Colonial Cup – District 1 Championship – Final

Annapolis, MD, USA, June 4, 2023

Colonial Cup – District 1 Championship – Final Image
Photo courtesy of Ted Morgan

Annapolis, MD, USA, June 4, 2023. Final results after 6 races:

  1. Ernesto Rodriguez & Grace Benzal, 13
  2. Alfonso Garcia Bringas & Tania Benitez, 25
  3. Trevor Davis & Rees Tindall, 37
  4. Trevor Long & Alexandra Damley-Strnad, 44
  5. Bradley Adam & Thomas Walker, 45

Report by Alex Pline (edited and improved by Lisa Foulke Pline and Nikki Bruno)

(Source: Snipe Fleet Annapolis)

2023 Snipe Colonial Cup and District 1 Championships Dominated by Under 30 Sailors

The 2023 Snipe Colonial Cup and Snipe District 1 Championships was held this past weekend at the Severn Sailing Association by Snipe Fleet 532. Four of the top five finishers and 10 of the 34 skippers were “NextGen” sailors – under 30 years of age. Many have high-level college sailing experience (several of them arriving in Annapolis just a day after finishing college nationals!). In addition to the youth presence, almost 20% of the competitors were women, with five full women’s teams and three woman skippers, and several international teams from Canada and Mexico attended as well. On top of that, seven teams were either married couples (one with a bun in the oven!) or parent-child duos, making the Snipe one of the premier family-friendly sailboat racing classes.

As one of the fastest growing classes for U30 sailors, the double-handed Snipe is the perfect post-collegiate boat to keep those boots wet after graduation and the social connections from college sailing strong. Its technical and tactical aspects also make the Snipe a great cross-training boat, and many past and present Snipers have also competed as professional sailors or pursued Olympic campaigns. According to Bradley Adam, a college sailing coach and one of the top U30 skippers, “the low cost of entry (about $5-7k for a quality used boat) and the opportunity to sail against some of the best sailors in the world, while still being a super fun group of people, make the Snipe class truly special.” After all, the class motto is “Serious Sailing, Serious Fun,” and the Colonial Cup surely lived up to that expectation.

The forecast for the weekend called for a building northeasterly breeze through Saturday and abating on Sunday. The fleet left the dock anticipating that building breeze, but in the end it didn’t materialize until after racing for the day. That left 5-12 knots with 30 degree shifts and short standing chop that was not the typical “Annapolis washing machine” – rather much shorter and very random. This was no doubt made worse by the very strong bay current due to discharge from the Susquehanna River that ran perhaps 2 knots at times all day (there was never a low tide as noted in our local conditions article!). These conditions made staying in pressure (which was usually accompanied by a lift) very critical and massively overstanding the windward mark layline was a must. Those who did not ended up either having to spin out at the mark or were swept into it. These types of conditions – an unstable light to medium breeze from the northeast with very lumpy waves and very strong current – are not unknown to Annapolis, but even then, especially on Saturday, they were the most extreme combination many could remember here. 

On Saturday, Rodriguez/Benzal came out of the blocks with a commanding two firsts. However, Bringas/Benitez were right on their heels. After two more races, no one except Rodriguez/Benzal escaped the indignity of at least one deep race (including a number of OCS) and as a result, there were many competitors grouped together all the way down the scoresheet. 

Sunday morning rolled around with cooler and drier conditions with most of the evening’s breeze abated. The RC waited a few minutes on station for the breeze to settle in from the ENE at about 6-8 knots. The really lumpy chop had faded, but the more typical washing machine chop was starting up as many powerboats hit the bay. The current however, showed no signs of slowing. All of the lessons learned from Saturday about staying in the pressure and adjusting for the current applied, but given a slightly lighter breeze, it was even more important to “connect the dots” to the breeze or else one could easily find themselves a half leg behind. Only two of three planned races were completed as the influence of the southerly thermal would have made setting a fair course impossible before the drop dead time of 2:30 pm. At the end of the day, the top five managed to post no finishes out of the top 10, while the rest of the fleet had at least one deep race; this left Rodriguez/Benzal in a commanding lead. In a regatta with no drop race, being consistent and not taking any big risks is critical.

On the Serious Fun side of things, after racing on Saturday the fleet enjoyed two hours of open bar at SSA Snack Bar extraordinaire Botanas Fajardo (who have been voted the best tacos in Annapolis), including Martin’s blender concoctions, followed by an Italian dinner from nearby Eastport favorite Sammy’s Pizza Kitchen. At about 6pm the strong NE breeze finally arrived – incidentally causing one third of the Annapolis Newport Race fleet to retire – but some of our star U30 sailors just couldn’t let it pass, so they relaunched and headed out for some heavy air reaching practice. And that’s not the only time Davis/Tindall have taken advantage of off hours breeze to practice. That’s some dedication to improving their performance! After dinner and some socializing, the more adventurous in the crowd ventured out to local Annapolis establishments and backyards to continue socializing. 

