Best Snipe Colonial Cup turnout in 25 years

Published on June 5th, 2022

Thirty six teams from as far as Miami and Hawaii attended the 2022 Snipe Colonial Cup, the most since 1988. Nineteen teams came from the host club Severn Sailing Association (Annapolis, MD). “This is a testament to the work we have done over the last 10 years to grow the fleet,” said fleet captain and long time Snipe sailor Lisa Pline.

“Also, most of our growth has been in the U30 segment, showing the Snipe is the place to be for post college sailors looking for a ‘Serious Sailing, Serious Fun’ experience they can continue with despite busy lives.”

The strength of this fleet cannot be understated. There were multiple current and former College All-Americans (including the winning crew off her A-division win at College Nationals), several national and international Snipe Champions, four teams training for Snipe Worlds in August (two “regular” and two junior), quite a few current college coaches, and of course, former Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Augie Diaz.

Even with all that talent, the organizers were equally pleased with the number of new Snipe sailors (and even one crew who had never been in a sailboat of any kind).

As often happens in Annapolis, several days before the regatta the breeze forecast was not spectacular with the imposition of a high pressure pattern over the mid Atlantic region, the kind of day that makes the Annapolis Chamber of Commerce happy, but the Snipe sailors not so much.

Fortunately, the predictions were off and allowed two great days of sailing with a little bit of everything. The first morning was glassy so PRO Mark Bennett postponed ashore for about an hour and a half until the signs of a thermal began to appear followed by a filling easterly that eventually built to around 12 knots and shifting to the south, the quintessential Annapolis summer conditions. Temperatures were perfect in the low 80s, enough to drive the thermal but not enough to be “stinky hot”.

Three of the four planned races were completed on the first day of racing. Raul Rios and Andrea Riefkohl were the most consistent with a 1,2,2 followed by Arthur Blodgett and Grace Howie and closely by Trevor Davis and Rees Tindall who are training hard for the Junior World Championships in Portugal this year.

The placings were very close with multiple sets of boats crossing the finish line in short succession. Keeping the boat moving in the Annapolis “washing machine” is always paramount and despite the breeze clocking right most of the day, you could easily lose 10 boats on smaller oscillating shifts because of the high quality and consistency of the competitors.

Thanks to the presence of Tropical Storm Alex off the east coast, wind on the second morning started out with almost 20 knots from the east. However, the sailors knew at some point the bottom would drop out as the storm took a hard right moving away from the coast. It did in fact happen, but the fleet was able to complete three more races allowing a discard.

By the time all was said and done at the end of the day the breeze was essentially zero. Fortunately, the race committee made the smart call to finish the last race before what would have been a very painful final downwind leg. As is often the case with the northerly breeze direction with ebbing current, those who dove left tended to do very well, although there were some limited opportunities for those taking a risker tack to the right.

Arthur and Grace won the last two races but it was not quite enough to get them over Raul and Andrea who were consistent with top 3 finishes. Augie Diaz and Katie Bornarth were also consistent, ending in third place followed by Trevor and Rees who slipped a position to 4th due to a tough last race. They still did well enough to top Boston sailor Trevor Long with local Shallom Fadullon (5th) for the Top U30 Award.

There were four Women’s Teams (plus two more women skippers sailing with male crews) vying for the Top Women’s Award, which was won decisively by Carol Cronin and crew Kim Couranz, who finished 7th overall.

Full results can be found here

Source: Lisa Pline

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