Youth & Collegiate Sailing Focus
The Future Looks Bright!
hat do you get when you mix 30 young sailors, 15 challenging dinghies, and a handful of experienced sailors who are also eager to share their knowledge of the boat? Some “Serious Sailing, Serious Fun” at the Snipe Junior World Championship Qualifier, June 20-22 at Severn Sailing Association (SSA) in Annapolis. Sailors came from up and down the East Coast to compete in the event — eager to earn one of the three slots available to represent the United States at the 2015 Snipe Junior World Championship, to be held in Talamone, Italy, the week before the Senior World Championship. The top three skippers all hailed from south Florida, but the Chesapeake was well represented. Congratulations to the teams of Eduardo Mintzias/Pere Puig (7 points total), Andre Guaragna/Becca Osborn (16 points), and Sarah Streater/Liz Ryder (24 points) for qualifying for Junior Worlds! Third through seventh places were separated by only seven points, showing just how tight the fleet was. Fourth place — also with 24 points — was SSA’s own Alex Ramos/ Andreas Adam. Previous time in the boat equated to success for the top teams, according to Andre. “I think the main part of why we were faster than the rest of the fleet is because of our experience and hours on the boat. [Eduardo and I] had a big advantage on trimming of the sails, knowing how much to trim the main and the jib, since on the Snipe, over trimming is not always good. Finally, the downFollow us!
by Kim Couranz
winds are where both of us made a lot of our gains.” Many, if not most, of the teams were new to the Snipe. A clinic held on Friday introduced them to boathandling techniques and boat setup guidelines to make their participation in the regatta more enjoyable. That kind of sharing of information is a hallmark of Snipe regattas, even among top-level international sailors. The juniors’ respect for the high level of talent and camaraderie in the Snipe class was evident.
A team of “grown-ups” in the Annapolis Snipe Fleet — including Henry and Liz Filter, Gavin O’Hare, and fleet captain Chris Ryan — organized the clinic and regatta, and many other Snipe Fleet members pitched in to handle social events, registration, housing, and more. The fleet enjoyed great success introducing young sailors to the Snipe class. Other fleets looking to do the same will want to follow Henry’s advice: “Social media played a big part in the excitement and attendance,” he emphasizes. “Liz tweeted almost daily to build up momentum to the regatta, and kids responded with many tweets of their own. This generation communicates in a whole new way, above and beyond texting, and if you want to grab their attention, you ##Getting wet at Snipe Jr. Worlds in Annapolis. Photo by Dan Phelps have got to be ready!” Chris “Sailing Snipes is awesome because described how so many fleet members I think you need all of the skills needed hosted traveling teams, made many charter in sailing. The boat is both technical and boats available, worked with those new to physical. But most of all, the people that the boats in rigging, tuning, launching, we sail with, they are all friendly and fun on-the-water coaching, and all aspects of to be around,” Andre notes. “The best competing and having fun; all their hard part of the weekend was when all the and innovative work certainly paid off. competitors gathered at the fleet captain While during this regatta, they focused on Chris Ryan’s house for a fun night when building junior participation, Snipe sailors we played games such as pool, foosball, are always eager to introduce new sailors to and table tennis. This championship their boat. really showed the class motto ‘Serious “I look forward to following these Sailing, Serious Fun’ is actually true.” juniors as they continue to grow in both Andre sailed with Annapolis’s own sailing and in life. They are an awesome Becca Osborn and hopes everything bunch of kids, and they will be a great adworks out for them to sail the Junior dition to sailing in general and to the Snipe Worlds together as well. You can folclass,” Chris says. low their training on Facebook at their For more information on the Snipe new Guaragna/Osborn 2015 Snipe Jr. class, visit snipeusa.com, snipetoday.org, Worlds Team page. severnsailing.org/fleets/snipe.shtml SpinSheet August 2014 67
Chesapeake Bay Sailing