The Grand Poobah of the Baja Ha-Ha is more than a little chuffed that this year’s event has received more than 90 paid entries since sign-ups started just three weeks ago. For those new to sailing, the Baja Ha-Ha is the cruiser rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas with stops at Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria. It’s open to boats that were designed, built and have been maintained for open-ocean sailing. This year’s two-week event leaves San Diego on October 31, Halloween.
So far, the biggest boat registered is Vernon and Teresa Brickey’s Long Beach-based Andrews 56 Encore. Almost as big are Jeff Sutton’s San Diego-based Pearson 530 Bella Vita and Serendipity, Jonathan and Rebecca Mote’s Corona del Mar-based Jeanneau 529. The Motes doublehanded the Ha-Ha last year, sailing the entire course despite their dog’s periodic objections to waiting for the wind to come up. Following the event, Jonathan and Rebecca promised the Poobah they would be back this year with a bigger boat, and they are keeping that promise.
Others in the 50+ range include Tod and Donna Bowman’s Carlsbad-based Hudson Force 50 Single D, Tom Measles’ Ventura-based Kettenberg 50 woodie Cut to Heal, and Dean and Roxanne Sutherland’s Vancouver, WA-based Ocean Alexander 50 Classico Endearing, one of several motoryachts that have already signed up. Although she’s in the South Pacific with her boat right now, Patsy ‘La Reina del Mar’ Verhoeven will be back with her Gulfstar 50 Talion for what we think will be her 10th straight Ha-Ha. Like the Motes, Patsy believes in sailing the entire course.
On the other end of the scale, Steve and Linda Beu’s Catalina 28 Sweet Dream is the smallest boat entered so far. Only slightly larger are Matthew Miller’s Long Beach-based Ericson 29 Vital Spark and JR Rousseve’s Ventura-based Cal 2-30 Good Vibrations. Unless the Ha-Ha grants special dispensation, the minimum length for an entry is 27 feet. Last year a 20-footer was permitted to enter because the skipper was so experienced.
So far this year’s multihull fleet is relatively small, with only four cats in addition to the mothership, Latitude’s 63-ft cat Profligate. The other cats are Michael and Lisa Britt’s New Mexico-based Catana 471 Footloose, Argan Johnson Jr’s Long Beach-based Lagoon 400 Mai Tai II, Dennis and Brandy Kelly’s Texas-based Lagoon 380 Ankyrios, and James Corsini’s Discovery Bay-based Manta 42 Journey.
For the last 10 years or so, the average-length boat in the Ha-Ha has held steady at about 43.5 feet.
So far four registered boats are listed as having female owner/skippers. In addition to the previously mentioned La Reina del Mar, they are Nancy Morrison with the Santa Cruz-based Catalina 42 MkII Aldabra, Melody Kanschat with the Marina del Rey-based C&C 40 Harmony, and Suzanne Patrick of the Emeryville-based Jeanneau 45 Sun Odyssey Poppy. If the first-time female owners would like, we’re sure that Patsy Verhoeven would be happy to sit down and answer any questions they might have from a woman’s point of view.
This will be the Grand Poobah’s 22nd Baja Ha-Ha, and he looks forward to meeting each and every one of you, as well as all future Ha-Ha entries.
Wainui / Cal 48 / Mark Coleman & Stephanie York / Ventura
Talion / Gulfstar 50 / Patsy Verhoeven / Portland/La Paz
Serendipity / Jeanneau 529 / Jonathan and Rebecca Mote / Corona del Mar
Footloose / Catana 471 / Michael and Lisa Britt / Roy, NM
Utopias / Sceptre 41 / Roland & Brenda Guy / Walnut Grove
Second Wind / Cal 35 MkII / Richard Osborne / Vicksburg, MS
Childs Play / Cal 35 / Kyle Rogers / Santa Barbara
Lorelei / Catalina 36 MkII / Jesse Magness & Sandy Browder / Oceanside
Victoria / Jeanneau 409 / John Irwin / Marina Del Rey
Day Dream / J/122 / Robert Day / Newport Beach
Nellie Jo / Westsail 32 / James & Deena Mitchell / Long Beach
Aeolian / Sceptre 41 / Gerald & Jane McNaboe / Long Beach
Encore / Andrews 56 / Vernon & Teresa Brickey / Long Beach
Dolce / Cape Dory 33 / Tony Bishop & Diane Grieman / San Francisco
Aldabra / Catalina 42 MkII / Nancy Morrison / Santa Cruz
Mai Tai II / Lagoon 400 / Argan Johnson, Jr. / Long Beach
Northwest Passage / Baltic 42DP / Tim & Donna Melville / Gabriola Island, B.C.
