie would prefer the latter option. (Also pictured is canine crewman Monte Cristo.)

©2014Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Ever since the first Baja Ha-Ha in 1994, we’ve done our best to make sure that all activities of this now-famous San Diego-to-Cabo San Lucas rally are G-rated. That is, fun for the whole family. So it’s no wonder that every year a variety of parents use the event to introduce their kids to the joys and challenges of cruising. 

Not only will the two-week trip potentially introduce the young ‘swabs’ to watch-standing, marine life and a vibrant foreign culture, but they will likely make some new friends which will greatly enhance their enjoyment of future cruising. 

With this in mind, we encourage the ‘kid boats’ to design their own activities during the rest stops along the way. Surfing lessons and boat-to-boat trick-or-treating are two perennial favorites. 

The youngest kid on this year’s rally? That’s gotta be two-year-old Grace Walter of the Channel Islands-based Horstman trimaran Reprieve. Parents Nathan and Cindy say they’ll "slowly cruise the world as a family to enjoy our beautiful planet one ocean at a time." They don’t intend to return to the US for "at least 10 years."

©2014Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Here’s the kid contingent of Baja Ha-Ha XXI:

  • Seahorse / Wauquiez 42 Billy, 7, & Grace, 5 / Sidney, BC
  • Dirigo II Alden Schooner 72 Joe Woodard, 19, & Ian Allaway, 18 / Friday Harbor, WA
  • Velvet Sky Island Packet 38 / ‘Bucket’ Smith, 4 / Boise, ID
  • Intrepid Islander 36 ‘Cody’ 14, & ‘Alex’ Brill M 17/ San Francisco
  • Grinn Hunter 49 Jake  Mcdougall, 17 / Edmonton, AB
  • Lorien Panda 38 ‘JD’, 19, & ‘Jake’ Andrews, 10 / Bellingham, WA
  • Reprieve Horstman 38 tri / Grace Walter, 2 / Channel Islands
  • Mia Zoi / Beneteau 411 Mia, 10 & Zoe Papadakis, 8 / Seattle
  • Apropos Hans Christian 43 / Jacintha Shutt, 7 Seattle
  • Stochastic / Panda 40 Sophia Miller, 10 / Orlando, FL
  • Choisi / Kadey Krogen 55 trawler / Charlotte, 12 Frances Gebhard, 10 / Newport, RI
  • Entrophy II Ranger 33 ‘Thor’ Svendsen-Crumley, 4 / Bodega Bay
  • Pelagic / Hallberg Rassy 42 ‘Zander’, 11, Porter, 9, & Anakena Bradford, 5 / Portland, OR
  • Kandu Tayana V42 / Bryce Rigney, 13, & Trent Rigney, 11 / Ventura 
  • Family Circus / Lagoon 470 Mykaela Lewis, 20 with Tristan, 12, Lexi, 11 & Maia Tzortzis, 6 / San Francisco

One important note: If you plan to take your own kids or stepchildren cruising anywhere out of the country without both natural parents coming along, law requires that you obtain and carry with you a notarized letter of permission from the absent parent.

Last Minute Paperwork Advice

While right now cruising in Mexico may seem to be all about paperwork, this photo is more indicative of what it’s really like. Pictured are RotKat and Profligate at a little cove about 25 miles from La Paz. And you thought the calenques near Marseilles were cool.

©2014 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The 20th Ha-Ha starts in a week, but what if you still haven’t taken care of your paperwork? There are three options:

1. Wait to get your TIP and tourist visas in Mexico. While technically not legal, it’s the way everybody did it for the first 20 Ha-Ha’s. The law has changed, but we don’t believe anybody is going to bust your chops if you do it this way. As they say in Mexico, it’s easier to ask forgiveness than ask for permission. If you want to be safe, ‘forget’ that you stopped at Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria. By the way, you can only get a TIP (Temporary Import Permit) where there is a Banjercito, which means not Cabo, but rather Ensenada, La Paz, Mazatlan or Puerto Vallarta. If you go this route, you will not be the only ones.

2. Run down to Ensenada and get all your paperwork taken care of there in advance of the Ha-Ha. Check the hours that the offices are open and make sure you have all the stuff you need: boat documentation, copy of insurance, passport for all the crew, notarized letters if you are taking minors, etc. For what it’s worth, Ha-Ha participant Sherri Wilkinson is driving down to Ensenada on Tuesday to do her paperwork and may have a couple of spots open in her car. She’ll be leaving from Harbor Island West Marina at 9 a.m. You might email her at sherri007@mindspring.com to see if you has space. The Ha-Ha has nothing to do with this, we only mention it for information’s sake.

3. While it’s a little late, we think it’s still likely you can get a TIP and online tourist visas. The TIP is the thing you really need to super rush on, but in many cases they’ll be getting the document to you in four days. If nothing else, keep copies of your application. Showing good intent is important. Also show copies of applying for tourist visas if you don’t do that until Sunday night. Once again, showing good intent goes a long way.

Participants with minors report the Mexican online Crew List application form will not accept minors. Yes, another glitch with no online solution. One thing you could do is either lie about their age, then explain everything when you get to Immigration at Cabo. Or, you could not list the minors, then explain the problem in Cabo. As long as both parents are present, or the one parent has a notarized letter from the other parent giving permission to travel to Mexico, there shouldn’t be any problem.

Folks, both we and all the officials in Mexico know there are all kinds of mistakes, contradictions and impossibilities with the paperwork for Mexico. We cannot make these problems go away, only try to advise you based on our decades of experience in Mexico. The one thing that is certain is that there will have to be lots of paperwork corrections made to TIPs in Mexico and to tourist visas as well. It’s not the end of the world. The important thing to remember is to be very patient and smile a lot. And if you don’t get what you want from one clerk or officer, try another. You can’t believe how common it is for one official to quickly and simply take care of a problem that another official said was impossible to solve. It’s part of the charm of Mexico. 

Looking for something unusual to do on the water this weekend? Why not take part in the annual Petaluma River Festival, today through Sunday.