By Barbara Lippert
While most of us were busy preparing for Thanksgiving celebrations during the last full week of November, the third biennial FUBAR rally was wrapping up with a celebration of its own in La Paz, Mexico. The 36 boats participating in the 2011 caravan of trawlers, which set sail from Long Beach, CA on November 6, commemorated the end of a successful 17-day cruise along the southern Californian coast and Baja peninsula with a festive closing ceremony and pre-Turkey Day dinner on November 22nd.
Pacific Asian Enterprises (PAE) has been an active supporter of the FUBAR rally since its inception in 2007 when a Jim Leishman-captained Nordhavn 55 co-led a unit of more than 100 yachts down the Pacific Ocean, calling to mind shades of the Nordhavn Atlantic Rally. There were plenty of Nordhavns in that group and this year’s edition proved no different: of the participating boats, nearly one-third of these were Nordhavns. In fact, 10 Nordhavns in all, many of them based in Seattle, took part in the convoy. Included in the group were Nordhavn 40 Koumba Bang owned by Abdoulaye Diop, Nordhavn 47 Boundless Grace owned by Ron and Katharine Montague, Nordhavn 55 Gitana owned by Glenn Beck, Nordhavn 55 Helen B II owned by Jeff East, Nordhavn 55 Last Mango, owned by David Lee and Susie Dakers, Nordhavn 55 Lili Pad owned by Don and Lili Weippert, Nordhavn 55 Maggie May owned by Andy and Susan Francis, Nordhavn 60 Holiday owned by John Zimmerman, Nordhavn 57 Thor owned by Bill O’Meara and Nordhavn 75 Tango owned by Doug and Stephanie Klappenbach. Really, it’s no surprise that Nordhavn was the most represented manufacturer of the platoon – it’s typically the case in events such as this. After all, Nordhavn owners use their boats. Plain and simple, Nordhavns can go anywhere and their owners make sure of that fact.
Staff from PAE have maintained a presence either within the fleet or from the sidelines. This time Don Kohlmann and yours truly made the trek down from our posts at Nordhavn’s Northwest sales office and cheered the contingent on – many of whom were customers of ours. As expected, dinner was great fun and Don and I so easily got caught up in the participants’ anticipation of the event. Most of the Nordhavn crews had already accumulated several sea miles, but there were also some greener cruisers taking part. For them, FUBAR was an opportunity to journey with the comfort of having their Nordhavn family – as well as other boaters – nearby, and provided an ideal stepping stone for future, further offshore trips.
The FUBAR (Fleet Underway to Baja Rally) odyssey was initially the brainchild of Bruce Kessler, a circumnavigator and long range cruising pioneer, who sought to develop an event that would offer inexperienced power boaters the opportunity to cruise to Mexico in the safety of a flotilla led by a few very experienced cruisers. The FUBAR is sponsored by a different yacht club each year – with the Long Beach Yacht Club playing host to this year’s event – but participants do not need a yacht club affiliation to participate. This year’s net proceeds went to support Junior Programs of the host yacht club.
Barbara Lippert is a sales representative based out of the Nordhavn Yachts Northwest office in Seattle, Washington. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-223-3624.