Team Miami takes the podium the Colonial Cup in Annapolis
Five teams traveled from Miami to Annapolis for the 45th Colonial Cup hosted by Severn Sailing Association (SSA). Six races were completed over two days in a mix of conditions ranging from puffy, full hiking on day one to everyone sitting inside the boat on day two. Not only did Annapolis deliver long-awaited racing, but the event was marked by a large contingent of under 30 sailors, near perfect summer weather, and post-race Dark & Stormies. Ernesto Rodriguez & Kathleen Tocke won the event, followed by Enrique Quintero & Charlie Bess in second, and Augie Diaz & Claudia Lociano in third, Arthur Blodgett and Nikki Bruno finished fifth.
Usually held the first week in June, the event was rescheduled for the dates of the cancelled 2020 US Nationals in Annapolis. With local racing flourishing due to COVID-19, Lisa Pline was eager to organize some formal racing for her fleet. She made it happen with a scaled-down regatta with limited entries, no official social activities, socially distanced boat park spacing, and a Zoom Skippers Meeting.
So much of the regatta was unique. Day one started with a sail past in honor of Mark Murphy, former Commodore of Eastport Yacht Club, Race Officer, and major supporter of sailboat racing in Annapolis. His wife Sandy was an International Judge at the most recent Snipe Women's Worlds in Newport. After the sail past, teams sailed back downwind for the first race of the series.
Racing the first day was fun and challenging in the southerly breeze. Most teams were pleasantly surprised to find themselves hiking around the race course. The wind also brought extreme shifts and unstable velocity, with gusts up to 15 on the downwinds making quite a few masts invert. Ernesto and Kathleen dominated day with three firsts and a second. Augie, sailing with Miami native Claudia Lociano, won race four, the final race of the day. Young newcomer to the SSA Snipe Fleet, Carter Cameron, sailing with Elena Vandenberg, also had a great first day. They found themselves in fourth place after the four races.
Sunday tested the Race Committee. The first race was started in a very light northerly breeze that shut off as the temperature rose. Crews cramped on the leeward side of the boat were thrilled when the race was abandoned. The wind shifted again and the Race Committee re-set the course. Races five and six brought incredibly huge wind shifts. Augie and Claudia won race five. It was race six that tested everyone's wits with poles launched on the first leg before the windward mark - some boats moving forward, some not. The breeze filled in on a whim in different areas of the course and made the race a game of Chutes and Ladders. Arthur Blodgett and Nikki Bruno won the race, Ernesto and Kathleen jumped from fifteenth to second, Augie fell back on the last downwind, enough for Enrique and Charlie to pass him by a point in the final overall standings.
Other notable performances were Miami's Alavaro Sanchis, skippering in his first dinghy/Snipe regatta with crew Charlotte Mack sailing in her second Snipe regatta. Andrew Cole, a Miami native now living near Annapolis, crewed for his nine year old daughter, Flora. This was Flora's second Snipe regatta. The team also sailed the Rasco Regatta in Miami in February.
Thanks to all in Annapolis who made the event happen. The Miami team enjoyed seeing old friends and the change of scenery.