Vince Casalaina

Vince Casalaina

Vincent Casalaina has been covering sailboat racing on San Francisco Bay and around the world since 1985. He’s won two Emmy’s for Sports Programming. He’s been team videographer for three America’s Cup and covered the US Olympic Sailing Trials twice. His current work includes producing a documentary on the Snipe Class and coverage of the America’s Cup on San Francisco Bay.

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By Vince Casalaina

DVD available!
 
It’s official.  The Serious Sailing, Serious Fun: Traditions Build Winners documentary is now ready for distribution to the Class.  There were times when it seemed this project would never end, but with support from many of you, the Class has a portrait of how an older one design class can both honor its history and add younger sailors to the competitive mix.
 
The documentary is 48 min. long and features 44 people explaining why they think the Snipe is the boat to sail.  For those of you who participated in the focus groups last Fall, you’ll see how your comments reshaped the documentary.  For those who have yet to see the film, you have a real treat in store. There are some facts about the Snipe that you may not have known and some stories that are going to become part of Snipe lore along with an in depth look at Snipe traditions and strengths.

Here’s the 7 minute trailer.

The Serious Sailing, Serious fun documentary rough edit has its first public screening!

After more than three years of work, the first public screening of the six and a half minute rough edit took place as part of "An Evening of Sail" at the Aquarium on the Bay last week.

It screened to a crowd of over 150 people who came to see sailing in many different forms with entries featuring America's Cup catamarans, 18' skiffs and mini-TransAt competitors. The response of the crowd to the Snipe documentary was very heartening. Despite the rough cut's limitations, they liked the strong story telling and the compelling characters that are the heart of the documentary. That’s a good sign the full production will be a strong performer for the Class.

Mark Reynolds - Snipe Sailor

Tuesday, 21 February 2012 19:28
Mark started sailing Snipes when he was 13. He was lucky to have a strong local fleet of top Snipe sailors like Earl Elms, Tom Nute and Dave Ullman that he could alongside. They offered Mark a lot knowledge about how to get his boat to go faster and he put it to use when he got out of college and won the first US Nationals that he'd ever attended with his wife Deann.
The ability to tune the Snipe is one of the things that sets the Class apart from strict one design boats like the Laser where everything is exactly the same. He feels that if you want to move on to sail in bigger boats that knowing how to get the most out of the mast and sails is vital. The Snipe's shroud and mast adjustments are a good testing ground.
The strength of the Class is the fact that almost any combination of people can sail the boat competitively. You see parents sailing with their kids, two kids sailing together and lots of husbands and wives. With this family approach comes the idea that not all regattas need to be big wind events. You find many of the Nationals hosted on lakes or other calmer bodies of water where even people not part of the regatta can have fun.

Earl Elms - Snipe Sailor

Friday, 17 February 2012 20:10

Earl started sailing Snipes in Mission Bay in 1963 when he got out of the Navy. He joined a small but active fleet sailing mostly Eichenlaub and Varalyay Snipes. The fleet didn't stay small long as it gained 10 to 15 boats a year in those early days.

Even though the Snipe is a one design boat, there's still room to adjust the shape of the boat -- a little off here, add a little there. Earl built himself a wooden boat named White Trash that looked to straighten out as many of the lines as possible. Built of white cedar, the boat was fast especially downwind when the boat gets up on a plane.

Earl can talk about some of the regattas he's won as if it was yesterday. He won back to back World Championship in the 1960's. The first was in Angola, the only time the Snipe Worlds has been held on that continent. The second was in Brazil where he found the competition tough, but the friendships lasting.

Las Vegas Regatta

Wednesday, 08 February 2012 17:08

It's January and that means Las Vegas time on Mission Bay in San Diego. Fleet 495 is resurrecting a fund raiser that combines two days of racing with a casino night -- that's Serious Sailing and Serious Fun. The money raised this year supports the Mission Bay Jr. Sailing Program and the fleet.

That's in keeping with the fleet's direction to make sure that young sailors are exposed to the Snipe and to the camaraderie that is the bedrock of the Class. There were plenty of juniors sailing and three of the top five boats had juniors on board. That's a good ratio given how tough this fleet is.

Rough Cut for SCIRA

Monday, 23 January 2012 19:24

This is a rough cut of the Serious Sailing Serious Fun Traditions Build Winners documentary. It is meant to give you a look at the content and should not be taken as the final product.

You can help the Serious Sailing, Serious Fun documentary on the Snipe Class by liking the movie trailer on the International Movie Trailer Festval site below. The winner gets $5,000 and a distribution deal. Getting both cash and help with distribution would be a huge boost for this project.

You can follow the progress of the documentary on its facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Serious-Sailing-Serious-Fun-Traditions-Build-Winners/144526568921783

Torben Grael - Olympic and Snipe Sailor

Wednesday, 23 March 2011 19:44

Torben Grael grew up with sailboats as part of the family tradition. His grandfather sailed 6m's and his uncles won the Snipe World Championship three times. It wasn't easy finding the right boat, but when his family moved to Brazilia he was impressed with the Snipe and started sailing one.

Torben won the Jr. Worlds in 1978 in San Diego. Five years later he won the Snipe Worlds in Portugal sailing an old wooden Snipe with his brother Lars. They struggled in the light air since they weighed in at 165 kilos. That's well over the recommended weight.

He went on to win a Star World Championship and five Olympic medals; four in the Star and one in the soling. He's won distance races like the Volvo Ocean race on Ericson 4 and won the Louis Vuitton Trophy in 2000 on Luna Rosa. In Brazil he's won 35 National Championships in eight different classes.

Andrew Campbell grew up sailing Snipes in Mission Bay, with his parents and his brother - sometimes as skipper, sometimes as crew but always with a lot of fun. As a young Sniper, he listened and learned from a lot of the best and he always remembered that hiking hard is the crew's job.

Even though he excelled in single handed boats like the Laser (four time ICSA All American, three time winner single handed US Sailing Youth Championship and 2008 Olympic Team member), there were things from his Snipe sailing that he used to help him excel.

Now he's sailing Star boats, looking for another Olympic Berth and he finds there are a lot of similarities between the Snipe & the Star. It's not just the hard chines and the tactical sailing, there's also a sense of community that is unique to these older designs.

Snipe Women's World Championship 2010

Monday, 17 January 2011 19:41

Every other year, the best Women Snipers gather for the Women's World Championship. In 2010 that was St. Petersburg, Florida in November and the temperature was a balmy 80º. Out on the water the competition was even hotter.