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2019 Snipe North American Championship at San Diego Yacht Club - Day 1

by Casey Allocco 6 Sep 2019 22:43 PDT 6-8 September 2019
2019 Snipe North American Championship © San Diego Yacht Club

Enrique Qintero came prepared to dominate today with Kathleen Tocke, crew on the winning team of the 2018 Snipe North American Championship. Back for another title on Tocke's list, she and Quintero had a picket fence in three races to kick off the first day of the 2019 Snipe North American Championship.

Three other seasoned and well-known Snipe sailors followed Quintero and Tocke's first place on the score sheet. George Szabo, four-time North American champion and crew, Dianna Waterbury, took second. Tied for third, and sailing neck and neck around the course together, are Doug Hart and Peter Commette, both previous North American champions.

This regatta is Quintero and Tocke's first time sailing together. As they're learning the difference between San Diego and their home town, Miami, they're also learning how to work together - and successfully. Quintero explained that the key to their success today was having good starts and getting into the right positions, going fast off the line and gaining speed upwind.

"There was a big drop in pressure in the last race and it made you pretty nervous because at that point the fleet was spread out downwind. Even though it's a really small fleet, when we have mile legs and you arrive at the windward mark, everyone is really close, which is a great thing... It really talks about the level of competition. The good guys showed up," stated Tocke.

September means local summer here in San Diego and the temperatures are finally rising. The Snipe's sailed in a light breeze, averaging 8 knots, bright sun, low swells, and temps climbing into the mid-80s. Sailors heard the warning signal at 1200 today and completed their first race around 1315, making the total time about an hour per race.

Typical San Diego conditions usually mean that sailors go right at the start. "It wasn't a go right day. We knew going in that it wouldn't be a typical San Diego day. We were a little bit to the left and that worked out for us. The current was ripping, so it was really important to make the lay line and not do a lot of tacks coming back. We did a really good job of that and didn't waste a lot of distance," explained Tocke.

The lead team plans to work on their fleet management, continue with good starts and stay ahead for the rest of the weekend.

The North American's aren't the only regatta on the Pacific this weekend. The Snipe fleet's participation in this weekend's San Diego Olympic Classes Regatta is doubling as their North American Championship. They were the only fleet to start today (Friday), and the eight boats had a clear, open path about three miles off Ballast Point. The rest of the fleets will be joining them on one more course in the Pacific for the OCR tomorrow (Saturday).

Tomorrow, all of the fleets will head to their designated ocean course for the 1200 warning signal. After the races, sailors and club members will have the pleasure of enjoying a presentation by the Silver and Bronze Pan American Games medalists, Nico Landauer and Will Cyr.

Full results available here.

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