The weekend started out with a lot of rain in the Mid Atlantic on Friday, but at least we knew we wouldn’t get blown out like last year. However, while the wind forecast for Saturday looked pretty good, it promised to be very light on Sunday. There are two conditions that always remind me of the Frigid Digit: Cool, wet, foggy Nor ‘easter-like and bright, brisk, cool northewester after a cold front-like. Both are tricky conditions to sail in with different challenges. This year’s event was no different with the Nor ‘Easter-like version for Saturday.
Not my finest hour sailing-wise, but I had a great time sailing with Lisa – despite being DSQed in a race for not doing my penalty turns fast enough after getting flagged for pumping.
Variety is the Spice of Life
Doug Hart Back On Top After 20 Years
Doug Hart has always been near the top of the score sheet but it took 20 years to repeat as North American Champion, having won last in the Bahamas in 1996. Sailing this year with Ryan Hopps they took the 2016 North Americans Birney Mills Trophy by a scant two points over George Szabo and Dianna Waterbury after a close last day. The winner was not known by the competitors until the scores were posted at the club because the variety of conditions over the three day regatta resulted in very inconsistent scores over the eight races sailed. In an unusual turn, the scores posted by Szabo/Waterbury were overall more consistent, but Hart/Hopps despite counting a 17 had four top 3 finishes. 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. Edgar Diminich/Iberth Constante rounded out the top 5.
I wrote this originally for the 2003 Snipe Nationals, probably one of my most favorite Snipe events ever, but it will always be true so thought it was worth archiving here. You can see it as well as the archived site on the Wayback Machine.
Well, How did we get here?
Picture a scene that might happen at virtually any Snipe regatta: standing in a bar, after a great day of sailing and talking about our favorite places to sail. In our case, the bar was in Newport, RI, where a bunch of District One sailors had gathered for a regatta. The instigators were Barb Evans, Pedro Lorson, and me. We all decided that Buzzards Bay was without a doubt one of the best sailing venues around with its perfect summer temperatures and renown steady breeze, the “Buzzards Bay Sou’wester. We had all sailed there at various points in our lives. I grew up sailing at the Beverly Yacht Club. Pedro and I are Tabor Academy Alumni (an amusing story in itself), and Barb lived on the bay during the summer of 1990.
Since District One’s turn at hosting the Snipe Nationals was looming in the future, eventually the conversation morphed, as they do around at a bar with significant “beer pressure,” to places that would make for a good nationals and we thought, ah hah! forget the light air and hot stinky temperatures of the Chesapeake in July, we ought to do it in Marion.
It’s funny how an occasional impulsive decision can end up having such a profound impact on the trajectory of one’s life. Buying my first Snipe from Bill Buckles in 1987 – the venerable purple Champipple – was one such decision.