The Commodore’s Log Book

Hello Snipe Sailors,

The Snipe World Championship, every two years, for sure is the pinnacle SCIRA event. I have been so fortunate to be part of nine Snipe World Championships, eight of them as a sailor (in one I was also involved partially in the organization), and this last one as SCIRA representative.

A regatta like the World Championship can be seen from different perspectives and that of the competitor is only one of them. It is complex and demanding for everyone, before and during the event. Just to get a rough idea … the sailors must train, ship or charter boats, prepare themselves physically, choose and prepare sails and equipment. The organizers work with SCIRA to agree on the program, the NoR, the Sailing Instructions, the charter boats, and the spaces for measurement, as well as thinking about media, the composition of the Jury, the Regatta Committee, logistics, transportation, support boats, volunteer tasks, check lists, protocols, and bibs. All of this requires many emails, phone calls, and conference calls.

Those who race may not realize the complexity of the onsite “machine”: registration, measurement, logistics, unforeseen problems, protocol for the opening and closing ceremonies, support boats, Race Committee boats, weather forecasts. There are many meetings with the RC members, the Jury, the media teams, the sailors, the National Secretaries, and the Board, as well as social events and sailors’ forums.

On the water, sailors fight for the best position on the starting line, try to find the best strategy, and try to sail their Snipes as fast as possible. They observe the conditions, choose the right tuning, figure out a plan, and try to execute it. At the same time, the Race Committee, measurers, and Jury all work to have fair races. They observe the weather conditions, the positions of the line and the marks, the behavior of the competitors; they take decisions, and sometimes they disqualify someone.

The link between the two is the SCIRA representative, who always looks at the Class rules and at the weather conditions, listens to the sailors, and tries to communicate their wishes to the Race Committee and the Jury. After racing, there’s still much to do: post results, hear protests, interview race winners. Plus discussions, video, and photos on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube … It’s a very long and endless list.

For me, the days in Ilhabela started at 7:30 am sharing breakfast with photographer Matias Capizzano or some of the judges. It ended at midnight after I published the latest news on SnipeToday. In between was trying to solve problems, answer requests of all kinds, and listen to complaints, praise, discussions, laughter, sun and wind. That still left plenty of time for envying the sailors, as well as curiosities, meetings, awards, chats, photographs, videos, press releases, dinners …

It was a long tiring regatta, whether it brought happiness or disappointment. But I believe it gave us all satisfaction, talking with our old friends and making new ones. Regardless of the results, new professional, technical, sailing and human experiences enrich us.

In the end, thanks to the great team coordinated by Ann Viebieg and Paola and Bruno Prada, it was an unforgettable world-class regatta. A big “obrigado” to the Organizing Committee, to all the volunteers, to the sponsors, to the measurers, to the race committee, to the jury, to the media team, to my colleagues in the Board and of course to all the sailors (they are the actors on stage!).

And an equally big congratulations to Junior World Champions, Gustavo Abdulklech & Leonardo Motta, Senior World Champions Henrique Haddad & Gustavo Nascimento, and Mateus Tavares & Kathleen Tocke, top mixed team.

In my first Log Book, in January 2018, I wrote that Promotion is key for the future of our Class at fleet, district, and continental levels. Communication requires more and more professional knowledge to make our boat known to other sailors and to the sailing community in general. In the last two years, at our main regattas (World Masters, Europeans, WH&O, Master Europeans), and especially at the recent Snipe Worlds in Ilhabela, we invested a lot on the media side. We will see in the future if this pay off. But already our Class has much more visibility in major sailing magazines, websites, and blogs.

This kind of media support can only happen for our main events. But thanks to enthusiastic people full of positive energy and good ideas, some fleets are growing in number and in quality. Look what happens in Annapolis, or in Valencia, or in Sao Paulo, or in Antwerp: the common denominator is energy. These are just a few examples, and there are so many other fleets that are working hard.

Please send us your reports or share with us your secrets of success. Maybe your story will inspire some other energetic Snipe sailors to take the helm, trim the main, keep the boat flat and drive their own fleet toward the next shift, a big lift with good pressure!

See you soon, on the race course!

Pietro Fantoni

SCIRA Commodore

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