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Baja Ha-Ha Progress Report

Day 3 of the 21st Baja Ha-Ha dawned with patchy clouds, as the 131-boat fleet approached Turtle Bay, 360 miles south of San Diego. Since the 11:00 a.m. start on Monday, winds have been uncharacteristically light, fluky, and frustrating, forcing every boat to switch on their engines at least occasionally. But the mild conditions have given first-timers a mellow introduction to offshore cruising, and everyone is getting plenty of sleep.

At this morning’s net, most boats reported sailing at least part of Day 2, yesterday, and last night, and many reported catching dorado, yellowtail, and other game fish.

The weather gurus at Commander’s Weather, a longtime sponsor, have alerted the fleet to a weather system developing south of Acapulco, which is expected to continue north toward Cabo, then arc toward Mazatlan on Monday or Tuesday. The system has not formed substantially enough to become a named storm, but it will be monitored closely nonetheless.

Meanwhile, fleet leaders are expected to arrive at Turtle Bay this evening — possibly in time to catch part of the final game of the World Series at the town’s main restaurant, the Vera Cruz. An all-generations’ baseball game is scheduled for Thursday, and a beach party on Friday. Barring threatening weather, the 240-mile Leg 2 to Bahia Santa Maria will begin Saturday morning. Stay tuned for additional updates.

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A GoPro selfie from current VOR leader Team Brunel. © 2014 Stefan Coppers / Team Brunel/Volvo Ocean Race The great thing about one-design racing is that the competition is tight – once you’re in the lead you know that no other boat is physically faster.
It’s a rare Baja Ha-Ha start when San Diego doesn’t serve up the sun the Mexico-bound cruisers are seeking on their southern migration, and this year was no exception.