Sailing smart and fast is how Puerto Rico’s Raul Rios and crew Manuel Inserni won the 2012 US Snipe Junior National Championships. This marks the third time Rios has won this event, sailed this year out of the Coral Reef Yacht Club in Florida from June 16th to 17th, and second time in a row.
Twenty-one U.S. and international teams raced with breezes blowing 10 to 14 knots from the east on the first day and winds gusting over 20 knots the second day.
Nineteen-year-old Rios, who will be sailing for Boston College this fall as well as competing in the Snipe North Americans and Snipe Western Hemisphere Championships, explains, “We sailed bad upwind in each of the first day’s races, having to come back beat by beat, and finishing second just one point out of first. We sailed much better the second day with a first and second and won with a four point lead. I believe our success was adapting to our errors and sailing smarter and faster each race.”
San Diego, California sailors Nevin Snow and Claire Reidman finished second. Skipper Addison Hackstaff, formerly of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and now St. Petersburg, Florida, and crew Natalya Doris, ended third, five points behind the second place finishers.
Hackstaff tells, “Although I had some problems trying to acclimate to my new crew, I managed to place sixth, fifth and sixth in three races on the first day. The wind was great, just like I was used to sailing in the Virgin Islands. The second day we did quite well with a third and a first narrowly making third by one point. My consistency helped because I never had any races where I finished in the back of the fleet. This in turn helped me stay focused mentally and helped me get the job done.”
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.