Snipe USA

2007 (41st Annual) Don Q Regatta – Sunshine for Everybody

2007 (41st Annual) Don Q Regatta – Sunshine for Everybody
March 19
16:38 2007

XLI Annual Don Q Rum Keg

Coconut Grove Sailing Club

March 16-18, 2007


On Friday morning, Gonzalo Diaz Sr., The Old Man, welcomed 52 Snipe crews to the 41st Annual Don Q Regatta hosted by Coconut Grove Sailing Club. This was also the 41st Don Q Regatta in which The Old Man has competed and it has become more than a family tradition for the Diaz family. This year, The Old Man, his two sons, Augie and Gonzo, and Augie’s son, Lucas and Gonzo’s son, Gonzo raced in four separate boats. While they were out on the water, Carmen Diaz and her crew managed registration, Saturday’s Daiquiris and Cuban meal for all of the competitors.

Other Miami fleet families committed to the Snipe are the Commettee and the Voss families. Each family fielded a father-daughter team while their eldest offspring competed with high school or college friends. Kay Voss, the regatta scorer, is one of the backbones of the Miami Snipe fleet. With 52 teams here, it is refreshing to see families, juniors, foreigners and familiar faces from all over North America enjoying sunshine and challenging wind conditions on Biscayne Bay.

Friday’s races were in extremely heavy air so the heavy-weight teams who didn’t have to resort to tightening down their shrouds and could stay powered up and fully hiked through six long beats faired well. Also sailing well were the youngsters who just don’t seem to be bothered by lactic acid build up and perennial aches and pains. Saturday’s westerly forced everybody to keep their heads out of the boat looking for tell tale signs as to whether the next big blast was going to come from Coconut Grove or Miami. The fleet was jumbled and scrambled quite a bit during the first race. During the second race of the day, more than a few times, crews went from being crouched and sitting inside the boat to auto tacked and straight leg hiked (and there was a lot of hiking during the second race).

There was no run away leader going into Sunday’s final race of the five-race no throw out series. Quantum’s George Szabo and Alan Capellin went into the race averaging a 4, with 16 points, followed by Ernesto Rodriguez and Kathleen Tocke with 17.75, Augie Diaz (The Old Man’s son) and Pam Kelly with 19.75 points, Andy Pimental and Julia Langford with 22 points and Peter and Sheehan Commette (father daughter team) with 22.75 points.

Andy and Julia jumped out into the lead and held onto it throughout the entire five-leg windward leeward course. Doug Hart and Fred Moffat, George Szabo and Alan Capellin, Peter and Sheehan Commette, Dave Hebert and Bill Schoenberg, Mike Blackwood and Dan Gautrud and Ernesto Rodriguez and Kathleen Tocke and the father-son team of Todd and Lee Sackett, would slide by each other on waves going down the run and pick off one another on shifts going up the beats. There was added drama at the top of the second beat when the race committee realized that the mark was not holding. The fleet rounded an anchored mark boat and the offset mark to go downwind to a gate that was very right hand favored. In the end, Andy and Julia sailed the course unchallenged for the lead. Peter and Sheehan Commette held on to a second and Ernesto Rodriguez and Kathleen Tocke powered through the top heavy top of the fleet to finish third.

After Kay Voss sorted through the results, George Szabo won his 4th Don Q Regatta. He and Alan had a total of 20 points. Ernesto and Kathleen were second with 22.75 points; Andy and Julia were third with 23 points. Only 7.75 points separated the top five boats in the regatta. Juniors Nick Voss and Andy Rahn finished in the top ten for the regatta for the second year in a row.

1.Szabo/Capellin – 20 points. 2. Rodriguez/Tocke – 20.75 points. 3. Pimental/Langford – 23 points. 4. Commette/Commette – 24.75 points. 5. Diaz/Kelly – 27.75. 6. Murrieta/Avilla Camanho – 44.75 points. 7. Blackwood/Gautraud – 49.0 points. 8. Voss/Rahn – 57 points. 9. Hiebert/Schoenberg – 62 points. 10. Sackett/Sackett – 66 points.


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