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September 2022

Snipe US National Championship at San Diego Yacht Club - Day 2

by San Diego Yacht Club 14 Jul 2022 02:40 BST July 11-15, 2022
Snipe US National Championship - Day 2 © Matias Capizzano

Day two of the Snipe US National Championship started off a change of venue featuring iconic South San Diego Bay and lots of extra sights and challenges. On the tow out, the fleet in tow just crossed be bow of the classic s/v America, and had not one, but two capsizes that resulted in lost centerboards and one bent mast. And then during the first race (series race 3) Navy helicopters hovered just to the side of the course kicking up sand and making a quite a show that Race Committee's Pete Whitby jokingly described as "Apocalyptic." Despite the traffic and hiccups, the course presented flat water and a warm breeze that did not disappoint.

Event Chair/Skipper Evan Hoffman and crew Shira Golub started their day strong, leading the fleet through the finish line to win race three. Ernesto Rodriguez and Kathleen Tocke, two of the fleet's stronger competitors, finished second. This score put the duo in first overall. Skipper Arthur Blodgett and crew Grace Howie showed up today to finish third in the first race of the day, climbing their way out of 11th and into 6th on the scoresheet.

Race four started with two general recalls. After the fleet started cleanly on the third try, Rodriguez and Tocke regained a position in the fleet they're familiar with and stayed there - in first place. Junior Snipe skipper Justin Callahan and crew Aiden Hoogland proved themselves once again today. The team finished second in race four, bringing them up into 7th place overall, and of course keeping them at the top of the Juniors scoresheet. Blodgett and Howie continued their good run on the water, finishing in third place and placing them in 4th overall the finish the day.

Callahan and Hoogland are sailing together for the first time during this regatta. Hoodland is from San Diego, so the local knowledge is helpful for Callahan.

"Once we got the boat locked in a groove off both of the starts, we were able to keep up with the leaders. We're a little lighter than the rest of the fleet, so sometimes it's hard to keep up in the breeze. Our goal is to hang on to them on the upwinds and make our gains on the downwinds. On the second race, we combined our knowledge and extended all the way to the right. It looked like a big risk separating from everyone else but we were confident in our decision to sail our own race, and sail our boat as fast as we can in the pressure that we have," started Callahan.

Callahan, 19, has about two weeks total experience in the boat, and Hoogland, a mere couple of days.

"We're going up to the other sailors before the starts and asking them questions. That's what's so nice about the fleet. We've been so fortunate that everybody is so accommodating and willing to help. It makes a world of a difference to have mentors like Doug Hart, Augie, Ernesto, and Enrique. We've been having a great time here," he finished.

Several days before the start of the regatta, it was agreed on to combine the Junior and Senior portions of the event. While the Juniors still have the opportunity to be scored separately, some of them are getting crucial practice on the course and even showing the Senior sailors who to look out for in upcoming years. SDYC Juniors Peter Busch and Cam Spriggs are no stranger to having their name on the top half of any scoresheet, and this regatta is no different. In the past three races, the team consistently sailed in the top 15 of the fleet, finishing today with an 11 and 14.

Also included in the top half of the fleet so far are junior skipper Devon Owen and crew Ben Conroy as well as skipper Trevor Davis and crew Ale Torres. Look out, Senior Snipe sailors - these juniors are coming for you!

Racing will continue tomorrow, Thursday, July 14 back on the Pacific Ocean course, with a 1200 warning signal.

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