Record Setting Snipe European Championship
Published on September 24th, 2016
The 2016 Snipe European Championship broke records on all accounts with 109 entries, making it the largest Snipe Championship to date. Held September 21-24 at Santiago de la Ribera, Spain, the event attracted sailors from 13 nations including 2 from outside Europe (Argentina & Brazil).
Split into flights for qualifying, it was no surprised to see not only the Spanish, but local Spaniards up near the top. The brother/sister duo of Paco and Marina Sanchez Ferrer, clearly comfortable in their home waters, posted 1s, 2s and a 7 for qualifying and decided to sit out the last race qualifying them in 2nd overall, possibly not wanting to have the back luck omen of winning the qualifying.
Brothers Gustavo and Rafael Castillo Palop (ESP) proved the omen wrong by not only winning the qualifying but also winning the overall title. Hailing from the Grand Canary islands, their consistency and ability to handle the varied wind conditions over the 4 days of sailing made them true champions.
Perhaps having been European Champions previously in 2008 in their own home waters of Las Palmas, Gustavo knew what it would take to win.
Rounding out the podium was Álvaro Martínez and Gabriel Utrera Thompson (ESP) and Brazilians Alexandre Tinoco (Snipe World Champion in 2011) with crew Victor Perez Campos.
Conditions ranged from 5 knots to 13 knots over flat water on the Mar Menor. Hosted by Real Club de Regatas de Santiago de la Ribera, known for hosting many Snipe events, the host club managed the large fleet with a generous beach launch and social activities for all competitors after racing.
Going into the last race, there were three teams that could win the title with the Castillo brothers, Martinez/ Utrera and Tinoco/Campos in the running. After a general recall, Tinoco lead start to finish, but it was not enough to take the title from Castillo who finished 6th in the race with Martinez in 2nd. Just a few points separated the leaders at the end.
The Silver fleet had 54 boats in a highly competitive fleet as well with Juan Deben Tiscar and Gerardo Prego Menor (ESP) winning the title.
Spain fielded an unprecedented 56 entries of the overall 109 followed by Italy and Portugal as the larger contingents.
Event details – Gold results – Silver results – Photos
Days prior, the Junior Europeans were held in the same waters with 18 teams representing 4 nations. Enric Noguera and Marc Capo from Spain sailed consistently to win the title with Portuguese sailors Mafalda Pires de Lima and brother Tomas finishing 2nd overall. Antonio Lopez Montoya and Gregorio Belmonte (ESP) finished in 3rd.