Snipe Class: Serious Sailing, Serious Fun
Published on June 6th, 2016
by Carol Cronin
The 2016 Snipe North American Championship on June 3-5 set at least two standards for Serious Sailing, Serious Fun over three days: the largest number of registrants for a national regatta on the continent since at least 2009 (69); and a far wider variety of conditions than expected for the event in Annapolis, MD.
Variety may be the spice of life, but it is also a great test of skill. This was definitely not a “one setting” regatta. Two drifter races on Friday, everything from drifter to full hiking breeze on Saturday (with the expected weekend powerboat chop), and then solid breeze and a lonely Chesapeake Bay on Sunday which provided great sailing conditions for the final three races of the event.
With a lot of mixed up scores to close out the event, it was hard on the sail back to the dock to figure out who won—even for the two top teams. When the dust settled, Doug Hart/Ryan Hopps survived a rally by George Szabo/Diana Waterbury to take the title by two points.
Nick Voss/Nicole Popp had been lurking well down the results sheet, but once they were able to drop a 45th from day one, they slid up to third overall. Fourth place team Jensen McTighe/Brendan Feeney counted no finish worse than ninth, a great result just ahead of their departure for the Snipe Western Hemispheres in Brazil.
Much appreciation goes to the race committee, led by PRO Steve Podlich, who rightly prioritized racing in good breeze over sending us home early on Saturday and Sunday. And with two great dinners, the ever-present beer truck, and a mix of socializing and learning that included a winner’s debrief on Saturday evening, Severn Sailing Association’s Fleet 532 (led by Chris Ryan) set a new standard for Serious Sailing, Serious Fun.
This will be a hard one to beat—though hopefully the participation record will be broken again very soon.