Arthur Blodgett, Snipe sailor and coach from Fort Lauderdale
– 1) Your first time on a sailing boat?
My first memory was when I was 5 my dad rented a Wooden Beetle Cat at Mystic Seaport and took me and my little brother sailing. I think he let me steer before the end of it.
– 2) Your first time on a Snipe?
Fear Of Missing Out led me to my first Snipe sail in a regatta -the 2009 FL State Champs. My schoolmates Sheehan Commette and Julia Melton were sailing Sheehan’s boat, so I went down to the club the day before, Dr. Lang agreed to loan me a boat (an ’84 Muller), and Kaye Siemers and I went racing the next day. I remember doing a fan-the-leech move upwind while looking up at the sail, noticing that the whole mast flexed and thinking “this is going to be fun.”
– 3) The most bizarre thing that happened in a regatta?
Blowing the rudder out of the back of my friend’s borrowed Snipe on an underwater pipe just off the dock at Coconut Grove. I have never heard such a loud bang as was made by the gudgeon popping out of the thin, acoustical Persson transom. Fortunately, it was “daiquiris on the dock day” provided by Carmen Diaz, and I soon had a restorative beverage in my hand as I watched Sheehan and Peter patch the boat with some fine use of Marine-Tex. Mitch Hall if your reading this I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about this but your rudder is right on center!
– 4) What is the thing that most angers you in a race/regatta?
Myself not performing up to my expectations. I love my competitors and thank the race committee for just being there, so any frustration is only with myself.
– 5) Which is the race/regatta that you remember with the most pleasure?
Probably finishing 2nd at the 2011 Commodore Rasco. One of the few times we beat Peter and Ernesto in the same regatta, and we did it with downwind comebacks in light air – something we felt we were pretty good at.
– 6) And the race/regatta you would like to forget?
Finishing DFL and getting caught OCS in the First Gold race at 2010 Nationals. My crew for that regatta was also a sailing coach so we were really relieved to see the OCS – so that no one would know we got last!
– 7) Your “dream in the peak”? (Your sailing dream?)
To win a major Championship. My Opti kids won Team Race Nationals this past summer so I have a lot to live up to.
– 8) Sailing goals for 2017, and beyond?
To devote more time and energy to above aspirations. To make sure I continue to love it.
– 9) The most important people for you in sailing and in the Snipe?
Pete Commette was the primary numbers-sharing-boat-loaning-lifeskills mentoring Snipe pusher in my life. But in the Snipe everybody learns from everybody, and I should also thank Carol, Ernesto, Augie, the Brians Kamilar and Stout, Bruno, Zach Kelchner, Sheehan Commette, Jensen McTighe, Lucas Calabrese, and all of the crews I’ve sailed with for practices or regattas, and in particular Julia my first Supercrew!
– 10) Why the Snipe?
The boat is not high performance yet rewards high performance helming. If you can fly that windward chine consistently 1/4 inch out of the water and keep flow on your Neanderthal foil of a daggerboard, you can fly a high performance cat hull 6 inches out of the water or get a Moth to stay foiling. Downwind it is a classic surfboard. The rudder is fat so you can wiggle it a little without loosing flow. All the knowledge you need to tune an Etchells or a J24 is on a Snipe. The people and competion in the class are pretty great.
– 11) Your perfect sailing venue and your perfect sailing conditions?
Obviously Lake Quassapaug. The venue is perfect because you live in a lakeside camping commune for a weekend while leaving your Snipe on a freshwater mooring. 7-10kts and 45 degree shifts are really fun conditions – everyone has a chance, and you have so many changes to notice and adapt to. Sailing my own boat with a setup where I could really shift gears and boathandle has been really fun there the last 2 years.
– 12) Besides sailing which other sport do you practice?
There is only Sailing. Music is a favorite activity.
– 13) Are you superstitious?
Only about things that don’t affect anything. I have regatta boxers and party t-shirts I will never wear again. But finishing the practice race? Do it -it’s a skill. Bananas? Bring them on board, we need our potassium!
– 14) Your perfect holiday?
Some downhill skiing followed by some sailing, maybe sledding and whiffleball. My hometown has a 1,000 foot Ski mountain that overlooks the bay where I grew up, so we like to have a diversity in the recreation department.