Snipe USA

Surf City Leg of Spring Circuit and Pork Loin

June 21
15:46 2007

Surf City Leg of Snipe “Spring Circuit”, ACC’s, and Pork Loin
For the last several years, there has been a great new “Spring Circuit” for Snipers on the east coast which allows Florida sailors to escape the heat and do a series of Atlantic seaboard regattas. This year, six Snipes from Florida arranged the double deck logistics to be able to do the Colonial Cup in Annapolis, leave the boats, fly out, fly in, and then make a short trek north to New Jersey for the Atlantic Coast Championships. It has been so successful that now there is talk of trying to expand the circuit to include a third leg. Any ideas out there?

A very tough Snipe fleet gathered on Long Beach Island, New Jersey at Surf City Yacht Club with boats from Florida, Missouri, Annapolis, Boston, Connecticut, and New York. Notable travel warriors were the Diaz’s, Voss’s, Commette’s and the Irgen’s from St Louis. David Hiebert even brought his whole family from Miami for some quality time on the Jersey shore! The fleet included several Worlds qualifiers training for Portugal, so the intensity was high. The first order of business was a welcoming barbecue Friday evening at the Griffith house where everyone has to bunk down “ski chalet” style or “college regatta” style whichever description you prefer. Besides the abundant food (mostly pork loin), the regatta tradition has become embroidered blankets for trophies which is appropriate and needed for bedding for the next year’s regatta.

The weather forecast was for sun and heat so the beach contingent was very happy. As the sailors gathered on the inside for Saturday’s racing, the wind was initially light but with a good direction which promised the famous Jersey Shore sea breeze. The first two races were shifty and dicey but Augie Diaz and Tracy Smith were up to the challenge winning both. Gonzo Diaz/Morgan Commette were right there with a 2-3 and several boats were in the mix including Peter/Sheehan Commette, Eric Reinke/Bridget Crevey, Gavin/Holly O’Hare (with new baby and babysitter on shore!), David Heibert/Tom Manning, and Lee Griffith/Andrea Nilsen. Nick Voss and Andy Rahn were right in the hunt as they trained for the Junior Worlds in Italy later in the summer. The fleet was tightly packed with a couple finish lines that were utter chaos as everyone crossed at the same time after a one hour race. The Surf City Race Committee, comprised of several accomplished SCYC Lightning sailors, had their work cut out for them, but was up to the job as usual.

The third and fourth races saw the arrival of the southwesterly sea breeze that makes sailing on the Jersey shore so fantastic. Peter/Sheehan led the third race wire to wire and slowed down Augie a little bit, but the fourth race saw those two swap places back again. The third race had some high entertainment as Griffith/Nilsen got a little too aggressive in a jibe downwind and found themselves swimming in the seaweed before they righted and finished well back and red faced. At the end of the day, Augie/Tracy were in control with three bullets and a second, followed by Peter/Sheehan, Gonzo/Morgan, Eric/Bridget, and Lee/Andrea in succession. After four races and the extreme hiking in the final two, everyone was ready to head in to the yacht club, wash off the salt water, and go for a walk on the beach before dark on the other side of the island.

Everyone who has come to Surf City knows what Saturday evening was all about; in fact a well known but unnamed Florida sailor has threatened non-attendance if the menu is altered in any way. Grilled, marinated pork loin, abundant Jersey corn on cob, salad and rolls with plenty of libations of various sorts. Gavin O’Hare, pork loin griller extraordinaire, exhibited his math skills by calculating that there were .8235 pork loins per skipper or crew. This might sound like a lot, but it is never a problem as it makes a great lunch for Sunday as Karla heats it up for sandwiches for everyone’s drive home. Needless to say, everyone was satisfied and ready for a moonlight beach walk before some much needed sleep after the festivities.

Sunday racing was very challenging as the wind started out light and from the south. It looked great for another sea breeze but it fooled everyone and instead we got a shifty west breeze in the end. Griffith/Nilsen connected the dots on the right side and ran away for the bullet in this one, with Commette’s in second. Pedro Lorson showed he hasn’t forgotten his light air skills with a third. The wind died completely and then came back up out of the unusual west with some velocity shifts. Despite some serious challenges and lots of position changes at every mark, Augie/Tracey put their exclamation point on a great series with two bullets to finish it – winning five races out of the seven sailed. Peter and Sheehan were a solid second with Gonzo and Morgan sealing a top three sweep for south Florida sailors. Griffith/Nilsen redeemed themselves from their earlier capsize to claim fourth and Eric Reinke and Bridget Crevey rounded out the top five.

At the trophy presentation, Augie said he wanted to bring the ACC’s back to Surf City again next year, so mark your June calendar for next year’s Snipe Spring Circuit! We need a fleet to schedule a third leg of this circuit somewhere south of Annapolis and sometime in May – any takers out there?

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