Baja Ha-Ha XXIV 2017 Cruisers Rally
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Baja Ha-Ha XXIV

About the Ha-Ha

If you’re new to the Baja Ha-Ha cruisers rally (from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas), you probably have a boatload of questions about it. We hope the following list of . . .

Frequenty Asked Questions

. . . will give you many of the answers you’ve been looking for.

Select a topic below or just scroll down for all the questions and answers.

Rally Dates
History
Distance
Stops
'Rally' vs. 'Race'
Goals
Partying
Eligible Boats
Powerboats
Radio Communications
Crew Requirements/Singlehanding
Boat Inspection
Sailing Conditions
Facilities & Services
Fuel Availablity

Entry Fee
How to Sign Up
Signing Up Now vs. Later
What You Get for Your Money
Rally Committee & Committee Boat
Other Important Dates
Updates

Q) When is the Baja Ha-Ha?
A) The event begins every year near the end of October. The 2017 dates will be October 29-November 11. The 29th is the Skipper’s Meeting and Kick-Off Party. The boats depart San Diego on the morning of October 30.

Q) How long has the Baja Ha-Ha been running, and how many boats have done it?
A) 2017’s event will be the 24th year in a row. As of 2016, roughly 3,000 boats had done the event, with more than 10,000 participants.

Q) What’s the total distance of the event?
A) Approximately 750 miles.

Q) Are there stops along the way?
A) Yes, two stops. The first at Turtle Bay aka Bahia Tortuga, and the second at Bahia Santa Maria. The event is timed so that even the slowest boats will get about a day and a half of rest at each stop.

Q) Why is is called a rally rather than a race?
A) Although some boats invariably push hard to arrive earlier than others in their class, most participants are primarily looking for a safe and comfortable trip down the coast. Unlike a race, you can use your engine when you feel like it. You can also go ‘off piste’, so to speak, as long as you inform the race committee. This means you can stop at whatever anchorages you like, and leave a little late or early. The Ha-Ha organizers don’t see their role as making a lot of rules, but as facilitating everyone’s responsible pleasure.

Q) What’s the primary goal of the Baja Ha-Ha?
A) The goals of the Ha-Ha are simple: for everyone to get to Cabo safely while enjoying some great sailing and making countless new sailing friends.

Q) Does the event involve a lot of heavy partying?
A) No. There are numerous social events, although none are mandatory. But if your goal is to get drunk, party into the wee hours, and shake your booty all the way down the Baja peninsula, the Ha-Ha is not for you. Sure, most folks have a beer or two and might do some dancing at the beach parties, the Ha-Ha has never been about wild and crazy behavior.

Q) What sort of boats can enter the Ha-Ha?
A) The event is open to all boats over 27 feet that were designed, built and have been maintained for open ocean sailing. If you’re not sure your boat fits that criteria, get a trip survey from a marine surveyor. Smaller boats can enter with the specific approval of the Grand Poobah.

Q) Can powerboats enter the event?
A) Yes, powerboats are also welcome.

Q) What communication devices are required?
A) As of this year, all Ha-Ha boats must be capable of reliable long distance two-way communication. For many cruisers, particularly those who want to participate and listen to all the roll calls, this will mean a reliable SSB radio. For those on budgets, a two-way communication device such as a Garmin InReach, an Iridium Go!, or an Iridium sat phone set up to send and receive email, will suffice.

Q) What are the crew requirements? Is singlehanding allowed?
A) All Ha-Ha entries must have a minimum of two crew with overnight offshore experience, so singlehanding is not allowed. While a lot of couples doublehand, the Ha-Ha covers a pretty good distance in a relatively short period of time, so you’ll probably enjoy the sailing and the R&R stops more if you’ve got at least four competent crew on your boat. But such decisions are yours alone, not the Rally Committee’s.

Q) Does the Rally Committee inspect entered boats?
A) No. The Committee does not do inspections. It’s the responsibility of each owner/skipper to make sure his boat is safe and equipped according to the Ha-Ha requirements.

