It’s been just under two weeks since entries were first accepted for the 2019 Baja Ha-Ha, and the Grand Poobah is pleased to report that the number of paid entries has reached 93. Based on the experience of recent years, he expects the total number of entries to be in the 150 range, with about 135 actual starters. To see a complete list of current entries, visit www.baja-haha.com.
The most surprising thing so far is the low number of multihulls. In most previous years there would be a total of 12 to 15 entries when all was said and done, but last year the number exploded to 25. With only seven entered so far, it’s likely there will be between 12 and 15 again this year.
As mentioned in a previous post, the largest entry so far is also the largest Ha-Ha entry ever, Rick Jakaus’ Frers 111-ft Cygnus Montanus from Stockholm, Sweden. Rick and crew did the 2012 Ha-Ha with his Swan 77, and reports that he and his crew had so much fun that they wanted to do it again. He was concerned that his boat might be too big, but we assured him that it wasn’t a problem.
The smallest entry so far is Baron Weller’s San Francisco-based Aries 32 double-ender Sans Souci. Except in cases of special dispensation, all entries must be at least 27 feet long and been designed, built, and maintained for offshore sailing.
The average boat length so far is once again about 43-ft.
Some folks have wondered if there really is “safety but also support in Ha-Ha numbers.” We just happened to come across some photographic evidence of such support from the 2016 Ha-Ha. Just before the start of the 175-mile third leg from Bahia Santa Maria to Cabo San Lucas, David Woboril and Eileen Dirner of the Solaris Sunstar 36 Striker discovered that both their engines were down, and the forecast was for very light winds.
When Scott Doran and Laurie Ritchie of the Sidney, B.C.-based Lagoon 400 Muskoka heard about this, they insisted they tow Striker all the way to Cabo San Lucas. Which, as the accompanying photograph proves, they did.
Scott, who had previously proved instrumental in repairing a cone clutch on the Ha-Ha mothership Profligate while in Turtle Bay, and Laurie later sailed across the Pacific to New Zealand. Scott is now singlehanding in Tonga. We saw David and Eileen in Mexico a few months ago, Striker’s engines all repaired.
There actually is a danger in joining the Ha-Ha — the danger of catching the cruising bug really good. While in the Caribbean recently, we ran into Thor and Tanya Temme, who had done a Ha-Ha in 2006, before taking a break to raise a family. A few weeks after we saw them, Thor and son Tristan took off across the Atlantic aboard the family’s Aikane 56 catamaran Manu Tera.
And just the other day we learned that Ha-Ha vets Greg and Debbie Dorland abandoned a trip from St. Martin to Bermuda after 24 hours to, what the hell, sail back to the Med instead of up to New England. This would be their third trip across the Atlantic, and something like their fifth year in the Med aboard their Catana 52 Escapade.
We could go on and on and on about Ha-Ha vets who have crossed the Atlantic, crossed the Pacific, or gone around the world. But you get an idea of how addictive cruising can be. Many of these folks reported that the Ha-Ha worked for them both as a drop-dead-cast-off date and/or as a beginner course in cruising.
If you think you might be interested in doing the Ha-Ha, Notice of the Rally and entry details can be found at www.baja-haha.com. We sure hope that you’ll join us and become part of sailing history. The dates of the 26th Annual Baja Ha-Ha are November 3-16. We hope to see you there.