September 14, 2016

Ha-Ha 23 Entry Deadline Tomorrow

What’s the secret to catching awesome sunrise shots like this one? It helps to have a telephoto lens, but most importantly, you need to throw off your docklines and head south.

©Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The mind-numbing pace of modern urban living leaves many people wishing there were more hours in the day. That’s especially true when it comes to fitting out a boat for cruising south of the border. So every year, there’s a segment of would-be entrants in our annual Baja Ha-Ha rally who put off signing up until just before the September 15 deadline (midnight tomorrow) because they’re not sure they can get their boat and themselves ready in time for the San Diego start of Leg One — which falls on Halloween this year. 

In fact, since we sat down to write up this deadline reminder, three new entries have joined the fleet for the 750-mile San Diego-to-Cabo San Lucas rally. The first was Adios, a vintage Oregon-based Columbia 43 owned by Craig Shaw, who is a veteran of many previous Ha-Ha rallies. The second entry this morning is also Oregon-based: Laurin Dodd’s Tayana 37 Second Wind. This morning’s third entry is Alex Cartwright’s San Francisco-based Beneteau First 45 Fields of Gold

Within the fleet of 600 like-minded sailors, you can’t help making some new friends. Pictured here, Ha-Ha’ers swap cruising tales at Bahia Santa Marina. 

©2016Latitude 38 Media, LLC

We’d bet that all three of these captains came to the same realization at some point: that is, that sailors never really get to the bottom of their To Do Lists. The fact is, at some point — even if you’re not completely ready — you’ll have to accept the compromise that you are ‘ready enough’, otherwise you might never throw off your docklines.

So what do you say? Is this your year to Ha-Ha? With 161 boats signed up — make that 164 — it promises to be a memorable cruise to the Cape. See the official website to sign up or see full details of this year’s rally.

Young Sailors Chime in

Last week we published a shout-out to young sailors in an effort to learn about their sailing habits, how they got started, and how we can do a better job of entertaining them in the pages of Latitude 38

After our previous shout out, Santa Cruz sailor Hilary Walecka wrote in to tell us about our colorful sailing history. In addition to racing, one of her favorite ways to enjoy sailing is to head out onto the Monterey Bay with friends and watch the sun set. 

© Hilary Walecka

So far, we’ve received a boatload of insightful comments and sailing photos, but we’d love to hear from more of you. So below is our quickie survey again. We greatly appreciate your input.

If you are under 40 and enjoy sailing in West Coast waters, please take a minute to tell us about your sailing style:

• What sort of boat do you normally sail (brand and length)?
• Do you normally sail your own boat or crew for others?
• If you own your own boat, roughly how much did you pay for it? (__<$10,000; __$10k-$30k; __$31-$60k; __>$60k)
• What sort of sailing do you normally do (racing, daysailing, cruising)?
• What is your dream boat?
• How did you learn to sail (sailing school, parents, friends, self-taught)?
• What events or destinations are on your sailing bucket list?
• What aspects of sailing or the sailing lifestyle would you like to see us cover more in Latitude 38 and ‘Lectronic Latitude?

While you’re at it, we’d love to receive a few of your favorite photos of yourself and friends enjoying the sailing lifestyle. Many thanks. We’ll see you out there.

A Peek at the Paralympics

Paralympic sailors are just like us — they mill about as the ‘cat in the hat’ flies from the startline boat, indicating a postponement.

© Will Ricketson / US Sailing

All three sailing classes in the Paralympics were deviled by light air on the second day, yesterday, in Rio. After being cleared to launch shortly after 2:00 p.m., each class attempted one race. The Sonars and SKUD-18s completed each their race, but the 2.4mR contest was canceled midway through due to lack of wind.

At the age of 18, UCSB student and athlete Ryan Porteous slipped on a boat dock and broke his neck. After rehab, he teamed up with gold medalist Maureen McKinnon, who took up sailing as an adult, originally racing in the Sonar class.

© Will Ricketson / US Sailing

On the SKUD-18 course, first-time Paralympian Ryan Porteous of San Diego and Beijing 2008 gold medalist Maureen McKinnon found themselves gliding across glassy waters in the two-person keelboat. "We had a really nice spot on the starting line, but everyone to the right of us just lifted away," said Porteous, a physics student at UC Santa Barbara. Porteous and McKinnon finished that race sixth, and stand in fifth place overall. The Australian team of Daniel Fitzgibbon and Liesl Tesch leads the class.

A career professional, Dee Smith now sails the diminutive 2.4-meter singlehanded Paralympic boat.

© Will Ricketson / US Sailing

Monday’s racing fared better, with 10 knots of breeze. Former Marinite Dee Smith won the second race and finished the day in third place. After today’s first race, Smith sits in sixth place overall, with gold medalist Helena Lucas of the UK topping the leaderboard. Lucas won gold in the 2.4mR in the 2012 Paralympics.

Competition in the three-person Sonars.

© Will Ricketson / US Sailing

The American Sonar sailors, Alphonsus Doerr, Hugh Freund and Bradley Kendell, are in fifth place after four races, with the Aussies (Colin Harrison, Russell Boaden and Jonathan Harris) leading the 11-boat field.

Three races are planned for today. The calendar calls for competition to continue through Saturday, with medals to be awarded that day. The full schedule of races and a viewing guide are available here. Unfortunately, NBC is not planning any live coverage of the sailing events, and recap programming is still a question mark, but fans can follow the races via live tracker and check the results here.

Petra Svehlove, one of the crew on Profligate, leads the 95 Ta-Ta participants in the conga line of life, a Ta-Ta tradition, before dinner at the Santa Barbara YC.  latitude/Richard
©2016Latitude 38 Media, LLC If you’re going to kick off a weeklong cruising event in Southern California with a dinner, could there be a better place than on the beach directly below the Santa Barbara YC?
The Japanese and Swedish teams sailed within inches of each other at Toulon, France, this weekend — we presume this edgy shot was taken during prestart maneuvers.
About that expired-flare collection drive we announced recently. . . Enough already! You may recall we requested that recently expired marine flares of all types be dropped off at our Mill Valley offices, explaining that they would be used in Mexico by prospective boat captains during training classes.  We want to thank the many Latitude readers who dropped off flares with recent use-by dates, as requested.