Q) What are the typical sailing conditions?
A) There are three legs in each Ha-Ha, so there have been 69 legs to date. Of those 69 legs, only two of them have been upwind. Indeed, the typical Ha-Ha conditions are light-to-moderate following winds with small-to-moderate seas. But the Pacific Ocean is not a controlled environment, so while conditions are generally benign, you nonetheless must be prepared for the possibility of heavy weather. Commanders Weather, which does forecasting for many of the best racing boats in the world, will provide forecasts which will be passed along during the roll call each morning. But remember, a forecast is a prediction, not a guarantee.

Q) What sort of facilities and services can be found along the way?
A) The two stops along the way are Turtle Bay, a dusty but charming fishing village far off the main road, and primitive Bahia Santa Maria, which is truly out in the middle of nowhere. The former has a couple of small tiendas, a few low-capacity restaurants, an internet cafe, and usually some diesel. It does not have ATMs, banks, McDonalds, boatyards or spas. Bahia Santa Maria has nothing — except a restaurant that magically appears one day a year, along with a rock ‘n roll band, just for the Ha-Ha. You need to be pretty self-sufficient from San Diego to Cabo. Many of the Ha-Ha's sponsors offer services in either California or Mexico.

Q) Can I buy fuel along the way?
A) It’s almost always available at Turtle Bay. If you need some in Bahia Santa Maria, you’ll have to get it from other cruisers.

Q) How much is the entry fee?
A) The entry fee is $375 per boat. (However, if you are under 35, or your boat is under 35 feet, we offer a discounted rate of $325.) These rates are only about 25% of the cost of similar two-week rallies elsewhere in the States and around the world.

Q) How do I sign up?
A) Registration for the 2017 rally opens on this website on May 9 at noon. Entry packets will be mailed out in June, containing important rally information, special offers from the events sponsors, and your official Ha-Ha burgee. There is no in-person sign-up.

Q) Is there any reason to sign up early, rather than waiting until the last minute?
A) One very good reason to sign up early is that berths in Cabo are assigned based on the order that boats signed up for the event. This may not seem like much now, but when your key crewmembers have been without a luxurious shower for 10 days, and your boat needs a washing and her tanks filled, the demand for slips goes way up.

Q) What do I get for my entry fee?
A) The number one thing you get for your entry fee is the opportunity, not a guarantee, to have a great time on the ocean with a great group of people. Secondly, participants can more than completely offset the entry fee by taking advantage of numerous Ha-Ha discounts on gear and berthing in California and Mexico. Many of the major marinas in Mexico have representatives at the Kick-Off Party.

Entrants also get swag bags with things like hats, shirts, sunglasses, frisbees, beach balls, mini-bio of the fleet, and more.

The captain and first mate get entry, food and drink at the Costume Kick-Off Party in San Diego. Everyone gets free entry to the beach parties in Turtle Bay, Bahia Santa Maria and Cabo San Lucas, and the legendary Cruiser’s Baseball Game in Turtle Bay.

Q) Will there be a Committee Boat within the fleet?
A) Yes, the Wanderer/Grand Poobah’s 63-ft catamaran Profligate will be the mothership once again, with the Wanderer serving as the Grand Poobah, and Doña de Mallorca as the Chief of Security. The mothership has over 40 trips along the Baja coast to her credit, and crewmembers on the mothership have well over 100 Ha-Ha’s to their collective credit.

Q) Are there key dates I should be aware of?
A) Please look over the 2017 schedule of Important Dates.

Q) Where can I check for event updates?
A) Check the Sightings section of Latitude 38 magazine, and the ‘Lectronic Latitude postings at www.latitude38.com. The entire magazine can be downloaded each month for free from the site.

Baja Ha-Ha, LLC

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Los Angeles, CA 90013

Please note: This is a mailing address only.


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