Snipe USA

Nick Voss Reports from Junior Worlds

August 21
10:49 2007

2007 Snipe Jr. World Championship

There was a little bit of everything at the 2007 Snipe Junior Worlds, often times even in the same day. With teams ranging from the Swedish sailing at no more than 240 lbs. to the Argentines sailing at 320, the varying conditions led to one of the closest, most fair regattas ever sailed. Meeting other young Snipe sailors, a group far too small in the United States, was probably the best part. The round-the-table ping pong bonding with the other sailors from around the globe was just as fun as planing down the 6-foot waves in 25 knots. There were definite sailing styles to each country, and each was very similar to that of the adults from their respective countries. Everything from the Brazilian hiking to the Uruguayans downwind “speed”. The experience back at the dorms depended largely on the wind of the day. After light air days it was common to here ping pong paddles and foosball tables clinking well into the night.

The first day we got there the Brazilian judge kindly gave us a warning that there was a cold front from England to Spain coming through, and he was right. In the second race of the first day the wind picked up to a steady 20 knots with 6-foot waves (although they seemed much larger!). The race committee waited to the last leg to call the race, probably due to the fact that almost all the boats were borrowed. The Uruguayans promptly complained to the race committee and were promptly flipped by the hand of God, showing us it was the right call to go in. Unfortunately when the race was abandoned the US was in 1st and 6th – most likely due to our more muscular build from our protein-laden breakfast at home, something the European breakfasts were lacking. Once on shore there were many new sails looking like bed sheets (we were ragging our main and jib at some points just to keep upright) and two masts were broken. Oddly enough both broken masts belonged to juniors that were using their own boats.

The rest of the days were much more benign. Most of the racing was held into 4- 12 knots, with a short starting line and a long course. The racing was fairly standard with the race committee doing a superb job handling the very odd conditions. Our coach (local and Italian National Champion Enrico Solerio) would tell us every day that a local would take a gamble because San Remo almost is never like this.

On shore the nightly dinners and ping-pong time let us get to know the other countries. We decided this:
1. The Spanish Love their nutella
2. The Uruguayans love video games
3. The Swedish would rather shop than sail
4. The Argentines are either really big or really small, but both are very nice
5. The Polish have some pickle business (they must have had 5 boxes of pickles on their back porch
6. The Norwegians are quiet
7. The British speak English (A great relief)
8. The Bermudians have a much rougher life than we previously assumed
9. The Colombians are fast no matter how old their boats, must be because they wash them so much
10. The Italians are some of the best hosts ever

Photos by Enrico Solerio

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