Gales, Whales and the Baja Ha-Ha
Genre: Sailing documentary
Format: HD Video
Length: 56 minutes
"Gales, Whales and the Baja Ha-Ha" is a sailing documentary video depicting the events surrounding the Baja Ha-Ha XVI (Oct. 25-Nov. 7, 2009).
The film follows the 750-mile course of Baja Ha-Ha race to the cape, which begins in San Diego, California and ends in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. With normal scheduled stops in Bahia Tortugas (Turtle Bay) and Bahia Santa Maria, the fleet gets in some rest and partying at the layovers. The class of 2009, which was the setting of the documentary, experienced unusual circumstances. Leg one of the race got underway in mild conditions but forecasted bad weather hit the sailors on the second and third day as winds of 25+ knots and waves topping 25 feet hit the fleet. In addition to the gale conditions, a rare close encounter with whales caused the sinking of one of the vessels, a J/120 sailboat. The video includes a segment of the actual Coast Guard footage from the helicopter showing the rescue of the five-person crew who drifted at sea for four hours in their life raft.
The film provides tips on how to prepare for the cruise, what works, and what to expect along the way. The video depicts life aboard a 1977 Islander 36, "Freedom Won" as it races to the cape.
The annual event, founded by Latitude 38 magazine, set a record for the number of boats registered. In the class of 2009, 165 boats and 601 sailors participated (crossed the starting line).
The musically rich video was filmed in HD format and features the trop rock music of Dave Calhoun and Gene Mitchell.
(Release Date: 4/15/2010)