Snipe USA

Earl Elms Interview

February 15
11:23 2012

Interview conducted by Fleet 12 member Vince Casalaina

Earl started sailing Snipes in Mission Bay in 1963 when he got out of the Navy. He joined a small but active fleet sailing mostly Eichenlaub and Varalyay Snipes. The fleet didn’t stay small long as it gained 10 to 15 boats a year in those early days.

Even though the Snipe is a one design boat, there’s still room to adjust the shape of the boat — a little off here, add a little there. Earl built himself a wooden boat named White Trash that looked to straighten out as many of the lines as possible. Built of white cedar, the boat was fast especially downwind when the boat gets up on a plane.

Earl can talk about some of the regattas he’s won as if it was yesterday. He won back to back World Championship in the 1960’s. The first was in Angola, the only time the Snipe Worlds has been held on that continent. The second was in Brazil where he found the competition tough, but the friendships lasting.

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