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The Endurance of the Snipe

The Endurance of the Snipe

The International Snipe Class continues to reinvent and reimagine itself through initiatives that continue to make it one of sailing's most iconic one-design classes.

Kathryn Bornarth and crewmate Ryan Wood racing on a snipe class
Kathryn Bornarth and crewmate Ryan Wood epitomize why the Snipe class continues to fire on all cylinders—a lot of female involvement and a growing contingent of enthusiastic, post-collegiate sailors. Marco Oquendo

It’s early April on Miami’s Biscayne Bay, with an 18-knot easterly, gnarly chop and ribbons of sargassum seaweed—tough fare for racing any boat. We’re at the 2023 Don Q Snipe Regatta, heading uphill and racing against competitors with decades of experience in the class, as well as a slew of young hotshots and some first-­timers—40 teams in all. It’s baptism by fire, my first real experience racing a Snipe. And like many who jump into the boat for the first time, I’m being served heaps of humble pie. About the only time my crew, Danielle Wiletsky, and I see the top of the fleet is when we cross paths on opposite legs of the course.

The upside is that we have a ringside seat to their techniques. At one point, we watch as the eventual regatta-winning team of Ernesto Rodriguez and Kathleen Tocke round the weather mark. He hands her the tiller extension and mainsheet, slides back to clear weeds off the rudder, then takes over again. Blink and we’ll miss it. READ MORE

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