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2014 Winchester Invitational and Classic Snipe Rally

2014 Winchester Invitational and Classic Snipe Rally
July 14
15:40 2014

2014 Winchester Invitational and Classic Snipe Rally

Winchester, MA, 12-13 July 2014

Report by Carol Cronin, courtesy of Snipe Today


25 boats, including 3 classic Snipes, fit in five races over two days on the famous Mystic Lake, a small puddle northwest of Boston with a big Snipe history. But the racing wasn’t really the big story of this particular weekend: that honor goes to the “first ever” achievement of having a boat representing every Snipe decade in attendance.

Saturday started off windless and ended up much the same, but over the course of the day the Race Committee fit in two races. Local Cameron Fraser and Lolitta Kumaresan put together an almost-perfect record, until the last 100 yards of the second race when they sailed into a hole and lost 3 boats. One of the teams who squeaked past was Carol Cronin/Kerry Sullivan, who also squeaked out a tight finish over Jim/Alex Bowers to take a slim overnight lead.

Back on shore, sailors gathered around the collection of 10 wooden Snipes that ranged in birth years from 1939-1970. The boats were in various states of restoration, and they also showed quite an evolution of cockpit design. Speakers explained the effort put into each boat, as well as where to get the supplies needed for restoration. And any questions were ably answered by one of the owners, yacht historian John Rousmaniere, or current builder Andrew Pimental. Best of all the forecast was for big breeze the next day, so nobody hesitated to fill up at the barbecue dinner.

Sunday’s forecast turned out to be true. Fortunately the 10am start let us fit in three more races before the breeze piped up too much to be safe. Cameron Fraser and a fresh crew stepped out to win the first race of the day, and after posting a 5,1 took the regatta by 5 points. Cronin/Sullivan managed to hold on for 2nd overall in spite of a disappointing 8th in race 4. Jim Bowers and his stable of crews (all family members) finished third overall without winning a single race.

In addition to the racing results, special trophies were awarded for the Most Seasoned Team (highest age of skipper + crew + boat), which was won by Ernie and Sue Hardy. Hull #13, the second oldest boat on site sailed by Sarah Cushing and Bill Ridge, was awarded the Sailor’s Choice award. And Steve Lee/Todd Calvin won the farthest travelled award for bringing “Woody” all the way from Rochester, NY. Todd was also the most obviously dressed for his boat’s decade, 1970, in a tie-dye T-shirt.

Thanks to the Winchester Boat Club race committee, but a special thanks to Art Rousmaniere for the contagious enthusiasm that brought us all together.

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