2014 Snipe US Nationals: Full of Surprises

[caption id="attachment_10158" align="alignnone" width=""]Roberto GuaragnaEven on the windiest day of the regatta, leaving sails up during the lunch break was, unfortunately, not a problem.[/caption]

By Carol Cronin

When we drove into Okoboji, IA, home of this year’s US Nationals, I didn’t know much about the state or the lake for which the town is named. And since we didn’t know the state motto, we made one up: “It’s full of surprises.” It seemed to fit, both on shore and on the race course.

One surprising fact about Lake Okoboji is that it is one of only three “blue” lakes in the entire world—and the other two are in Switzerland. Since it’s spring-fed, the water is crystal clear and clean enough to drink. At the bottom left of the race course where a point jutted out into the lake (a point that also happened to be the campground home of Team San Diego), I actually thought we were going to run aground a few times since the rocks looked so close to the surface—even though the water was actually quite deep.

Roberto Guaragna

By Carol Cronin

When we drove into Okoboji, IA, home of this year’s US Nationals, I didn’t know much about the state or the lake for which the town is named. And since we didn’t know the state motto, we made one up: “It’s full of surprises.” It seemed to fit, both on shore and on the race course.

One surprising fact about Lake Okoboji is that it is one of only three “blue” lakes in the entire world—and the other two are in Switzerland. Since it’s spring-fed, the water is crystal clear and clean enough to drink. At the bottom left of the race course where a point jutted out into the lake (a point that also happened to be the campground home of Team San Diego), I actually thought we were going to run aground a few times since the rocks looked so close to the surface—even though the water was actually quite deep.

Since it is the largest lake for hundreds of miles, vacationers of all stripes flock there in the summer to swim, fish—and yes, race sailboats. The lake was crowded with powerboats of all shapes, sizes, and speeds, making the sailing a bit challenging at times as the waves were usually bigger than the breeze.

Okoboji Yacht Club is well-respected in midwest sailing circles, and the Race Committee did a great job fitting in the maximum possible number of quality races. The wind committee did not do such a great job and failed to whistle up a sailable breeze at all for the last two days. Fortunately, the RC had correctly predicted this and started off with three races on Monday. (The third was after a leisurely lunch break on shore.) Two races each on Tuesday and Wednesday gave us a very respectable seven race series. And somehow the expected heat and humidity never appeared, though the extremely pleasant conditions for sitting around were undoubtedly related to the lack of wind.

Anyone who followed the event will already know that the results were dominated by Raul Rios/Henry Dumke, who won five races. (Their other two finishes were thirds.) Shoreside, however, was a bit more egalitarian. The local fleet members (most of whom are from Omaha, Nebraska, about 3 hours away) shared information about places to eat and showed us how to drive a Snipe around on a trailer with the mast up. The San Diego and Florida sailors put together an impromptu tuning/sailing clinic on Thursday morning, once it was clear that the predicted morning breeze would not materialize. And Snipe sailors from across the country had a chance to meet new friends, catch up with old ones, and admire various generations of Snipes, all without leaving the well-shaded Yacht Club lawn. Snipe Camp, at its finest.

For me there were two special boats on site: 28099, which (along with skipper Ed Adams) taught me how to sail a Snipe. That boat also taught me (and Ed) some humility, when we ended up winning the Wells Series in 1990. The second special boat was 28444, which has what is still my favorite custom paint job to come out of Jibetech: a blue overspray/faded edge that looks different depending on the heel angle. Builder Andrew Pimental and I finished second at the 1992 Nationals in that boat, and it still looks great. The rail-less Jibetechs might be mostly out to pasture in the flat water sailing of the Midwest, but their latest owners are keeping them alive and well.

Oh, and the actual motto of Iowa? Disappointingly serious: “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.” After a week of sailing on Lake Okoboji, the Great Lake of Iowa, I prefer ours: “It’s full of surprises.”

