Ladies and Gentlemen, the SnipeDivas!
by Paola Prada
Yes, there were women sailing snipes before; I myself was one of them. There have always been spectacular women sailing Snipes. However, we were missing a bond or link that would gather all of us other than only for major championships.
One day in 2016, we were talking in the snack shop at our Yacht Club Paulista. We commented that some of the women that crewed for their husbands needed a more patient training, another point of view, or someone who could explain to them how to move around in the boat. At that moment, we decided to organize the first “women only” Snipe clinic.
I’m a marketing oriented person, so I started to brainstorm with Renata Bellotti how that training would be. We chose the name “SnipeDivas” along with the motto “those awesome women that sail Snipes”. The name of the group started to create a bond among all the women sailing at the time. The group is broader than any club affiliation or state border; we’re united because we are SnipeDivas.
The women started to get together to talk about sailing among themselves, and in the following clinics we started to enable them to also understand better what they were doing inside the boat while sailing with their boyfriends and husbands. Rules and flags are also part of the training. The training sessions eventually gave them the confidence that they needed to overcome the difficulties.
The SnipeDivas are always ready to welcome their peers; you just need to show up at a regatta and the divas will promptly add you to the group. We exchange ideas about adequate sailing clothes, the best sunscreen protection, what shampoo to use to recover your damaged hair after sailing, in addition to tips about sailing.
Yes, we are girly, we paint our nails, blow dry our hair after the races, use tons of moisturizing cream to recover the dry hands and arnica ointment for the shin bruises. We are delicate, but we also like to kick ass sailing!
The SnipeDivas always receive the new sailors warmly. We spot them at the racecourse, approach to meet and greet, get their names from the results and immediately add them to our Instagram… What??? Instagram??? Yes, this is an essential part of our success!! It’s all about the continuous following, mentioning and recognizing efforts of women that sail all around the world! If a SnipeDiva sails that weekend, we encourage her to mention us and we repost that she sailed, so that other divas can give a thumbs up that she sailed. The aftermath of all this is that when the worldwide SnipeDivas meet in person they feel like they already know each other; we are a step closer to becoming good friends. Yes, we will race against each other during the regattas, but we will support each other all the way before and after it!
When we started, the SnipeDivas story gave Georgia and me the courage to go to Rio de Janeiro for our first regatta outside Guarapiranga. There we started playing with the idea of going to the Women’s Worlds. We nourished that idea, and we went to Newport, knowing we were not top sailors, but with the desire to have an amazing time. And we did!
We met many awesome women that were sailing from all over the world! First, we met the Canadian girls, then that American woman that lent us some tools and offered some Doritos (lifesavers on that measuring day); then the French, elected the nicest sailors of the championship. There was always a helping hand at the ramp, and jokes while waiting to go to the regatta area. The day Georgia and I showed up after the race with our SnipeDivas t-shirts there was a big commotion; a lot of them wanted the same t-shirts… There the concept of the “SnipeDivas” brand grew stronger. When the championship ended, I began working on creating and growing the network, always using Instagram as our main tool.
There in Newport we placed a bid to host the next Snipe Women’s Worlds knowing that the Guarapiranga Reservoir was perfect for a women’s championship.
When we got the “congratulations your bid was approved” letter from SCIRA I knew all the efforts were being recognized!
The SNIPEdivas story is being wrote as you read this, the concept of uniting women in a sailing sorority is so awesome that I’m sure it will go on for a long time!!!
Make sure to follow the SnipeDivas on social media www.SnipeDivas.blog as well as Facebook and Instagram @SnipeDivas
SnipeDiva, Brazilian National Secretary, Organizer of the 2020 Women’s Worlds in São Paulo