Snipe USA

2013 SCIRA USA Women’s National Championship

2013 SCIRA USA Women’s National Championship
November 25
11:03 2013

2013 SCIRA USA Women’s National Championship

Lauderdale Yacht Club

November 21-23, 2013


Eighteen teams competed in the 2013 Snipe US Women’s National Championship, hosted by Lauderdale Yacht Club in Ft Lauderdale, Florida.  Six races were completed, with Kathleen Tocke/Charlie Bess taking the title by three points over Lynne Shore/Julia Marsh.

Day 1 – Peter Commette ran a clinic for all ages and levels of sailing ability. The onshore portion covered rigging and boat handling.  In the afternoon, he put the sailors through their paces with a number of starting, timing, and boat handling drills.  The Snipe Class spirit was in full force, as competitors helped each other in the parking lot, aided by our wonderful Boat Boys Ken Voss, George Szabo, Kevin Reali, Ernesto Rodriguez, Augie Diaz, Martin Bebb, Jensen McTighe, and Andre Guaragna.

Day 2 – Four races were held in the Atlantic Ocean in an ENE wind of 7-12 kts of breeze, with wave conditions at 2-4 feet.   A strong current ran through the starting line forcing skippers to push hard to be on the line on time with speed, a difficult balance. Olympic 470 gold medalist, Lynne Shore and her crew Julia Marsh won the first race with a horizon job, with Aine McLean and Paris Henken in second.  Kathleen Tocke and Charlie Bess came in third.   The second race mixed it up when Lynne Shore and Julia Marsh had to take an OCS on an otherwise first place finish, bringing Kathleen and Charlie into first with Dominique Wright and Hilary Noble coming on strong in second.  Decreasing wind strength during a race means making numerous powering-up adjustments and technique; this is when Kathleen Tocke really began to pull away from the pack. Her knowledge and experience in the Snipe made the difference as everyone struggled in the lessening breeze and over-size, left over chop and waves.  Kathleen and Charlie went on to win the next 2 races, with past Olympic teammates Carol Cronin and Margaret Podlich, along with Wright/Noble and Shore/Marsh, nipping at her heels.

Everyone came in tired and hungry, and all were rewarded with a delicious Caribbean dinner and slide show of the day’s racing by photographer, John Payne.  Check out the excellent photos at or on his Facebook page under John Payne Photography.

Day 3 – Going into the last day, the top five were incredibly close in points especially with a throwout.  With a forecast of winds building to gale force by late afternoon,  the Race Committee moved the start time forward one hour to ensure all competitors were safely back at the dock by the time the 30 knot wind hit.  Winds started out medium, and two races were held in fair winds of 10-15 knots from the NNW veering to NNE.  Lynne Shore and Julia Marsh came out swinging, taking two first place finishes.  However, it was not enough to overcome their OCS.  While Kathleen Tocke and Charlie Bess had a bad first race (12), second place in the last race gave them the consistency needed to come out on top.  Dominique Wright and Hillary Noble secured third overall with a second and fourth.  Expect to see more of these two talented young women!  Only 2 points behind in fourth overall were Carol Cronin and Margaret Podlich.  Coming in thirteenth was the top Junior team of Grace Howie and Katie Lounsbury.  This fleet of Snipe Class women, including three Olympians, as well as numerous past national and international winners, left the locals quite impressed with the depth of the sailors’ talent and skill.

We could not have hosted this regatta without the help of countless volunteers and the support of Lauderdale Yacht Club and our sponsors.  We would especially like to thank:

  •     The Suddath Companies, worldwide moving and storage
  •     W.A. Bentz, builder of custom luxury homes
  •     Team One Newport, sailing gear and clothing
  •     Best Boat Club, rentals of sail and power boats
  •     Starlight Express, Sailing instruction and maritime crew placements
  •     Peter M. Commette, P.A., Law Office

Also notable was the number of boats loaned to competitors with no charter fee.  Special thanks go to Augie Diaz, Martin Bebb, Steve Lang, Kevin Reali, Doug Broeker, Andre Guaragna, Peter Commette, and Jaime Boyden, without whom this regatta would not have been possible.

-Connie Commette


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