2014 US Nationals – Final

Place
#
Country Skipper & Crew Division Fleet
R1
R2
R3
R4
R5
R6
R7
Total
1
29841
PUR
Raul Rios & Henry Dumke Junior 591
1
– 3
1
1
1
1
3
8
2
29941
USA
Doug Hart & Ryan Hopps Master 495
2
– 4
3
2
4
3
2
16
3
30288
USA
Augie Diaz & Aine McLean Master 7
3
5
2
3
3
– 6
4
20
4
30473
USA
Ernesto Rodriguez & Kate Sheahan Senior 7
4
1
5
7
2
4
– 10
23
5
30860
USA
Carol Cronin & Kim Couranz Master 17
5
– 8
4
4
5
2
5
25
6
30904
USA
Lee Griffith & Hillary Noble Master 256
– 14
2
7
5
9
5
7
35
7
29778
USA
Roberto Guaragna & Andre Guaragna Master 7
7
6
6
10
7
– 19
1
37
8
30089
USA
Andrew Klein & Jessica Claflin Master 77
6
9
9
– 18
11
8
8
51
9
30088
USA
Will Crary & Lara Dallman-Weiss Junior 309
9
10
13
6
8
10
– 16
56
10
30618
USA
Don Bedford & Eric Heim Senior 495
– 16
7
10
14
6
9
11
57
11
30336
USA
Gonzalo Diaz & Patti Bess Master 7
8
12
– 15
11
14
12
6
63
12
30568
USA
Peggy Tautz & Steve Tautz Senior 640
11
– 15
14
9
10
11
9
64
13
29109
USA
Stuart Robertson & Adam Elshahawry Master 495
12
14
– 34 dsq
8
24
7
13
78
14
30262
USA
John Coolidge & Christian Cyrul Senior 142
10
– 18
12
12
16
16
15
81
15
30600
USA
Kevin & Maxwell Hetherington-Young Senior 77
– 20
11
11
13
18
18
12
83
16
29972
USA
Michael Bowers & Belinda Barnes Senior 77
13
13
17
16
17
15
– 18
91
17
28472
USA
Cliff Wright & Hannah Graham Master 444
15
– 23
18
17
12
13
19
94
18
28099
USA
Laura Dalgleish & Daniel Dalgleish Senior 1
– 22
16
20
15
13
17
14
95
19
30477
USA
Gene Soltero & Laura Dahl O’leary Master 1
– 25
17
8
19
21
20
21
106
20
31157
USA
Martin Bebb & Anne Rusnak Master 68
21
25
26
– 27
19
14
17
122
21
28482
USA
Chris Scofield & Courtney Zurek Senior 309
17
20
19
22
22
22
– 25
122
22
29323
USA
David Baker & Andrea Slouka Master 640
19
19
21
24
26
– 27
22
131
23
29738
USA
George Rood & Jan Churchill Master 309
24
22
16
20
– 28
24
27
133
24
28900
USA
Doug Swenson & Sarah Thomas Master 210
23
21
23
23
20
– 28
26
136
25
28444
USA
Guy Thomas & William Thomas Junior 567
26
27
25
– 34 dnf
15
21
24
138
26
27731
USA
Rick Scofield & Natasha Mason Master 309
27
– 34 ocs
22
25
23
29
20
146
27
31188
USA
Mike Slouka & Steve Kurtz Master 640
– 28
24
28
28
25
25
28
158
28
29692
USA
Carl Mattson & Julie Mattson Master 640
– 32
29
31
21
27
26
30
164
29
27523
USA
William Brush & Tina Brush Master 309
29
28
24
30
30
31
– 34 dns
172
30
28470
USA
Stephan Irgens & Monica Irgens Master 705
18
26
27
– 34 dnc
34 dnc
34 dnc
34 dnc
173
31
30221
USA
Steve Avery & Harry Whittenburg Master
30
31
29
26
29
– 34 dnc
34 dnc
179
32
31244
USA
Eliot Payson & Tyler Payson Master 640
– 31
30
30
29
31
30
29
179
33
30680
USA
Philip Lee & Damaris Cano Master 309
– 34 dnc
34 dnc
34 dnc
34 dnc
34 dnc
23
23
182

Results, race details, and lots of great photos (courtesy Roberto Guaragna) are available on snipeusa.com.

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