San Diego, September 12, 2014. Regatta report by Carol Cronin
(Photo: Raul Rios & Fernando Menllor – courtesy of John Payne)
Final results (10 races, 2 discards)
1. PUR Raul Rios & Fernando Monllor, 30
2. ARG Luis Soubie & Diego Mini Lipszyc, 31
3. BRA Breno Bianchi & Flavio de Castro, 45
4. BRA Rafael Gagliotti & Henrique Wisniewski, 49
5. BRA Alexandre Tinoco & Alexandre Niederauer, 57
The 43 teams are now heading home to their 12 countries, after a fantastic 2014 Western Hemisphere and Orient Championship hosted by San Diego Yacht Club. A combination of professional and volunteer organizers came together after two full years of planning, and the result was a weeklong reunion of our South American, North American, and Japanese Snipe family.
Serious Racing was of course the first priority, and many teams showed up early to prepare their charter boats and let their bodies adjust to the Pacific coast time zone. Only about a third of the boats came from “away”, and none of the international teams shipped boats, so the depth of the San Diego fleet and high quality of the provided boats were very important to the success of several teams.
Serious Fun was also very important, and the San Diego plan included something for everyone. The regatta opened with a parade of countries and music by Leapfrog, and closed with a party on the Yacht Club deck that offered a wide variety of food and a great rocking beach band. In between were house parties, model boat racing by country (won by Colombia), paddleboard fun, and snacks/beer for all the sailors after every day of racing. No one went home hungry, and some might have even gained a few pounds—in spite of five days of hiking.
Usually racing a big event in San Diego means ocean sailing, but for this regatta the organizers wisely decided to mix it up a bit. Six races were held in the swells, wind chop, and 8-14 knots of westerly that we all think of as “classic San Diego.” Four of the races were sailed in South Bay at tne bottom of San Diego Harbor, a flat water, shifty venue that often has a few knots more breeze than the ocean outside. When Hurricane Norbert decided to send some unusually hot and humid weather our way early in the week, South Bay gave us a great alternative to drifting around in the predicted kelp and big swells outside. And on day 4, this alternate sailing area guaranteed that the eventual winners would be forced to excel in a range of conditions. The result: no one was able to crack the top 10 in every race, and only one team (2nd place finishers Luis Soubie/Diego Mini Lipszyc) was unhappy about having two drop races by the end of the series.
When the locals were asked before the regatta started what the biggest obstacle to doing well would be, the answer was immediate: “Kelp.” But even in the ocean, the long strings and islands of green were pretty easy to avoid all week. That was a welcome surprise.
The least welcome aspect of the regatta was all the towing. South Bay was a 1+ hour ride for anyone but Jerry Thompson and Mandi Dufort’s fast tow of one boat (deserving former Commodores Jimmy Lowe/Don Bedford), and the ocean venue was only a little closer. When we totaled up the towing hours at the end of the week, it came to more than 10. It was a good week to have a fun teammate and/or fun towing neighbors. And fortunately, the great sailing and shoreside hospitality more than made up for that downtime.
The weather was also quite spectacular, and there was only one day of racing that required protection from anything other than sun. Spray tops were left onshore, along with warm hats and most of our neoprene. What a nice way to end the summer sailing season for those of us in the northern hemisphere!
The results? Well, the South Americans took three of the spots in the top five, but they couldn’t take the top prize this time. That went to youngster islanders Raul Rios/Fernando Monllor (PUR), who overcame a tough second to last day to take back their lead with a 6,3 in the final two races. 6th-10th overall was an almost all-American party, spoiled by only one Japanese team in the aptly named “Charter Boat.”
The regatta was also a country qualifier for the 2015 Pan American Games, which will take place in Toronto, Canada next July. The five countries who qualified out of this event were PUR, USA, COL, ECU, and CUB. The USA Trials will take place in mid-October, also out of San Diego Yacht Club.
And for those of you who’ve never started on the same line with sailors from 11 other countries before, it’s, well—different. So much of our sailing comfort zone is related to knowing the habits and sailing styles of our competition, and especially at the beginning of a regatta like this, the faces and pre-start antics were sometimes completely unexpected. Learning a little more each day added a new and very fun dimension, and we even learned a few words of several different languages. We can’t wait for the 2015 Worlds to put our new communication skills to use.
