Snipe USA

East vs West at Jr World Qualifier in San Diego

July 09
17:45 2008

No shortage of serious sailing and serious fun at the 1st qualifiers for the 2009 Snipe Junior Worlds.

The first of two qualifiers was recently held in San Diego, the future venue for both the Junior and Open World Championship in 2009, and saw some fabulous competition between some of the top junior sailing talent currently on the US National circuit. This was the first qualifier since the Snipe class raised the upper age limit to 21.

Leading the pack and winners of the coveted spot were Judge Ryan and Willie McBride who this week can be found representing the United States at the 2008 ISAF World Youth Championship in Denmark.

Tyler Sinks, 2x winner of the US Youth Champs in 2007 and 2008, with crew Myles Gutenkunst managed to pass Nick Voss and Tom Fink on the last day in a déjà Vu performance of the 2008 Snipe Junior World Championships in San Remo Italy.

The presence of the Hoffman twins Evan and Scott, winners of the 2007 Sear Cup, Caleb Paine a perennial top finished at major youth championships, as well as 2008 Snipe World Champion Enrique Quintero with crew Alex Sachs meant the competition was hot. However, as Nick Voss and Tom Fink report below there was no shortage of serious fun and a humorous East-West rivalry off the water.

The 2nd qualifier will be held in San Francisco August 1and 2nd for the remaining 2 slots and should see some great action and competition. The 2nd qualifier is taking place the weekend in advance of the US Snipe Nationals at the same location so excellent loaner boats are still available for youth or collegiate sailors interested in jumping into the class.

2008 District 6 Championships and Snipe Junior Worlds Qualifier
Report by Nick Voss and Tom Fink

It all started on Friday when the majority of the competitors arrived for a clinic put on by Brian Janney of Quantum Sails. The clinic was held in La Playa, a small quaint cove not really designed for sailing, which made for some interesting practice as we dodged moored boats sailing on forty-degree shifts. The practice races quickly showed the East versus West mentality that would envelop the whole weekend. The Boston Celtics having just won the NBA Finals over the Los Angeles Lakers seemed to cause some resentment from the West coast teams.

Two teams traveled out from the East coast eager to prove that the Celtics victory was in fact legitimate. The sailors awoke Saturday morning to find the usual lack of breeze that Southern California is known for. This was especially unfortunate for the East coast team as there crew weight was similar to that of two NBA centers. We were towed out that morning into the ocean for some sailing that was sure to be as competitive as any good basketball game. Every race that day seemed to favor the right side of the course. Ordinarily this should be taken as a sign that the Right coast should prevail but the Left coast was the first to figure it out. Left coasters Judge Ryan and Willie McBride stole the day showing the speed of Kobe minus all the controversy. When we reached the dock after sailing, the West coast in typical fashion began to question some calls the referees made regarding check in failure.

After the wonderful taco dinner provided by SDYC the energy remained high. The East coast proceeded to rub in the fact that it was the true basketball powerhouse. The West coast wanted proof on the court. We all agreed to go to the Sinks’ house and play a quick rematch of the NBA Finals. A quick hop over the fence and we were at the court. It was an interesting venue with very many similarities to La Playa, it was small and the cheese grating flooring had tendency to shift on you as you ran. An intense game followed with many a player walking away with some bruise from the game. One in particular was the fact that the flooring left an imprint very similar to that of a waffle iron on your backside if you fell down, just ask Tommy Fink if you don’t believe it. In the final minutes the East was up by one but had to win by two but were not able to finish. T. Sinks sank a couple with many assists to regain the lead for the west and put away the game for the West. You can bet the East is going to want rematch at the Junior Nationals in San Francisco.

The last day of the event was greeted by dense fog in the ocean forcing the race committee to sail near the Midway almost in San Diego Harbor. The East Coast opened up by winning the first race of the day as Enrique Quintero dominated the race from the start helping to repair the East’s broken ego. However the West would prevail with Judge Ryan and Willie McBride winning the event and taking the first spot for the 2009 Snipe Junior Worlds. The top three in the event were given embroidered backpacks as awards, which were provided by Quantum Sails.


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