Colonial Cup – District 1 Championship – Final
Annapolis, MD, USA, June 4, 2023
Annapolis, MD, USA, June 4, 2023. Final results after 6 races:
- Ernesto Rodriguez & Grace Benzal, 13
- Alfonso Garcia Bringas & Tania Benitez, 25
- Trevor Davis & Rees Tindall, 37
- Trevor Long & Alexandra Damley-Strnad, 44
- 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!
|SAILORS||SAIL NUMBER||BOAT NAME||CLUB/ORG||NET||TOTAL||R1||R2||R3||R4||R5||R6|
|USA 31337||None||Miami Snipe Fleet||13||13||1||1||4||2||1||4|
|2||Alfonso García Bringas|
|USA 944||Bad Panda Racing||Severn Sailing Association||37||37||8||2||6||9||6||6|
|USA 30324||Impact Warning||Fleet 244 – Cottage Park||44||44||4||10||14||6||2||8|
|USA 29044||None||Severn Sailing Association||45||45||7||6||21||1||9||1|
|USA 31640||MAQ||Coral Reef Yacht Club||58||58||16||5||2||8||8||19|
|USA 31295||None||Severn Sailing Association||64||64||5||14||15||4||21||5|
|USA 30195||None||Annapolis Yacht Club||74||74||15||8||5||18||10||18|
|USA 31313||Old Folks Boogie||Severn Sailing Association||85||85||19||12||19||14||7||14|
|USA 29671||T-Time||Atlanta Yacht Club||89||89||25||17||7||10||18||12|
|USA 30288||Danilu||Coconut Grove Sailing Club||91||91||3||OCS – 37||8||15||3||25|
|USA 31304||Menage a trois||Surf City Yacht Club||91||91||24||18||23||3||13||10|
|USA 29782||Grommet Expess||Severn Sailing Association||94||94||11||9||26||24||11||13|
|USA 31357||None||Severn Sailing Association||96||96||18||22||3||21||23||9|
|USA 30302||Touch of Grey||Sail Newport, Inc||96||96||14||15||27||23||14||3|
|USA 30321||Black Jack||USSCMC||101||101||22||19||11||17||12||20|
|20||Juan Carlos Cuellar|
|USA 31638||None||New York Yacht Club||121||121||9||11||17||27||20||OCS – 37|
|USA 28686||None||Eastport Yacht Club||122||122||21||20||33||19||22||7|
|USA 29682||Lizzie||Severn Sailing Association||130||130||17||23||18||32||17||23|
|USA 30301||None||Severn Sailing Association||138||138||23||24||30||12||27||22|
|USA 31770||Pickle Rick||San Diego Yacht Club||140||140||28||OCS – 37||20||29||15||11|
|USA 30928||Jussa Situation||Severn Sailing Association||145||145||27||21||28||20||33||16|
|USA 31805||None||Severn Sailing Association||152||152||20||26||16||26||32||32|
|CAN 29314||None||Guelph Community Boating Club||153||153||29||25||24||16||30||29|
|USA 31061||None||Severn Sailing Association||154||154||26||28||22||22||26||30|
|USA 29440||Sniper no Sniping||SSA||168||168||DNC – 37||DNC – 37||9||28||31||26|
|USA 129||Kiwi Express||Severn Sailing Association||183||183||32||27||29||RET – 37||25||33|
|USA 3086||None||Severn Sailing Association||187||187||31||29||31||31||DNF – 37||28|
|USA 30860||Her Fault||Severn Sailing Association||203||203||DNC – 37||DNC – 37||DNC – 37||DNC – 37||28||27|
|35||Charles Green||USA 31847||Snipeovation||US Sailing Center – Miami||222||222||DNC – 37||DNC – 37||DNC – 37||DNC – 37||DNC – 37||DNC – 37|
|USA 31771||Alice||SSA/Larchmont YC||222||222||DNC – 37||DNC – 37||DNC – 37||DNC – 37||DNC – 37||DNC – 37|