by Sue Roberts
It was 9.15am in Santiago de la Ribera 2016. We’d left the Europeans after party still in full swing at 4.30am that morning but knew we had to be up to sort out our chartered Snipe to make sure all was in order.
Upon reaching the yacht club we came upon two slightly weary Norwegian Snipe sailors and we stopped for a chat. It was Steffen Skjønberg and Maria Ohrn. They were on their way to see friends much further north in Spain but since they had partied all night, needed some recovery time. We helped them load their boat onto a trailer and whilst doing so, Steffen talked fondly about our UK Nationals being once again held in Orkney in 2017. He was adamant he was going to sail his Snipe from Norway to Orkney across the North Sea and join us! Maria was not so keen and made it clear this would be a solo voyage! I was concerned for his safety and asked if he would have a safety boat with him to which he replied “No, as I would end up having to rescue them!” He said he would sell his Snipe in Orkney after the event (for a very good price I might add) although it would not be coming with a trolley or trailer!!
Rumours went around and both excitement and concern ensued as to who this intrepid person was and if he was actually going to sail across the North Sea in a Snipe. We heard no more.
The Worlds in A Coruña confirmed to me that there would not be time for Steffen to compete in both the Worlds and have time to sail from Norway to Orkney and a slight relief came over me!
We thought that for our Nationals, both this year and for the future, we should have a trophy for anyone who has gone above and beyond to make it to our Nationals or who has been an avid adventurist, like Steffen clearly is.
I contacted Steffen and asked if we could dedicate this trophy to him and he said he would be honoured and so “The Steffen Skjønberg Adventurist Perpetual Trophy” for the UK Snipe Nationals came into being. Hopefully Steffen will be able to join us some time in the future at the UK Nationals and may even win the trophy himself!