Ankyrios / Lagoon 380 / Dennis & Brandy Kelly / Trinity, TX
Aiya / Hunter 450 / Larry & Christine Jenks / Portland, OR
Bella Vita / Pearson 530 / Jeff Sutton / San Diego
Kailani / Pacific Seacraft 34 / John Gannon / Anacortes, WA
Single-D / Hudson Force 50 / Tod & Donna Bowman / Carlsbad
Wind Horse / Islander Freeport 41 / Dennis Patterson & Vickie Reed / Napa
Eagle Rae / Bavaria Vision 46 / Mike & Lori Wingert / Sausalito
Sunset Woman / Hunter 31 / Bruce Barton / Chula Vista
SPICA / Catalina 36 / Tim & Anne Mueller / San Diego
Tranquilo / Catalina 445 / Lloyd Clauss / Ensenada, MEX
Harmony / C&C 40 / Melody Kanschat / Marina del Rey
Journey / Manta 42 / James Corsini / Discovery Bay
All Day / Dufour 44 / Vlad Vassiliouk / Alameda
BOBB / Taswell 43 / Ed Lehmer / Richmond
Circadian / Salar 40 / George Phillips / Ventura
Sweet Dream / Catalina 28 / Steve & Linda Beu / San Diego
Strange Bird / Tartan 3700 / Mark Rossman / Ventura
Kea / Norwest 33 / Erik Holback / San Francisco
Little Haste II / Island Trader 37 / Kevin Winfield & Rose Marie Battaglia / Morro Bay
Respite / Beneteau Oceanis 390 / Chris & Janet Wenderoth / Tacoma, WA
Cut to Heal / Kettenberg 50 / Tom Measles / Ventura
Empyrean / Mariner Mayflower 48 / Tom & Shelly Wada / Long Beach
Mysticeti / Westsail 42 / Julianna & John Steveley / Port Ludlow, WA
Prana / Hunter 45cc / Thormanby Island LLC / San Diego
Lyndsey / Stamas 44 / Thorne Butler & Debbie Schubert / Alameda
M / Catalina 42 MkII / John & Margaret Stienstra / Danville
Spartan / Ericson 35-2 / Alex Verkhovskiy / Vancouver, BC
No Ties / Jeanneau DS 49 / Cary & Robin Spencer / Marina del Rey
Fixin To / Hylas 44 / James & Sharon MacIntosh / San Francisco
Constellation / Wylie 33 custom / James Malloy / Richmond
Sail a Vie / Ericson 35 MkII / Phil MacFarlane / Redwood City
Essencia / Islander 36 / Kim & Claudia Peterson / Anchorage, AK
Coaster / Beneteau Oceanis 37 / Thomas Wallick & Linda Jett / San Diego
Slainte / Alajuela 38 / Joe & Cathy Kiernan / Kingston, WA
Natural High / Vagabond 47 / Jeff & Cathy Shelton / Zephyr Cove, NV
Me Too / Catalina 42 / Clayton & Jill Corbin / Coronado
Onaventure / Hunter 41 DS / Richard & Donna Coulombe / Los Angeles
Celebration / Union 36 / Richard & Martha Carr / Los Angeles
Waypoint / Wauquiez Centurion 32 / Michael Guerra & Terry Handshoe / San Diego
Sophia / Claire Hunter 450 / Gregory Beu & Pamela Maher / San Diego
Epiphany / Jeanneau 45.2 / George Durden / Marina del Rey
Mojo / Jeanneau 36i / David Kramer / Santa Barbara
La Ballona / Beneteau 393 / Dan & Suzy Taylor / San Diego
Wind Rose / Catalina 470 / Steven Roberts / San Francisco
Good Vibrations / Cal 2-30 / JR Rousseve / Ventura
Maria Annette / Beneteau Oceanis 473 / Walter & Maria Yolanda Buchanan / San Diego
Dakota / Hunter 42 / Christina & Ryan Dixon / San Mateo
Ebenezer lll / Catalina 36 / Richard Schaper / Sausalito
Anduril / Farr 395 / Greg Harms / Vancouver, BC
Gadabout / Tayana 48 DS / Arthur “Wags” & Paula Wagner / Anacortes, WA
Wavelength / Beneteau 46 / Sandy & Bill Schwartz / Portland, OR
Bella Vita / Beneteau 43 / Mauro & Dianne Calvi / Sausalito
Sky Blue Eyes / Hunter 49 / Karl Esrason & Julie Winn / Channel Islands
Dreamweaver / Custom Trawler 39 / Ken & Dottie Saville / San Diego
Poppy / Jeanneau 45 / Suzanne Patrick / Emeryville
Velella / Hylas 44 / Chad Walsh & Katrin Spirig / Alameda
Rubicon / Cheoy Lee 47.8 / Don McCarthy / Newport Beach
New Moon / Catalina 42 MkII / Geerard Kosten / Marina del Rey
White Bear / Panda 38 / Howard Reeder / Victoria, BC
Nomad / Jeanneau SO 49 / Howard & Pam Bean / Anacortes, WA
Vanishing Girl / Beneteau First 40 / Paul Martson / Ventura
Paradisea / Island Packet 40 / Robert Linden & Maureen Orr / Alamosa, CO
Volante III / Cal 2-46 / Anthony Kubis / Long Beach
