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From the book "Master of the Sky and Sea – The Story of Ted Wells" by James Rix

A few regattas in the early '40s had participants from other countries making them informal international regattas including one in 1946 at Lake Chautauqua, New York. Sailors from Brazil, Newfoundland, Portugal, and Switzerland participated as well as many from USA fleets. Dr. Martin Dupan, representing Switzerland, was so impressed with the regatta at Chautauqua, New York, that he became the initiator for the first world championship to be held outside of the US in Geneva, Switzerland in 1947.

This was the first invitational contest just between the national champions from different countries. Since Ted had won the US National regatta, he qualified as the United States representative to the World Championships.

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Torre del Capitano

Thursday, 19 April 2018 21:47

Morcote, Switzerland, April 15, 2018. One race completed

1. SUI Marcel Fux & Leonardo Ambiveri

2. ITA Enrico Vaccaro & Antonella Bortolomai

3. ITA Gianluigi Colombo & Veronica Colombo

2018 in Switzerland

Monday, 15 January 2018 21:18
  • April 15 - "Torre del Capitano" CNM Morcote
  • May 6 - " Regata del Vallone" CVA Agno
  • December 2 - "Panettone" CNM Morcote

Switzerland Rejoins SCIRA

Tuesday, 09 January 2018 22:32

A new fleet has been created in Switzerland, bringing the Swiss back to the Snipe Class.  Marcel Fux is the Fleet Captain and National Secretary for Switzerland with fleet 901, Lago di Lugano.  Switzerland was host to the first Worlds held outside the United States, in 1947 on Lake Geneva (fleet 79), organized by Dr. Martin Dupan with champions from 13 nations.  Welcome back Switzerland!

The Snipe meets the Star Sailors League

Friday, 22 December 2017 07:34

by Pietro Fantoni

News for 2018: we will have an international Snipe ranking. Not a test, like in 2016, but for real.

At the end of November I went with Daniela Semec (our ranking expert) to Lausanne, Switzerland on Lake Geneva, home of the International Olympic Committee and the Olympic Museum. We were invited to discuss about the Star Sailors League Circuit (SSL), which is in my opinion the best idea we have seen in the sailing world in recent years.

The SSL (created by sailors for sailors) will not stop where it is now: SSL's idea is to include other classes in an international ranking. Not just as single rankings for each class, but also, in the future, to create a common ranking that will determine the best of the best small boat sailors. The goal is ambitious, but SSL is determined and has very clear ideas regarding promotion, communication and marketing. SSL collaborators gathers and presents clearly the volcano of ideas coming from hundreds of sailors. They talk, listen, think, and then elaborate on what has been said to them. Their enthusiasm is contagious.

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Regata del Panettone

Wednesday, 13 December 2017 19:41

Morcote, Switzerland, December 10, 2017. Results after 1 race

1. Luca Favini & Flavio Favini

2. Tiziano Arioli & Fabio Pirono

3. Enrico Vaccaro & Ulli Scheu

4. Massimo Tasca & Stefano Todesco

5. Marcel Fux & Leonardo Ambiveri

Fleet Size Matters

Friday, 11 December 2015 07:36

George Szabo (Quantum Sails San Diego) has won 21 championships, including five US Snipe Nationals and four North Americans. In 2015 he won the two final Star Sailors League Regattas in two very different venues: The SSL Lake Grand Slam in Lausanne, SUI, and the SSL Finals in Nassau, Bahamas.

By George Szabo

(Photo courtesy of Bob Betancourt)

At any sailing regatta, fleet size affects overall strategy and priorities. The Star Sailors League fleet starts off big, and then ten boats make it into the quarter finals. Seven make it into the semi-finals, and four sail the finals. The declining fleet size format is pretty exciting—worth a try for a weeknight race series. 

SSL Lake Grand Slam started off with 70 boats on the line, so it was important to have speed, and to sail fast to the correct side of the course. With a big fleet, managing your lane to always have clear air is super important. But also important is to consider where you will tack if you are behind. You need to anticipate where the fleet will tack in front of you, and place yourself accordingly – so that when they all tack to go back to the center or weather mark - you will have a place with clean air.

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Stephan and Monica Irgens frequently win the "farthest traveled award." Based in St. Louis, MO, they are regular attendees for most of the east coast US regattas, including the Florida winter circuit, and also traveled to Poland last year for the first open European championship. Here they answer the famous 14 questions about what brought them to the Snipe originally, how they met (at a regatta of course), and what keeps them coming back for more.

1. Your first time in a sailing boat?

Stephan: We were four teenagers that had never set foot in a sailboat. The owner of an OK-jolle, about the size of a Snipe, placed us in this dinghy and pushed us out. I was the helmsman since I could handle motorboats.......There were not much wind and we sailed nicely out in the Oslo fjord but coming back was a struggle, in fact we could not make it. The owner had to swim out to get us back on land. Lesson learned, put a paddle in the boat.

Monica: I was about 13 staying with cousins at their cabin by the lake, Estavayer-le-Lac, Switzerland. They had a Vaurien, we went out sailing and the first thing they did was to capsize the boat and teach me how to bring the boat up and quick. We had fun.

2. Your first time in a Snipe?

Stephan: From the deck of my house in Åsgårdstrand, Norway, I was watching my friends sailing the Snipe Nationals. I liked the shape and form of the Snipe. It looked so right and pleasing and advanced with all those colorful control lines. I bought one of the boats and the first time in a Snipe was in my own "White Lady" with my son.

Monica: I knew about the Snipe through my friends Jane and Jan Persson. In 1993, they invited me to Santiago de la Ribera, Spain, to stay with them for the Snipe European Masters. I did not sail, but got to meet sailors and passed three fun days. There is where I met Stephan and Jerry Thompson; they were planning to go to the 1994 World's Master in Japan and said they were looking for a light crew. A month later I received a letter from Stephan asking if I would go with him to Palma de Mallorca so we could train at a Snipe regatta. I accepted, this was my first time sailing a Snipe and we won the first race.

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