Snipe USA

2009 Don Q Rum Keg Final

March 09
21:32 2009

Forty-one Snipes came to the City of Miami and Biscayne Bay to race in the 43rd Annual Don Q Rum Keg Snipe Regatta. The event is hosted by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club and Miami Snipe Fleet 7 and is sponsored annually by the Don Q Rum Destileria Serralles, Inc. The competition was tremendous and we had “Chamber of commerce weather” all 3 days with gorgeous sailing conditions. This was a great international event with teams from Norway (3 teams), Sweden, Finland, Italy (4 teams), Brazil (2 Teams), Canada and Puerto Rico.

On Friday, two (2) races were sailed in winds from 120 degrees at 8 to 12 K. PERFECT with lots of sun and temps in the high 70’s. 39 teams enjoyed the day, but as usual some more than others. Ernesto Rodriguez and Megan Place continued their domination of the Winter Circuit with a win in race one. Nick Voss and Tom Fink won race 2 but due to a Z flag violation on one of the several starts for race 2 ended up with 8 points for his victory. Race 2 had 2 Z flag starts and at least 8 competitors received Z flag penalties and 5 were OCS and did not restart.

Saturday was another beautiful day in Miami. The winds were out of 140-150 degrees at 8 to 12 K. Only one race, because as the fleet leaders were approaching the 2nd leeward mark rounding, they were greeted by a fleet of fireboats, a marine ambulance, police boats and a police tow boat under full steam. It turns out that a 40 ft cruising sailboat on auto pilot hit the anchored Committee Boat amid ships knocking down the Committee Members, nearly turning the boat over and putting a hole in the RC Boat. One RC Team Member was injured and taken to the hospital. The Fleet finished the last leg of race 1 not knowing what was going on and then returned to port for the day.

Sunday gave the sailors clear skies, great temps and winds of 9 to 14K. Courses with leeward finishes were used to enable the races to finish early so the sailors going to Nassau could get their boats to the port on time. The first race was a windward leeward course with a leeward finish. Augie won the first race and Ernesto was second. Coming into the finish Bissell and Duffy buried their pole and ripped their jib, rolling the boat. They were in approx 5th place. They righted the boat and finished in 9th. They then borrowed a jib from Hennig Balzer from Norway who was retiring and they sailed the 2nd race. The second race was an Olympic course with a downwind finish. Peter and Morgan Commette developed a great lead on the reach but coming into the finish they buried their pole. They did not flip but they ripped their sail. Give up? Not Morgan. On her own initiative she goes to the bow and holds the sail together and they finish winning the race! Way to go Morgan. You make your Dad look good. Ernesto was second again, clinching the Don Q Championship. The best news on the final day of the Don Q was that the lady on the RCTeam was fine. She was back at the trophy presentation smiling and laughing. We were all happy to see her.

Many thanks to Coconut Grove Sailing Club and the volunteers in Race Committee: PRO Jaime Ramon, Signal Boat Giggling Dolphins owned by Jack and Sue David and Signal Boat Otra Cuba Libre owned by Marc and Cathy Buller, Signal Boat Crew Jo Ann Mathews, Liz Balbin, Cathy Buller, Dotti Rostopher, Marvin Schenker, Sue David, Jaime Ramon Jr., Jack David, Paco Calvet, Marc Buller, & Lucy, Mark Boats Mark & Pin Boat Operators/Crew Susan Walcutt, David Brown, Larry Whipple, Barry Simons, Jamie Remacle, Jim Waldron, Ron Giachetti, Kristin Chapin, Hector Figallo and Denise Jasma. Protest Committee Elliot Levy, Marty Ottenhiemer, and Sharon Bourke, SCIRA rep Brainard Cooper, Regatta Chair Old Man Diaz, Scoring Kay Voss, Entertainment Carmen Diaz and her team and Club management and many others.

See the final results under “Regattas/Results”

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