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Posted by on Jun 8, 2014 in Sunday Sailing, US |

Sunday Sailing: The Season of Snipe

Sailing in my favorite class means traveling.

All you regular readers out there already know I’m a long-time member of the Snipe class. (To understand why, read Boats We Love: The Snipe Sailboat). So I thought you might like to hear about the migration patterns of this octogenarian bird, which have been amazingly consistent throughout its long history.

Snipe Pan Am Trials 2010

Action on the race course will of course be discussed at length on shore afterward. Photo: John Payne

The year begins in spring with the uncovering of boats and regional travel to events between Boston and Annapolis. This weekend we are racing in Surf City, New Jersey, and after winter trips to Miami the six hour drive seemed like an eye blink. 40 sailors have gathered here to do what we enjoy most: rig, sail, win, lose, and talk about it afterwards at the party. This afternoon we will drive home, pleasantly muscle-tired from a workout on the water and refreshed for the work week ahead. But we’re already talking about the next weekend of sailing: how to get there, what we need to work on, where we’ll stay.

Next comes our summer migration to the National Championships. For this year’s event we’ll head out to Okoboji, Iowa, an area more famous for corn and baseball ghosts than sailboats. The area’s fleets will undoubtedly provide some fine midwestern hospitality; hopefully, we will also have some wind. Regardless, we will enjoy a week of sailing and swapping old stories with our Snipe family—and hopefully creating some new ones, as well.

Fall is a time for local events again, a rest up for the winter travel season. The southern migration begins as early as November, with an annual pre-Thanksgiving regatta in St. Pete. But the real focus of winter isn’t until March, when the Midwinter Circuit kicks off in Clearwater. Then it’s onto Miami, and maybe even Nassau, before heading home again to get ready for spring.

Year round, the secret to happiness (at least according to my teammate, Kim Couranz) is to spend less time traveling to and from an event than actually sailing. That will be a bit of a challenge this September, when we head to San Diego for the Snipe Western Hemisphere & Orient Championship. 65 hours of driving each way = almost a month of work days behind the wheel… but I won’t think about that. Instead I’ll think about sailing against the best Snipe sailors from around the world who are flying in to join us. Birds of a feather, all of us—migrating to the same pre-arranged place to rig, sail, win, lose—and talk about it afterwards at the party.

For more information, visit SnipeToday.