US Pan Am Trials & Ron Payne Regatta – Final

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA, April 5-7, 2019.

The US Pan Am Trials were run concurrently with the annual Ron Payne Regatta in Fort Lauderdale, FL over three glorious days of sailing. To be eligible for the Pan Am Games, teams had to include one male and one female and be US citizens. To win, your name had to be Ernesto or Hallie; after they dominated all three races on day one, the regatta quickly became a battle for second place.

From Lauderdale Yacht Club’s docks (on a protected canal off the Intercoastal Waterway) to the race course was a 45-minute sail out through Port Everglades, a commercial port that always has cruise ships, container ships, and fishing boats of all sizes and abilities entering and exiting. Escorted by a fleet of LYC safety boats, the reward was the excellent sailing outside: 75 degree water, 80 degree air, ocean swell, and—of course—Florida sunshine.

The first day’s conditions were picture perfect for Snipe sailing with a 10-14 knot southeast breeze and great surfing waves. After a conservative start in race one, Ernesto/Hallie rounded first and developed a significant lead by the finish—a pattern that would become familiar. Regatta organizers Peter/Connie proved that they’d left all the shoreside details where they belonged, surfing across the line in second place; after another second and a fourth, they finished the day in second overall.

Ashore, we were greeted with rum punch and snacks so the fleet could socialize while rinsing boats and making a few repairs. Dinner was a delicious pasta bar, as well as an impressive choice of protein and vegetables. Over dessert, a debrief by World Champion coach Paul Cronin encouraged everyone to share ideas about what worked (and what didn’t).

Day two’s breeze never filled above 11 knots and dropped down to 8 at times. With plenty of chop and swell, teams who could spot the lines of pressure and figure out how to stay in them (especially downwind) dominated. Augie Diaz/Margaux Bacro won two of the three races, moving into second overall—and closing to within a few points of Ernesto/Hallie, who could “only” manage a 3-2-4 for the day. Enrique Quintero/Kathryn Hannan moved into third with a 2-1-2.

Once again, sailors got back to LYC where rum punch and snacks were on offer, followed by a great Caribbean buffet on the poolside Lauderdale Yacht Club patio. Paul led another debrief, sparking discussions about avoiding clumps of boats downwind and how to steer around the waves, and we also celebrated Sharon Johnson’s birthday. After that, most made it an early night partly due to a ten AM start scheduled for the final day.

Sunday’s 10-14 knots provided yet another day of fantastic Snipe sailing, and another chance for Ernesto/Hallie to prove their dominance by winning the last two races. Even with an OCS the last race (one of six boats caught, out of 15), Augie/Margaux held onto second overall. Enrique/Katie finished with a third to cement third overall.

While teams packed up for the drive home, food and drink were provided once again. Lauderdale Yacht Club (and Team Commette) have developed a winning formula for combining Serious Sailing with Serious Fun; “We like to keep people together,” Peter explained. “And to do that, you have to feed them.” Sunshine, great breeze, and fantastic competition all help too.

Final results after 8 races (1 discard):

  1. Ernesto Rodriguez & Alie Schiffman, 10
  2. Augie Diaz & Margaux Bacro, 18
  3. Enrique Quintero & Kathryn Hannan, 26
  4. Peter Commette & Connie Commette, 28
  5. Ramon Gonzalez Bannazar & Tiare Siera, 38
Pos Sail   Skipper Yacht Club  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8  Total Pos
1  
31337   Ernesto Rodriguez /
Hallie Schiffman  
NA/    1   1   1   3   2   [4]   1   1   10  
1  
2  
30288   Agustin Diaz /
Margaux Bacro  
Coconut Grove Sailing Club/    3   5   3   1   3   1   2   [16/OCS]   18  
2  
3  
31114   Enrique Quintero /
Kathryn Hannan  
Coral Reef Yacht Club/    6   6   [10]   2   1   2   6   3   26  
3  
4  
31442   Peter Commette /
Connie Commette  
Lauderdale YC/Mantoloking YC/    2   2   4   [16/OCS]   6   7   3   4   28  
4  
5  
30506   Ramón González Bennazar /
Tiare Sierra  
Puerto Rico/    5   3   2   [16/OCS]   5   3   4   16/OCS   38  
5  
6  
31441   George Szabo /
Dianna Waterbury  
San Diego Yacht Club/    8   7   [9]   4   7   8   5   2   41  
6  
7  
31295   carol cronin /
Jeff Eiber  
Severn Sailing Association/    4   8   5   9   4   5   11   [16/OCS]   46  
7  
8  
31304   Lee Griffith /
Nikki Bruno  
Surf City Yacht Club/    7   10   6   7   [14]   10   7   6   53  
8  
9  
31313   Jim Bowers /
Julia Rabin  
Winchester Boat Club/    11   4   7   [16/OCS]   8   6   9   16/OCS   61T  
9  
10  
31300   Celia Houston /
Watt Duffy  
Lakewood Yacht Club/    [13]   9   8   5   10   9   13   7   61T  
10  
11  
29966   Evan Hoffmann /
Chloe Constants  
San Diego Yacht Club/    10   [12]   11   6   12   11   8   5   63  
11  
12  
30571   Sharon Seymour-Johnson /
Tara Lobo  
Lauderdale Yacht Club/    12   11   12   8   11   13   10   [16/OCS]   77  
12  
13  
BAH 30511   Lori Lowe /
Sarajane McMahon  
RNSC/    [14]   14   14   10   13   12   14   8   85  
13  
14  
29511   Taylor Scheuermann /
Liam Munzenmaier  
Coral Reef Yacht Club/    9   13   13   [16/OCS]   9   14   12   16/OCS   86  
14  
15  
30027   John Dixon /
Graceanna Dixon  
Lauderdale Yacht Club/    [16/DNC]   16/DNC   16/DNC   16/DNC   16/DNC   16/DNC   16/DNC   16/DNC   112  
15  

Tom Rogers Pix

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