The Snipe Class International Racing Association-USA recently held its 2009 National Championship at Pensacola Yacht Club. In the Junior Championships, Puerto Rican sailors Raul Rios and crew, Antonio Sifre, both 15, consistently dominated their five-race series with five straight bullets. Sailing conditions at Pensacola Bay were variable, with winds 3 – 15 knots and currents of 2-3 knots.
The new U.S. Snipe champions received perpetual trophies for both the skipper and crew; this is the first time the trophies have left the continental USA. Immediately after the awards ceremony, Raul and Antonio returned to Puerto Rico to continue training in I-420 for the ISAF’s 2009 Volvo Youth Worlds Championship held July 9-18 in Buzios, Brazil. They also planned to attend the Snipe Junior World Championship August 22-28 in San Diego.
Prior to the US Nationals, Raul and Antonio finished first at the First Puerto Rico National Snipe Championship, the first qualifier event for next year’s Central American Games to be held in Puerto Rico.
Since winning the 2008 Optimist World Championship, Raul has been sailing Snipe and I-420. “My years in Optimist taught me the importance of discipline, training and dedication. Sailing is my passion, I like to be out there and make my own choices. My dream is getting to go to the Olympics in 470. Training in these two boats helps me prepare for that.”
For complete race results, visit www.snipeus.org.