Sailing Documentary Depicting the Baja Ha-Ha Sailing Regatta to Debut at the Seattle Boat Show

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"Gales, Whales and the Baja Ha-Ha" is a 45 minute sailing documentary video depicting the preparation and events during the 2009 Baja Ha-Ha sailing regatta which takes place each year in the fall where sailors race from San Diego, California to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

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"Gales, Whales and the Baja Ha-Ha" is the first sailing documentary to be released which depicts the sailing adventures of cruisers who participate in the Baja Ha-Ha cruiser's rally. The 45-minute documentary will make its public debut at the Seattle Boat Show, which takes place in Seattle, Washington from January 29 to February 8, 2010. The show is the largest boating event on the West coast.

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.

Sailors who contemplate on cruising down the Baja coast of Mexico or participating in a future Baja Ha-Ha event will get an idea of what to expect along the way - a combination of cruising, racing, potlucks, games and partying - culminating with a "From Here to Eternity" kissing contest on the beach in Cabo. The video depicts life aboard a 1977 Islander 36, "Freedom Won" as it races to the cape. Steve Szirom, the director/producer of the documentary, was a crewmember aboard the vessel. He noted "the Baja Ha-Ha rally is a good venue to begin a longer-term cruise as the Mexican Baja coast line offers many anchorage opportunities to duck in to wait out bad weather and the camaraderie among sailors in the fleet offers first-time cruisers some comfort from the group cruise knowing help is nearby." Szirom added "while help is usually at hand from the cruising community, the vessels and crew need be prepared and ready for blue water, open ocean sailing conditions."

The annual event, founded by Latitude 38 magazine 16 years ago, set a record for the number of boats registered in the class of 2009. On October 26, 2009, 165 boats and 601 sailors participated (crossed the starting line) and 150 vessels arrived at the finish line in Cabo San Lucas by November 5. The event ended with an evening awards ceremony at the Marina Cabo San Lucas on November 7.

The musically rich video was filmed in HD video format and features the trop rock music of Dave Calhoun and Gene Mitchell. "Gales, Whales and the Baja Ha-Ha" will be screened at the Seattle Boat Show in Seattle, Washington. Screening times are Sunday January 31, 2010 at 3:15PM and February 3, 2010 at 5:15PM in the 'Red' seminar room.

The trailer of the sailing documentary can be viewed online at the Oyster Yachting website:

or on YouTube:

About Oyster Yachting:

Oyster Yachting, a division of HTE Research, Inc., offers marketing and business development services to the marine and boating industry as well as charter, boat delivery, and educational services to the sailing community. The website focuses on the sailing community dedicated to cruising vessels, destinations and safe voyages. In addition to original full-length sailing videos, the website will feature resources for the cruising community and provide insight on the business trends in the boating industry. Steve Szirom, the founder of HTE Research, Inc., has an active US Coast Guard Master's license (Near Coastal) with sailing and towing endorsements. He is a graduate of Purdue University with a BSEE degree and is active in the sailing community.


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