Ernesto Rodriguez wins his first Colonial Cup
Date: June 4, 2007
Author: Lisa Pline
Former Snipe US Champion Ernesto Rodriguez and junior crew Megan Place (Miami, FL) earned a decisive victory in the highly competitive Snipe Colonial Cup held June 2-3 at Severn Sailing Association. 35 boats including 2-time Snipe World Champ Augie Diaz and previous Colonial Cup winners Peter Commette, Henry Filter, Andy Pimental and Hal Gilreath, were closely matched in the 5-race, no throw-out regatta. Some of the stalwart names, however, were not to be seen in the top standings, as the new bloods in the class schooled the masters. Local Brian Bissell and Danny Pletsch (Annapolis, MD) pulled an upset to come in second, beating Augie Diaz (Miami) with local crew Wilson Stout who took third. Just as exciting was the action for 4th and 5th, as Top Juniors Nick Voss/Tom Fink (Miami) won the last race in the teeth of Tropical Storm Barry to eek out a .25 point advantage over the Top Woman Skipper Kathleen Tocke/PJ Schaeffer (Jamestown, RI). The conditions and the tight racing were evident in the jumbled scores as Ernesto/Megan won only 2 of the races, and the next 3 places had one win each. Also, only Ernesto had finishes all in the top 10; even 2nd place Bissell/Pletsch had two double digit finishes.
With no throw out, the alphabet soup caused the demise of some of the pre-race favorites. Hal Gilreath/Clayton Dixon were 11th, despite having to keep a “DWN” (“Dinner With Nancy” at a work function in DC) for the last race on Saturday, Peter Commette/Lorie Stout were OCS the first race dropping them to 15th place, and Henry Filter, with 9-year old son Christian crewing, were in 4th place after the first day, but dropped down in the standings after pulling out of the last race in the stormy tropical storm conditions on Sunday. In the “Stout Wars”, young Wilson Stout, crewing for Augie Diaz, trounced Mom Lorie, crewing for Peter Commette who had an OCS in the first race, as well as Dad Alex who was sailing his own boat with local junior sailor Sean Harr. “Family Feud” Games were awarded to the Stout clan and the Voss clan of Miami for having Parent/Child combos sailing against each other. Note that the “Next Generation” won in both instances! Other notables in the “new folks to look out for” category were Yuzo Morita from Japan via South Carolina who placed just out of the money at 6th place sailing with Merrill Varn, Austin Kana who steered Blonde Ambition with Hobart College teammate Morgan Commette, and David Fagan/Aaron Wolfe, an ex-Navy guy stationed in Norfolk, who took the Annapolis’s Fleet Loaner boat for its sea-trails, ending up in 14th place. Kudos to Jon Anthony and Gavin O’Hare for taking on the task of getting this boat donated and rigged in time for the regatta.
Conditions were as good as Annapolis gets on Saturday with the 10-12 kts southerly breeze enough to power through the predictable powerboat and bay chop. Sunday was a bit dicier with Tropical Storm Barry blowing in. The first race was relatively calm at 10-12 kts, but the big breeze blew in for the final race, with puffs gusting up to 20 kts. P.R.O. Steve Podlich called it perfectly with an Olympic course and some picture perfect screamin’ reaches. In a testament to the depth of skill in the fleet, there were no capsizes in the 23 boats who remained for the last race.
The fleet also did an excellent job Saturday night at SSA consuming multiple pitchers of Yellow Birds and 2 kegs of Blue Moon. Luckily the dinner of chicken kebobs and killer desserts from Ms. Desserts was served early to cut down on the pain Sunday morning!
Thanks to the travelers for making the big trip and thanks to Fleet 532 for pitching in to make the regatta go smoothly.
The rematch is scheduled for June 16-17th as most of the fleet heads north for the Atlantic Coast Championships in Surf City, NJ. The Annapolis Snipe Fleet is actively recruiting new members. For more information, contact Brian Hetherington, firstname.lastname@example.org, 240-372-5515, or Jon Anthony, email@example.com, 410-437-1187, about the loaner boat program.
Full results are posted online at: www.severnsailing.org/results/2007/63snipe.shtml.
Photographs can be downloaded from: http://picasaweb.google.com/alex.pline/2007ColonialCup
For more information about this regatta, contact Regatta Chair Lisa Pline firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-263-8457.
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