Vital Spark / Ericson 29 / Matthew Miller / Long Beach
Top Cider / Kelly Peterson 44 / Chuck Podlich / Orondo, WA
Passing Wind / Hunter Passage 42 / Shawn Goit / Oceanside
De Vrijheid / Beneteau 423 / Johan Feldbusch & Barbara Baumann / Marina del Rey
Kingfisher / Sabre 426 / Jerry Keefe & Allison Lehman / Pt. Richmond
Canta Libre / Islander Freeport 41 / Lance & Jan St Pierre / Channel Islands
Boo’s Blue / Cavalier 39 / Jim & Jeannette Drake / San Francisco
Sonamara / Island Packet 420 / Louis & Patrice Haggerty / Brisbane
Interlude / Catalina 36 MkII / Mike Joyce / Bellingham, WA
Endearing / Ocean Alexander 50 / Dean & Roxane Sutherland / Vancouver, WA
Mariah / Morgan O/I 41 / Trish & John Billings / San Diego
He did it! On the 204th day after setting sail from Ecuador’s Bahia Caraquez, Washington-based singlehander Jeff Hartjoy completed his nonstop lap around the planet Sunday aboard his Baba 40 ketch, Sailors Run. Having missed the high tide, he wasn’t able to cross the bar that protects the bay, and was forced to anchor outside in an open roadstead.
"That didn’t stop Debbie [his wife] from getting a panga and bringing me out not only one of the greatest hugs and kisses I have ever gotten, but she had fried chicken, fries and rum, not to mention some very-much-needed gallons of fresh, clean drinking water. This all put a nice ending to a colossal voyage, and yet another night just short of the safety of a protected harbor."
Many armchair adventurers have been following Jeff’s progress via his website and Latitude 38 updates. Look for more in June’s Sightings on the final days of Jeff’s epic journey, which ultimately earned him distinction as the oldest American to singlehand nonstop via the Five Great Capes.
Following a stopover in Seattle, the West Coast leg of the Clipper Round the World Race started on April 30 at the entrance of the Strait of Juan de Fuca in 15 knots of breeze from the west. The fleet of 12 Clipper 70s spent the first three weeks of May racing down the coast in the PSP Logistics Panama Cup. They made it offshore of San Francisco Bay in a matter of about four days.
On Friday the 13th, Visit Seattle won the ocean sprint off Acapulco, breaking the record. The team had taken the most westerly route of the fleet. Ocean sprints count for bonus points toward the overall standings.
On May 19, the race committee shortened course, announcing that the race would finish off Punta Remedios, El Salvador, as wind conditions lightened in the doldrums. LMAX Exchange (the overall race leader), ClipperTelemed+ and Unicef claimed the podium positions, in that order.
As the teams are all now motoring in the scorching tropical heat, it’s important that they give their engines a rest, allowing them to cool and for maintenance checks. The crews have been taking advantage of the breaks in motoring to cool themselves off as well, and traveling in groups of four has become a social occasion. "Another long, hot day was punctuated at lunchtime with a communal swim," writes GREAT Britain crew Simon Rosbottom. "All four boats dropped their mainsails, shut off their engines and drifted southeastwards for a couple of hours whilst the crew jumped over the side and swam in 2,500 metres of water."
The fleet is now in the process of fueling up in Banana Bay Marina, Costa Rica, in preparation for their transit of the Panama Canal. The boats will transit in groups of three and rendezvous at Shelter Bay Marina before motorsailing offshore for the start of the race up the East Coast.
Like the America’s Cup World Series before them, the Clipper Race will visit New York next. Race 11 from Panama to New York is due to start on May 30. To read more about the New Yorik stopover, click here.