By Gweneth Crook
I recently had the opportunity to attend the Pan American Games in Toronto at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. The City of Toronto did an excellent job of welcoming the Americas and although the wind was fickle at times they managed to get the races in.
What I found really interesting was all the familiar faces I saw that were coaching the participating teams. Mark Reynolds, George Szabo, Christian Noe and Ernesto Rodriguez all Snipe sailors who were coaching. Mark and Christian were coaching those sailing boats other than the Snipe. Torben Grael, past Snipe World Champion, was also there I am sure to offer advice to his daughter Martine and the Brazilian team.
This confirms my belief that the Snipe is a great boat to give a sailor a strong foundation. It is an excellent boat to learn rigging, tuning and tactical skills. The Snipe Class is also known for sharing its knowledge and helping those who are new, to the class, to develop. Evert, the Canadian Skipper, said that people like Augie Diaz had been more than willing to share their knowledge and expertise to help him improve. The racing may be tough but the atmosphere after the race is friendly and fun.
The Snipe is also great for all ages. At the Pan American Games we had a spread from 18 – 61 years old and everything in between. No matter what your age you can continue to sail the Snipe, whether it is in your local fleet races or at an international level.
We must continue to work hard to promote the Class and spread the word of the benefits of sailing a Snipe. I saw those benefits first hand in Toronto.