The overall winner of the Colonial Cup Perpetual Trophy was the venerable Ernesto Rodriguez from Miami sailing with new crew Grace Benzal. But in second through fifth were the U30 teams of Alfonso García Bringas of Miami/Mexico sailing with Tania Benitez, locals Trevor Davis and Rees Tindall just back from competing at the College Nationals for Tufts University, Trevor Long from Boston and local Alexandra Damley-Strnad, and locals Bradley Adam and Thomas Walker. The District 1 Championship is awarded to the skipper who is a member of a fleet in District 1 (Northeast/Mid Atlantic US) and Davis/Tindall are members of Annapolis Snipe Fleet 532.

A big thanks to regatta co-chairs Zack Kelchner and Nikki Bruno, the SSA Race Committee and PRO Steve Podlich and the members of Snipe Fleet 532 for running another fantastic Colonial Cup, our premier event. Also thanks to our food and beverage providers, Dunkin’ of Annapolis, Botanas Fajardo, and Sammy’s Pizza Kitchen. And the biggest thanks to our photographers Ted Morgan and Jack Turner for putting up with the lump to get us some awesome shots!

1Ernesto Rodriguez
Grace Benzal
USA 31337NoneMiami Snipe Fleet1313114214
2Alfonso García Bringas
Tania Benitez
MEX 31637NoneFMV25252411152
3Trevor Davis
Rees Tindall
USA 944Bad Panda RacingSevern Sailing Association3737826966
4Trevor Long
Alexandra Damley-strnad
USA 30324Impact WarningFleet 244 – Cottage Park444441014628
5Bradley Adam
Thomas Walker
USA 29044NoneSevern Sailing Association45457621191
6Enrique Quintero
Charlie Bess
USA 31640MAQCoral Reef Yacht Club585816528819
7Carol Cronin
Kim Couranz
USA 31295NoneSevern Sailing Association6464514154215
8Mary Baker
Taylor Scheuermann
USA 29151NoneMbyc69691016135421
9Brady Stagg
Gracie McDougall
USA 30195NoneAnnapolis Yacht Club74741585181018
10Christian Filter
Lydia McPherson
USA 30552NoneSSA76761371072415
11Gavin O’Hare
Holly OHare
USA 30629SeveringOBYC77776312131924
12Alex Pline
Lisa Pline
USA 31313Old Folks BoogieSevern Sailing Association858519121914714
13Tarasa Davis
Kim Calnan
USA 29671T-TimeAtlanta Yacht Club898925177101812
14Augie Diaz
Sophia Devling
USA 30288DaniluCoconut Grove Sailing Club91913OCS – 37815325
15Lee Griffith
Nikki Bruno
USA 31304Menage a troisSurf City Yacht Club919124182331310
16Zack Kelchner
Darby Capellin
USA 29782Grommet ExpessSevern Sailing Association949411926241113
17Eric Reinke
Jill Bennett
USA 31357NoneSevern Sailing Association96961822321239
18Bob Adam
Stephanie Adam
USA 30302Touch of GreySail Newport, Inc969614152723143
19Kathryn Bornarth
Lily Theisen
USA 30321Black JackUSSCMC101101221911171220
20Juan Carlos Cuellar
Ignacio Sanchez
CAN 30762AGUAVoilesansoucy108108121325251617
21Robert Ramirez
Laura Varela
USA 31638NoneNew York Yacht Club121121911172720OCS – 37
22Preston Senior
Amy Johnson
USA 28686NoneEastport Yacht Club12212221203319227
23Lorie Stout
Sunny Stirmer
USA 29682LizzieSevern Sailing Association130130172318321723
24Chris Ryan
Nicole Ryan
USA 30301NoneSevern Sailing Association138138232430122722
25Evan Hoffmann
Hollis Barth
USA 31770Pickle RickSan Diego Yacht Club14014028OCS – 3720291511
26Marissa Milliken
Brad Milliken
USA 30928Jussa SituationSevern Sailing Association145145272128203316
27Greg Virgin
Chloe Constants
USA 31805NoneSevern Sailing Association152152202616263232
28Gordon Richards
Ryan Perry
CAN 29314NoneGuelph Community Boating Club153153292524163029
29Rich McVeigh
Carol McVeigh
USA 31061NoneSevern Sailing Association154154262822222630
30Travis Tucker
Ginny Alex
USA 29440Sniper no SnipingSSA168168DNC – 37DNC – 379283126
31Mark Fuhrmann
LeAnn Myhre
USA 27734NoneSSA182182303032302931
32Preston Anderson
Noelle Scheer
USA 129Kiwi ExpressSevern Sailing Association183183322729RET – 372533
33Isabella Fadullon
Kate Shermock
USA 3086NoneSevern Sailing Association18718731293131DNF – 3728
34Devon Feusahrens
Ryan Barone
USA 30860Her FaultSevern Sailing Association203203DNC – 37DNC – 37DNC – 37DNC – 372827
35Charles GreenUSA 31847SnipeovationUS Sailing Center – Miami222222DNC – 37DNC – 37DNC – 37DNC – 37DNC – 37DNC – 37
36Arthur Blodgett
Grace Howie
USA 31771AliceSSA/Larchmont YC222222DNC – 37DNC – 37DNC – 37DNC – 37DNC – 37DNC – 37



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