YouthContact: Don Hackbarth Phone: 770-587-3653
The Snipe is an ideal one-design dingy for youth and their families. Its design, a rig that is easy to depower and its tolerance for variations in team weight, allows youth to participate very early in life crewing with their parents and other adults. Sailing in a moderate breeze with a crew of 60-80 lbs is not that difficult. This provides the youth with a very early introduction to sailing on a multiple team boat, enhances their boat time and provides an atmosphere where the youth can learn directly, on-the-water from other more experienced sailors. As a youth gets older, into the very early teens, you will see many taking the helm and having their parent, older sibling or another adult crew for them. With a more experienced sailor up front to coach, a youth skipper can move up on the learning curve very fast and have an enjoyable experience participating in a competitive recreational activity. This is a very unique experience which really enhances the youth’s growth as a sailor and a person. At many Snipe fleet races at the club and at regattas you will see youth skippers competing in races with adults and doing it well. Also many Snipe regattas have a youth regatta on Saturday morning before the main regatta.
As a youth skipper grows in size and experience they will evolve to competing with their peers in teams. In many cases this evolves into a long term lifestyle carrying through college, sailing with significant others, your wife, children and grandchildren. It is not unusual to meet Snipe sailors who have been sailing Snipes with their ’family’ for 50+ years.
The Snipe Class in the USA conducts a Youth National Championship which is open to all youth who will not be 20 or older in the year of the competition. This allows you to participate in the youth activities one year longer than in most classes. USA also has a National Championship for the less experienced youth who are just entering sailing where they can skipper with an adult crewing for them.
Snipe USA sends 2 youth teams to the Snipe Class Youth World Championship which is held every other year (odd numbered years). In addition, a youth team from the USA can qualify to represent the North American territory at the Snipe Western Hemisphere & Orient Championship (every other even numbered year).
Snipes: Serious Sailing, Serious Fun ®