Marina del Rey, July 23, 2017
Regatta report by Robert Garlipp, photo gallery by Keith Topliffe and comments by John Rose
On July 23rd, five wooden Snipes and one Sharpie heeded the call for the 4th Marina del Rey Wooden Dinghy Race, an event now in its 3rd year.
As in previous years the race was organized on the day the Classic Yacht Association stages the Old Fashioned Day in the Park; and the classic motor yachts and classic cars lining the shore presented a magnificent backdrop to the start and finish of the race.
The race was hosted by the Del Rey Yacht Club, where the boats congregated in the morning for display, followed by a skippers meeting and breakfast.
Brad Thompson brought Snipe 8569 Make Way out for display, restored by his father Jerry Thompson; her perfectly finished topsides and deck gleamed once again under the Southern California sky. There was just enough time to check out all the boats, exchange ideas and stories before the boats had to head for the hoist and race start.
Racers were met by ideal conditions with temperatures in the 70’s and wind starting around 8kts building to 10-11kts by the time of the last race. Among the race teams we had skippers and crew with a wide spread in race experience, including a father and daughter and a father and son team, but despite the varied level of experience and difference in boats the field of Snipes stayed remarkable close together, finishing within minutes and seconds on a race course leading all the way up the Marina Channel to the breakwater and back.
The newcomer, Snipe 16228 Elms Nute, restored by John Rose and finished off by her new owner Scott McKenney took the line honors after wins in two of the three races. Katawampus, the winner of previous races came in second. The Sharpie sailed on a shortened course and finished first in class.
Back at the club sailors where able to regain strength with burgers and full service bar.
Trophy awards and celebration to the energized group was initiated by the address of DRYC’s Vice Commodore Mark Gross., followed by DRYC PRO and Race Chair Andy Kopetzky. Besides the award of the perpetual Snipe Fleet 24 Wooden Dinghy Race Trophy, the fleet also awarded for the first time the Snipe Fleet 24 Rescue Trophy, which was awarded to Gigi Barbes for taking charge of Snipe #3244. The Rescue Trophy was introduced last year to award wooden Snipe rescue, wooden boat rescue in general or good deeds to the wooden boat community.
Report submitted by Snipe Fleet 24 Fleet Captain Robert Garlipp
Notes by John Rose
Photo 1-2-3: Mills Snipe #8569 “Make Way”. Restored in 1989 by Jerry Thompson and Mike McLaughlin. The original owner (Tom Lundquist) was from Lake Chautauqua NY and now lives in the Atlanta area near Lake Allatoona (Snipe fleet at Atlanta YC). Michael Jones (Clearwater FL) now has the sisterboat, Mills #8570 in restoration. Another sister boat (Mills #8573) was sold in the last couple of years in Maine. The others (#s 8571, 8572 and 8574) are “missing in action.”
Photo 12: Snipe #16228 “Elms & Nute”. Great to see it in action again. The prototype (only remaining one of two built) for all Chubasco/McLaughlin/Eclipse Snipes that came afterward. The other one (#16103 “White Trash”, now demolished after unprotected weather exposure) won the 1966 Snipe US Nationals, the last wooden Snipe to win the Nationals. So happy that new owner Scott McKenney was able to finish up the restoration details and get this Snipe back sailing during informal “fun” racing with other Classic Snipes, held during the 2017 “west coast” Classic Snipe Rally at Marina Del Rey, California