Lakewood, April 19, 2013. Report by Eric Heim and results
Everything is bigger in Texas!
When Amy Benner and I arrived at Lakewood Yacht Club outside of Houston for the North Americans, the first thing we said was, “Holy Cow, this is the biggest yacht club I have ever been to!” Sprawling clubhouse on a large point of land with boat sheds everywhere and the Texas sized personality of Watt Duffy greeting us.
Wed was slated to be our travel day and get the boat put together time. Plans changed when we heard they were hosting a Wednesday Night Beercan Race! We threw the sails up about 20 minutes from the start with zero clue of rake, tension, or weather it was in the middle of the boat and headed out to the startline. Got a few funny looks from folks who hadn’t expected to see a Snipe… With no course chart, we started in the Portsmouth Division. Luckily it was the same course as the Sunfish who started just before us. We led for most of the race before rounding a leeward mark the wrong way. This allowed the catamaran to pass us, but I am pretty sure we still corrected out to first. By the time we got in, it was getting dark and we hit the road to find our hosts house overlooking the venue for the big show.
Thursday brought an ominous forecast. A large front was approaching and set to pass through in the late afternoon. We ran a few errands and got to the club where many of the competitors were busily unloading. By the time we had finished up measurement, it was obvious the storm would be here sooner than expected. Only one boat managed to get in a 15 minute jaunt before the weather forced everyone in to the Sail Measurement building. In between cells was the opportune time to run to the boatyard and refill your beer from the keg provided to the competitors.
The skippers meeting was held at 7:00 and everyone stayed together at the club for dinner and camaraderie. We awoke to a big clearing breeze and near freezing temperatures on Friday morning. With a 10:00 start time the wind was blowing 20+ and big gusts, so the RC wisely postponed on shore until 1pm.
There was a bit of carnage on the way out. Ernesto and Julia pulled the deck apart at the chainplate, Watt Duffy broke a shroud then proceeded to capsize to save the mast. and we came down from a wave and had the jibsheet pop out of the reaching hook and send the pole forward to wrap around the headstay.
By the time the race got going, there wer only 9 starters in a very shifty (30-40 degrees) breeze of 17 knots with big 22+ knot stingers. The right side payed up the first beat and Team Ecuador rounded first. Augie Diaz and Kathleen Toke made quick work of them on the first reach and never looked back, going on to win the race. Diego Velez and Juan Ferretti held on to second from a hard charging Peter Commette and Bruno Mello who finished 3rd. The fleet made their way back to Lakewood YC to lick their wounds and put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
Stephan and Monica Irgens lent their spare boat to Rodriguez/ Melton, the Traveling Snipe fleet replaced the shroud on 30855 and lent us a replacement pole for 30337. Once all of the boatwork was finished, the fleet headed off to Watt and Pricilla Duffy’s for an authentic crawfish boil and more serious fun. The forecast for Saturday is about 15 knots with a shift towards the “regular” direction. Keep checking back for more info as it happens!
Legendary Snipe Fleet 495
1. 88 / 30288, , Augie Diaz/Kathleen Tocke, Coral Reef Yacht Club, 1- ; 1
2. 27 / 31027, 3212080906, Diego Velez/Juan Ferretti, Min. Deporte, 2- ; 2
3. 42 / 29442, El Kabong, Peter Commette, Lauderdale Yacht Club, 3- ; 3
4. 51 / 30551, Simplicity, Simon Strauss/Kelly Dunn, Larchmont YC, 4- ; 4
5. 43 / 29143, Snipe, Stephan Irgens, , 5- ; 5
6. 37 / 30337, Mud Flap Girl, Eric Heim/Amy Benner, San Diego YC, 6- ; 6
7. 46 / 29646, , Arael Sànchez Tavira/SANTIAGO ALVAREZ, Club Nautico Avandaro, 7- ; 7
8. 77 / 30477, Princess Soggy Bottom VII, Gene Soltero/Laura O’Leary, Corinthian Sailing Club, 8- ; 8
9. 57 / 31157, , Martin bebb/Priscilla Duffy, Windycrest, Tulsa, US Fleet 68, 15/DNS- ; 15T
9. 18 / 30218, , Mark Williams/Cris Molina, Corinthian Sailing Club Dallas, 15/DNF- ; 15T
9. 89 / 30089, Lana, Andrew Klein/Sharon Seymour-Johnson, Winchester Boat Club, 15/DNS- ; 15T
9. 73 / 30473, , Ernesto Rodriguez/Julia Melton, NA, 15/DNS- ; 15T
9. 55 / 30855, GEAUX FAST SAILING, Masson Crowell/John Watt Duffy III, Ocean Beach Yacht Club, 15/DNS- ; 15T
9. 11 / us24702, The Curad Kid, jerry thompson, Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, 15/DNS- ; 15T