I may not know what I’m doing tomorrow afternoon, but I know where I will be the afternoon of Friday, July 15: roaming the parking lot of Jubilee Yacht Club in Beverly, MA, helping a fleet of women’s sailors rig and tune their boats. That’s the day before the Women’s Snipe Nationals, and chief cook and bottle-washer Shan McAdoo has asked me to run the practice clinic.
And while I’m not yet sure what we’ll focus on, I do know one thing: I will likely learn more than anyone else that afternoon. I may be able to pass on some Snipe-specific details: how to step the mast as a vertically-challenged female; whether light teams should adjust the vang or the traveler first when the breeze pipes up (vang); or the best way to line up for the hoist at low tide (with Beverly Harbor’s eleven foot tidal range, that’s always a challenge). But who knows what I will learn from a bunch of motivated sailors who may well have more tiller time than me in other types of boats?
The Women’s Nationals provides the same contradictions that coed Snipe regattas do. It is supportive of newbies while still challenging to those with a decade or three of devotion to this quirky boat. It rewards practice and time in the boat, but also non-sailing boat work and attention to detail in rigging. It brings together old friends but also creates new ones. And, of course, it carefully balances the two pieces of our class motto, Serious Sailing and Serious Fun.
Jubilee Yacht Club is a great place to sail; the parking lot is large enough for easy rigging. The race course is not too far away but relatively clear of summer weekend boat traffic. And the yacht club is welcoming, with snacks and beverages after sailing that make it fun to hang out and chat about the day’s racing.
Shan has lined up both charter boats and housing, which makes it easy for those who want to show up and sail. And we will make sure everyone has the basics of tuning and boathandling sorted by the end of the day on Friday. So when Saturday’s first gun is fired, everyone will be able to focus on sailboat racing rather than Snipe details.
And I look forward to learning from everyone who attends. Join me in Beverly, MA on Friday, July 15. I promise that together, we will find the best combination of Serious Sailing, Serious Fun.
To register or for more information, email Shan McAdoo: r19slr at yahoo.com