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Kids Rule for Baja Ha-Ha XXVII Rally to Mexico

The number of vessels signed up for the 27th Baja Ha-Ha now stands at 166. If each boat has at least two people — skipper and crew — that would be 332 people. But, realistically, the Ha-Ha is so much fun that most boats will carry more than two. And then there are the crews that are made up of kids. To date, there are 25 kids signed up to sail to Mexico. (Some of us now have childhood envy.)

Baja Ha-Ha news
Gabriela Forsman is one very relaxed-looking sailor.
© 2021 Baja Ha-Ha

Is 7-year-old Gabriela Forsman of the Hunter legend 37 Endeavor a little cutie or what?

She’s one of 25 kids, along with her 6-year-old brother Zacharias, whose parents have signed up for the November 1 Baja Ha-Ha. And there will probably be more.

The breakdown is 14 boys and 11 girls. Four are under 6. Five are 6. Two are 7. Two are 8. Two are 9. Two are 10. Two are 12. One is 13. Two are 14. One is 15. And two are 16. That’s quite a mix.

Four of the kids are Ha-Ha vets, reports Assistant Poobah Patsy ‘La Reina del Mar’ Verhoeven of the Gulfstar 50 Talion. They are brothers Elliot, 12, and Finley, 8, of the Hunter Passage 42 Dakota, who did the Ha-Ha in 2016, and brothers Benjamin, 14, and Leo, 12, of the Hylas 44 Velella, who also did it in 2016.

Unless the parents of any ‘kid boats’ want to opt out, in September we’ll be sharing the email addresses of all kid boats with all other kid boats, with names, ages, and genders of the kids. Hopefully, the kids can meet up before the start of the event. Maybe set up their own VHF radio net.

In that email, we’ll also share the email address of Chad, Michelle, Teagan (11), and Kellyn (9) French of the yacht Tulum V. They did the Ha-Ha in 2019 and have been full-time cruisers in the Sea of Cortez ever since. While they are not official spokespeople for the Ha-Ha, they will be happy to share their personal opinions on cruising with kids in Mexico.

Six-year-old Zacharias Forsman loves the speed.
© 2021 Baja Ha-Ha

Now you’ve seen the photo of adorable Gabriela, you will want to see her brother. So here’s a shot of the handsome and fearless young speed enthusiast, Zacharias. He’s 6 years old and already holds a 200-ton Master’s ticket. Yes, the Hunter 37 Endeavor appears to be in good hands. Mom and Dad can sleep all the way to Cabo.

Capt. Steve (far right) and Ella, Mia, Noah and Lana. The lady on the left is either Steve’s wife or his cousin.
© 2021 Baja Ha-Ha

Capt. Steve of the Hunter 45 Kastaway signed up with his four kids. They are Ella, 16; Mia, 14; Noah, 12; and Lana, 11. We know that’s Steve in the far right of the photo, but we’re not sure about the woman on the left. We assume that’s Steve’s wife. But we’re not sure, because it’s Steve’s cousin Melissa who will be sailing south with Steve and the kids. Once they get to Mexico, Steve’s wife will join the family, along with Melissa’s husband and her mother.

The Birnie kids: Isla, Margaret, and Patrick will be aboard Nike.
© 2021 Baja Ha-Ha

Check out the Birnie kids: Isla, 9; Margaret, 6; and Patrick, 2. They’ll be doing the Ha-Ha with their parents Robert and Dorothy aboard their Maple Leaf 48 Nike. It was three years ago that Robert and Dorothy decided they needed a sabbatical from work to spend time with the kids. “After all,” says the now 35-year-old Robert, “I had been at the same job for the kids’ entire lives, and when I blinked, Isla was already 8.”

The Poobah thinks home schooling on a boat is almost always an excellent option for kids, and never more so than now, with the COVID mess and uncertainty.

The Poobah is eager to meet all the Ha-Ha kids — although young Patrick looks as if he could be a little terror.

With so many kids expected to do the Ha-Ha this year, the Grand Poobah is thinking he may have to reinstate the Ha-Ha Kids’ Diving off the Back Beam of Profligate Olympics once again. Cannonball!

This year’s Ha-Ha is shaping up to be an outstanding adventure.
© 2021 Baja Ha-Ha

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