The 2018 Women’s World Snipe Championships embarked north of the Newport Bridge in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, for a four-day race in late August. In the water that was a real test; We sail in everything from light and a lot of current to a fairly large breeze.
What was the competition like?
We had a super tough fleet of 32 boats from 10 countries and three continents, and we got to sail nine races. Worlds of Women is held every two years, and four of the top five patterns as of 2016 (which took place in Italy) were in Newport to compete. This year the first three boats were only separated by five points, so each point was important.
What worked well as far as the boat setup goes?
With such a range in windy conditions, it worked through a variety of rig setups and other changes to the way we sail the boat. One of the great things about the Snipe is that you can adjust a lot of things from sail setup items like cunningham and jib leads to rig layouts, including deck tension and spreader angle and length. Some things have to be adjusted at the coast; some things can be done in the water. If you don’t feel fast try something different!
How did you approach the competition?
That little guy was our mascot for the event. We focused on being confident in our boat speed and making good race course decisions so we didn’t have to start exactly at the favored end in lots of traffic and current which was a very high stakes decision. We’ve had some not-so-great starts, but would soon return to our focus going fast and making good decisions. We never won a race, but our fallen race was a seventh; all other races were fourth or better. One race, back to the first time mark in 17th, but he finished the race in fourth position.
Any other suggestions on what worked well?
Four days is not a long super-regatta, but with trips lasting about an hour (sailing or towing on a coach boat), each day was long. We make sure to eat / drink properly, enjoying a recovery drink (my favorite is Hammer Recoverite with a 3: 1 ratio of complex carbohydrates to protein) in the candle after races or at least right when we get off the Water. Regattas can be difficult in caring for your body — they host fun social events, but time and food may not be the best option for individual sailors. Although most of the regatta was physically stressful, having focused on cardio work (running and some interval work) and strength (lifting and core) beforehand let me awake each morning ready to seize the day! Fitness helps a lot, even if you are not working hard it allows your brain to work harder too.