Mark Reynolds, Snipe sailor (US and North American Champion, Worlds runner-up) and Olympic legend (1988 Silver, 1992 Gold, 2000 Gold – Star)
– 1) Your first time on a sailing boat?
My dad built a Sabot when I was about 3 but I don’t remember much about my first time out in that boat. My dad raced Stars and did some ocean racing so I was always around boats when I was a kid but started my sailing lessons when I was 8 in the San Diego YC junior program.
– 2) Your first time on a Snipe?
I crewed a few times when I was probably about 12 or 13 and soon after bought my first Snipe with a friend from Jeff Lenhart when we were 13. The boat was painted black on one side and white on the other and was named “Integration”. There were some peace signs on the stern as well. Remember it was the late 60’s.
– 3) The most bizarre thing that happened in a regatta?
Probably the most bizarre thing I ever did was diving off my Snipe in the middle of a national championships race. We were drifting in no wind on a Midwest lake in the middle of the summer and the heat combined with the flies all over, I couldn’t take it anymore and just stood up and dove in the water. If I remember correctly the race was abandoned soon after but my wife wasn’t too happy about me jumping off the boat.
– 4) What is the thing that most angers you in a race/regatta?
In the past it was whenever I didn’t win, it helped drive me to work harder next time.
– 5) Which is the race/regatta that you remember with the most pleasure?
The regatta would be the 1992 Olympics which we won very convincingly and the individual race would be the last race at the 2000 Olympics where we just barely won.
– 6) And the race/regatta you would like to forget?
I don’t think you ever want to forget any mistakes or poor performances, if you did you might repeat the same mistakes.
– 7) Your “dream in the peak”? (Your sailing dream?)
The morning after I won the 2000 Olympics I woke wondering what had just happened was a dream or if we really did pull off a gold medal after starting the regatta so poorly.
– 8) Sailing goals for 2013, and beyond?
I’ll be having fun sailing the Star with Hal Haenel this summer concluding with the Worlds here in San Diego. I’m sailing quite a few other boats too, the PC here in San Diego, I’ve been invited to sail in a few events on the east coast in different boats and maybe even a Sabot race here in San Diego. My goal is to just have some fun sailing with friends hopefully without to much drama. I actually have more pleasure today not always driving but helping others win.
– 9) The most important people for you in sailing and in the Snipe?
After sailing the Snipe for a few years when I was 13, I focused on Lasers and college racing. In late 1977 I bought a new boat from Chubasco with my future wife DeAnn. We were in college at the time and teaching sailing during the summer (which is where the $’s came from to buy the boat). We sailed the Nationals, Westerns and Worlds all before we got married so we figured out that we were very compatible on and off the water, it may be partially due to the Snipe that we fell in love and have now been married for over 32 years.
– 10) Why the Snipe?
The Snipe was the most competitive boat in San Diego when I was growing up but also nationally and internationally which was a nice bonus. In San Diego we had Elms, Nute, McLaughlin, De Souza, Stewart, Peterson, Lenhart and many more. I mean what dinghy would you want to sail if you lived in San Diego?
Along with the competition I enjoyed the fact that there was some room in the Snipe one design rules to improve the boat and that’s always been one of my favorite parts of the sport. My first new Snipe was just a bare hull and deck and I did all the finishing incorporating many new ideas some of which are still used today.
– 11) Your perfect sailing venue and your perfect sailing conditions?
I always have liked sailing off of Long Beach, CA. The wind, particularly in the summer, is moderate and steady so boat speed is very important. I did well there in the Laser and won the Snipe Nationals there.
– 12) Besides sailing which other sport do you practice?
I’ve always just focused on sailing and other than normal school kid sports never spent much time with other sports. I didn’t really even closely follow other sports. Today I’m trying to learn golf.
– 13) Are you superstitious?
No but I do enjoy hearing of my competitors’ superstitions.
– 14) Your perfect holiday?
I never thought much about holidays in the past but did have a few sailing connected holidays in the Caribbean that were a lot of fun. Today I’d say my perfect holiday may not necessarily include sailing anymore! I’d like to visit a lot of the places I’ve sailed over the years with my wife but to see more of the world than just what can be seen from the water.