Western Hempisphere & Orient Championship - Final

Sunday, 28 October 2018 02:49
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Olivos, Buenos Aires, October 27, 2018

by Rachele Vitello

(Photo courtesy of Matias Capizzano)


It's been a very even yet exciting Western Hemisphere & Orient Snipe Class Championship 2018. This morning in Buenos Aires, before the two last races were sailed there were five teams that could mathematically win the event. An easterly breeze of about 7 knots was blowing on the race course at the time of the start of the first race, and the 42 boats were eager to get on with the competition but probably the most eager of all were Ernesto Rodriguez and Kathleen Tocke (USA) that wanted to get at least one more race done in order to discard both the DNCs of the first day when they couldn't race for some health issues. The race winners were Augusto Amato and Constanza Alvarez (ARG) but right behind them there were Rodriguez with Tocke.



Still, at the start of Race 10, the last one of the series, the Championship was still wide open. The wind was still in the range of 7 knots from the east but the leaders were, once again in the week, different. Edgar Diminich and Andrea Quebedo from Ecuador won the race, followed by Rene Torrecillas Abreu & Lorena Fundora Rodriguez from Cuba and in the third spot Ernesto Rodriguez and Kathleen Tocke.

It took a while and a little math on the Race Committee boat before being sure who the winners were, and by the time everyone was back ashore there were no doubts left: by only two points over the second place boat, the 2018 Western Hemisphere and Orient Champions of the International Snipe Class were Americans Ernesto Rodriguez and Kathleen Tocke from Miami, FL.

"Nobody wants to start a Championship like this, my crew was sick and we couldn't sail at all on the first day, after that we just sailed and kept doing our best and as we didn't have anything to loose we took a lot of chances and after a bad second race yesterday we went on the water today thinking we still could make it. We had clear and fast starts and even though it was shifty day we sailed pretty well, and everything paid off. We are very happy to have won this Championship, there are teams that sailed a fantastic week, like Juliana and Luciano, but sometimes in sport it's just like this, we got lucky at the end and we won't complain about it."

Juliana Duque with crew Rafael Martins, her husband, are from Brazil and have been leading this week's ranking for the first three days, and finished the Snipe Westerns as runners up with great honor. Same for Luciano Pesci and Barbara Brotons (ARG), this morning's provisional leaders, who finished third just one point behind the Brazilians, due to a bad last race.

Lights went off at Western Hemisphere & Orient Snipe Class Championship 2018 after the prize giving ceremony at Club Nautico Olivos that brilliantly organized the event.

"I am very satisfied with this Championship - said Snipe Class Commodore Pietro Fantoni - both from the sport and the organization points of view. It's great that we had such a competitive fleet; on the first day there were at least ten teams that could have won it, and still having five possible winners this morning it's a sign of great equilibrium in the fleet. I am also very happy to have the top six teams sporting a mixed crew, showing that with moderate to light wind the men/women teams are just as competitive and it makes me think it could be the right direction to take."

And then the Commodore went on: "I am really pleased on how the event was managed, Club Nautico Olivos was very efficient and so nice and welcoming to both sailors and class officers, Teodoro Kundig, alias 'Kiko', with his team did a fantastic job, proving to be very experienced. No surprises as Kiko was PRO at the Olympic Games in Rio. Big thanks goes to the Argentinian class for supporting all of this, to the class measurer and the jury, everybody did an amazing job in their position."

This is the last big Championship for the International Snipe class, an intense 2018 with the European Championship, the Senior Master Worlds, the Women's Championship and the Western Hemisphere. 2019 won't be also very busy, with both the Junior and Senior World Championship in Ilhabela in Brazil and the Pan-Am Games in Paracas, Peru, but we are already thinking about 2020 with the Europeans in Split, Croatia, and the Westerns in the United States of America.

Rachele Vitello

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