|05 / PUR29841||PUR 29841||Raul Rios/
|15 / ARG28701||ARG28701||Luis Soubie/
Diego Mini Lipszyc
|37 / BRA30997||Cachorrão||Breno Bianchi/
Flavio de Castro
|Rio de Janeiro IC/||6||2||7||1||2||11||5||||11||||45||
|07 / BRA31004||Guarda Patrimonial||Rafael Gagliotti/
|Iate clube de santos/||||||10||4||5||5||9||4||3||9||49||
|42 / BRA31151||Alexandre Tinoco/
|43 / USA30759||30759||Brian Kamilar/
|Coral Reef YC/||||6||14||5||6||||11||15||5||4||66||
|47 / USA30288||Danilu||Augie Diaz/
Aine McLean Fretwell
|30 / USA29941||Doug Hart/
|18 / JPN31054||Charter Boat||Koji Kamiya/
|NTT East YC/||15||||2||12||23||[44/DSQ]||4||21||2||6||85||
|32 / USA28687||C Cannibal BB-EE-JE||Chuck Sinks/
|06 / USA28854||Randy Lake/
|19 / CUB31038||Raúl Díaz Herrera/
Rafael García Granados
|45 / USA31188||Jibe Tech||Andrew Pimental/
|27 / USA31130||Ernesto Rodriguez/
|39 / USA30860||Spidey||Carol Cronin/
|20 / BRA31066||Mateus Tavares/
|YCe da Bahia/||25||19||13||14||11||7||[44/OCS]||11||1||||101||
|34 / USA30109||David Tillson/
|01 / JPN30924||Takuya Shimamoto/
|46 / USA30800||Green Flash||Rick Arneson/
|San Diego YC/||13||||22||22||9||19||13||20||12||||130||
|31 / ECU31027||El Desleal||Edgar Diminich/
|03 / JPN28732||HITACHI Sailing Team||Ryohei Doi/
|26 / BRA30996||La Maquina||Felipe Sabino/
|rio yatch club/||||25||26||24||7||[44/DSQ]||18||2||30||16||148T||
|22 / ECU31037||Jesus Bailon Reyes/
|08 / CUB29517||Raúl Faura Nieto/
José Piña Nieto
|24 / BRA31113||LORD||Helio Lyra de Aquino Jr./
João Pedro Moreira
|ICRJ/IC Rio de Janeiro/||29||28||||9||10||15||||28||14||22||155||
|23 / USA30337||Quantum Racing||Eric Heim/
|San Diego YC/||22||23||9||13||||27||23||24||15||||156||
|14 / JPN30353||Kosuke Demichi/
|10 / JPN31134||Motoharu Nishii/
|25 / JPN30722||JPN30722||Genya Ozaki/
|04 / USA29778||Batura||Roberto Guaragna/
|28 / COL30718||Esteban Echavarria/
Juan Esteban Restrepo Vera
|Federation Colombia de Vela/||20||[44/DSQ]||27||25||16||29||||33||22||18||190||
|33 / PER31150||Diego Figueroa/
|Club Regatas Lima/||33||17||32||[38/ZFP]||25||22||25||27||||25||206||
|21 / JPN30844||Kento Hashimoto/
|09 / USA28858||Seagle||Nicholas Kaschak/
|San Diego YC/||26||24||||34||26||24||39||[44/OCS]||9||31||213||
|41 / USA30903||Cameron Fraser/
|36 / USA29013||Chris Wright/
|Mission Bay YC/||30||||24||27||||33||34||34||34||32||248||
|17 / BAH28811||Breaking Wind||Jimmie Lowe/
|Royal Nassau SC/||34||26||36||||36||23||33||35||[44/OCS]||38||261||
|35 / COL29651||Carolina Ponton/
|Club de V. Cartagena/||||||37||31||27||35||27||37||38||37||269||
|11 / BRA31159||Matheus Franca/
Daniel Seixas Claro
|40 / MEX30330||Alfonso Garcia Bringas/
Javier Garcia Bringas Rivera
|44 / ARG31222||Quimera||Alejandro Triggiano/
|CR Guemes Salta/||35||||33||42||[44/DSQ]||38||32||38||40||34||292||
|02 / USA28470||Red Lady||Stephan Irgens/
|38 / CAN29318||Mister Bear||Christopher Hains/
|Guelph Comm. BC/||41||39||||||39||39||38||41||42||42||321||
– Scoring System is RRS Low Point 2013-2016
– Finishes in [brackets] denote throwouts
– Click on race number to view detailed race information.
It doesn’t get closer than this. Skipper Raul Rios and his crew Fernando Monllor won the Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Championship by a single point.
Going into the final day of racing, Rios was one of three teams with a real shot at nabbing the coveted title of champion. With the Organizing Authority’s announcement of an ocean course, competitors knew to be nervous as the Puerto Rican skipper has raced notoriously well on open water throughout the regatta.
A mere four points separated Soubie and Rios before the final race, and getting off the starting line quickly was more crucial than ever before. Rios and Monllor were in sixth place by the time the fleet made it to the gate marks. They maneuvered around their competitors with sharp tactical handling, making their way up the fleet to ultimately finish third in the race, just behind the two USA teams skippered by Diaz and Hart.
“We knew it was going to be a tough day, but we just had to focus on one boat at a time, one leg at a time,” said Rios.
Argentinean sailors Luis Soubie and Diego Mini Lipszyc struggled to maintain their position as regatta leaders throughout the final day of racing. Though they previously did well on the first two days of the ocean course, they couldn’t seem to get the starts they needed to lead either of today’s races.
“Today was a disaster,” Soubie said of his 25th finish in Race 9 and 10th place finish in Race 10. “We ended the day feeling like we didn’t do much racing at all today. We were constantly in an emergency or getting away from trouble.” Both of today’s races ended up being throw out scores, making them rely on their previous four days of top finishes to secure their position in second place overall.
Though disappointed that he let go of first, Soubie says he’s happy with his overall second place finish.
As a qualifying event for next year’s PanAms, a lot more was riding on this regatta than just determining who would become the 2014 Snipe WH&O Champion. Many coaches made the far trek across international waters to insure that their country could qualify in time to compete in PanAms to be held in Canada. Puerto Rico, USA, Cuba, Ecuador and Colombia have all qualified during this regatta, while the Bahamas and Mexico remain unqualified.
Looking even further to the future of the Snipe Class, Soubie was happy to endorse the skipper who edged him out of the championship. “He’s the future of the Snipe Class,” Soubie said. “He’s only 20 years old. He’s going to make this class proud.”