Snipe USA

2016 Women’s Snipe Nationals

2016 Women’s Snipe Nationals
July 17
20:45 2016

Sonya Smith and Lauren Schoene claim 2016 Snipe US Womens Nationals title


Sonya Smith and Lauren Schoene from Severn Sailing Association bested 16 other teams from Florida to Maine to claim the title of US Womens Champions on July 16-17 hosted by Jubilee YC in Beverly, Mass. With 5-12 knot winds with up to 40 degree shifts, lumpy seas and tightly bunched mark roundings, the teams were taxed on their skills and patience of both lake and open water conditions. No team was immune to both sides of the classic lake-conditions mantra that could be customized to “the winds of Beverly Harbor giveth, and the winds of Beverly Harbor taketh away.” 1984 Olympic gold medalist Lynne Shore with crew Julia Marsh challenged Smith/Schoene throughout the series to finish second. Afterwards, Lynne pledged to bring her bridesmaid outfit to her next bid for the Womens Nationals as she has forgotten how many times she has come in second. 1998 Womens champion Jennifer Rousmaniere with daughter Kelly squeeked out in front of a pack of 4 teams separated by only 5 points to take home the third-place version of the hand-drawn trophies for the top 3 as drawn by Tarin MacAdoo Comer. Top-placing “non-regular” skipper (to Snipes, that is) Liz Glivinski with fellow-Boston U team-mate Maggie Swanson followed the Rousmaniere team in 4th due to being on the short end of the tie-breaker, but a point ahead of reigning and 3+ time Womens Nats champion Lisa and Lexi Pline. Katherine and sister Jessica Bennett from SSA were the top finishing junior team and were often seen in the front of the pack.

On Friday afternoon, all of the competitors were treated to an on-land / on-water clinic chaired by Carol Cronin with support from Alex Pline. Wisdom of boat tuning, go-fast tricks and boat-handling techniques wafted through the air like a coastal-Maine fog. From observing the close racing over the weekend, it was clear that the competitors learned a lot.

A few particular highlights of, and comments from, the roster of competitors serve to illustrate how this year’s Womens Nationals was both so successful in so many ways….

  • 8 sailors from junior-sailing-program to college age, including three all-high-school teams and one all-college team (from MIT).
  • 5 recent college grads from Tufts, Boston U, Wellesley and U of Rochester sailing teams.
  • 2 teams and one crew with zero …. zilch …. nada … prior experience in Snipes. One of these suggested that the class still needs to up our game in terms of publicizing itself: she has been actively looking for a 2- or 3-person class to join and only happened across this event because of extensive research and a coincidental call from one of the event skippers who happens to match raced with her.
  • 2 long-time Snipe crews, Linda Epstein and Sarah Levinson, crewed for new-to-Snipe skippers to provide a real “personal touch”.
  • Over half of the boats were loaners to skippers that ranged from gobs of experience to regular crews to brand-new-to Snipers. WOW. Kudos to all the Snipe owners that loaned their boats to permit so many teams to play this game we all love to play: Devon Brown, Steve Braverman, Peter Devlin, Kathy Whitehair, Cam Fraser, Jim Bowers, Bridget Wiatrowski, John Tagliamonte, Augie Diaz, Simon Verghese and the Rousmaniere armada.
  • 2 skippers confided that they attended because their regular skipper / Snipe owner proactively offered their boat and urged them to compete. We could start calling this “the Chris Ryan effect” after Chris elevated this positive arm-twisting technique to an art form at the recent NAs.

A standing ovation to regatta chair Shan MacAdoo who continues to support the class with wreckless abandon along with the support of his Jubilee team.


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