Spanish claim 2022 Snipe World title
Published on August 25th, 2022
After a 47 year drought, the Spanish duo of Alfredo Gonzalez and Cristian Sanchez sailed a great last race of the 2022 Snipe World Championship to return the trophy to Spain. The last time the Commodore Hub E. Isaacks trophy was in Spain (and Europe) was in 1975 with Felix Gancedo and Manuel Bernal as champions.
Hailing from Lanzarote, Gonzalez/ Sanchez have been silently chipping away. Their best prior performance at the Snipe Worlds was 4th overall in 2017, and their lead up regatta was a win in June at the Spanish Cup with 200 boats. Lanzarote proved to be the perfect heavy air training ground for what was a windy championship held August 21-25 in Cascais, Portugal.
With finishes of 4-(9)-3-8-2-7-4-3-3, their consistency through the nine race series was unmatched among the 87 teams from 17 nations. The 50th edition attracted the largest fleet ever for the Snipe World title, first contested in 1934 and held bi-annually.
Just one race was held on the final day to determine the title, and the 8-12 knot winds and no swell were a significant change from the previous eight races. A clear start on the first go with the pin and the left side favored, Alexandre Paradeda/ Gabriel Kieling (BRA) in second overall took control of the advantage.
However, it was at the boat where Gonzalez/ Sanchez and regatta leaders Ernesto Rodriguez/ Kathleen Tocke (USA) started, with the Americans heading right in lighter wind while the Spaniards opting for the left half way up the beat.
In first at the weather mark was 1999 Snipe World Champion Nelido Manso with Sanlay Castro de la Cruz (CUB) while Gonzalez/ Sanchez and Paradeda/ Kieling were in 9th and 10th with the Americans in the 40s. By the finish, Gonzalez/Sanchez had moved into 3rd, with Paradeda/Kieling in 8th and Rodriguez/ Tocke up to 14th.
As Gonzalez/Sanchez secured the title, the finish for the Earl Elms Trophy – winner of the last race – was extremely close with the Belgian team of Sam and Daan Vandormael edging out the Cubans. Paradeda/Kieling and Rodriguez/Tocke ended tied on points with the Brazilians getting second overall on countback.