Miami, Florida, USA, February 5, 2023
Miami, Florida, USA, February 5, 2023. Final results after 3 races:
- Ernesto Rodriguez & Kathleen Tocke, 4
- Raul Rios & Christine Da Silva, 11
- Enrique Quintero & Charlie Bess, 13
- Arthur Blodgett & Gracie Howie, 14
- Hamilton Barcley & John Watt Duffy III, 17
The legendary Commodore Rasco Regatta is a favorite of Snipe sailors young and old. The event was first sailed in the1950’s in Havana, Cuba out of the Miramar Yacht Club. Since Gonazlo Diaz and his family emigrated to Miami from Cuba in the early 1960s, the regatta has been hosted by the Coconut Grove Sailing Club. Tradition is still strong, including the singing of the drinking song La Bomba Va at the awards, as the poduim teams find themselves gulping punch as the fleet sings and cheers them on.
Day one of the regatta was a veritable blow-out, with winds gusting to 30 knots on Biscayne Bay throughout the day. After catching up on boat work, sailors enjoyed a social afternoon in Miami’s Coconut Grove. When do competitive sailors ever have time for brunch on a weekend? Sometimes the wind gods bless in special ways.
Sunday morning clouds brought torrential rains, but the skies let up and twenty-five Snipe teams representing the USA, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Brazil headed out to the race course in a southwesterly breeze, a rarity for Biscayne Bay.
After a couple general recalls, PRO Sandy Grosvenor and her team put up a U-flag which got the fleet off for race one of the series. Teams were full hiking in around ten knots of breeze for the first race. The lead switched back and forth between Miami fleet members, Enrique Quintero and Charlies Bess and Ernesto Rodriguez and Kathleen Tocke. After two laps, Rodriguez and Tocke crossed the finish just ahead of Quintero and Bess with the Annapolis team of Evan Hoffman and Shira Golub in third.
The wind died significantly before the start of race two and leveled the playing feild a bit for most teams. This time, the lead changed between Puerto Rico’s Snipe World Champion, Raul Rios sailing with crew Christine de Silva and Rodriguez and Tocke. Rios and de Silva sailed a patient and skillfull downind to pass the Miami team for the win in race two. Arthur Blodgett and Gracie Howie crossed the line in third.
Due to an impending storm, the Race Committee informed sailors that the third race would be the last of the day. With even lighter winds and close points between the top teams, the final race was going to be unforgiving. Rios and de Silva found themselves at the front of the pack shortly after the start. However, a persistent left shift helped the sister team of Katie and Emilly Bornarth climb into first towards the end of the beat, while Rodriguez and Tocke, who started poorly, also benefitted from the shift.
The second windard leg, once again, brought and even bigger left shift. Rodriguez and Tocke played left again and found themselves in front by the second widward mark, with Rios and de Silva just behind. The big battle was hard fought by the next four boats, with Mexican skipper, Alfonso Garcia Bringas and Miami crew Taylor Scheuermann, rounding out the top three at the finish.
The top junior skipper at the regatta was Texan Hamilton Barclay sailing with veteran crew, Watt Duffy. They finished fifth overall.
As predicted, teams were ushered back to the clubs in rain with major blasts catching them as they arrived close to shore.
Sailors head to the Midwinter Championship in Key Largo, Florida next weekend.