Fleet News, Regattas, SSA

Chesapeake Women’s Challenge Wrap Up

What do you get when you cross a fantastic group of women sailors, a fun & talented set of coaches/RC, ace on-the-water media, and 8-12 knots of breeze? A kick-ass inaugural Chesapeake Women’s Snipe Challenge! Congrats to Sarah Alexander/Mariah Leffingwell on a hard fought win over Katherine & Jessica Bennett in a tie-breaker. Veterans Lorie Stout/Jen Sturmer sailed super consistently to be only 2 points back in 3rd.

The regatta day started with a coolish westerly in the harbor that died to nothing about the time the fleet was getting ready to launch. But remarkably a quintessential southerly started to fill – something we have seen little of this year – so the fleet hit the water about 10:30am. PRO Alex Pline with RC help of Rich McVeigh and Henry & Christian Filter on Mark boat set the course up off Bembe Beach and by the start of the first race, the breeze was 8-10 from the SSE and eventually built to 10-12 by the end of the 5 races. Racing was super tight (and super fun!) on all legs and in all races. The fleet was itchin’ to go with a very aggressive first start resulting in four OCS, however, the fleet chilled and most started right on the money thereafter.

Racing was super tight over the ~30 minute W/L courses. An unfortunate OCS created a deficit that Regatta Organizer Lisa Pline w/super crew Jill Bennett couldn’t recover from (and some interesting pillow talk). Rounding out the top 5, it was great to see Marissa Lihan Milliken/Ellie Wells in 5th. Marissa hadn’t been in a Snipe since she was 14! The newer teams definitely improved as the day went on, cutting in to the advantage of some of the veteran sailors.

Based on a Google Survey of likely women, the format chosen was a one-day clinic followed by a one-day regatta. Through social media, word of mouth, and a fortunate share of our event to neighboring Potomac River Sailing Assn, we had a terrific group of 13 sailors from a wide variety of backgrounds. About a quarter were “veteran” Snipers, about half were in the college/post-college mode, and the rest were ladies who had sailed other boats. Ages were in a HUGE range from 10 (go Flora!) to … well, lets just say over 50. Generous boat owners and Snipe USA’s Borrowed Boat Insurance were a key to this event.

The Clinic was run by Carter Cameron who enlisted Gavin O’Hare, Christian Filter, Evan Hoffmann, Bryan Stout, Matt Peter, and Zack Kelchner. Kathleen Tocke was enlisted to provide Social Media as well as ace coaching. The on-land demonstrations using a rigged Snipe on a trailer was super helpful. The breeze ended up being really too light for doing much in the way of drills, but it was still helpful to the new Snipe sailors to at least splash and get a feel for the boat, the pole, etc.

Thanks to boat owners Brett Davis, Evan Hoffmann, Carter Cameron, Matt Peter, Plines, and Fleet 532 for making their boats available for the event. Thanks to all the “boat boys” and coaches … although I think they had as much fun (more?) than the sailors! Thanks also to SSA’s Junior Program and leadership for providing the infrastructure and encouragement to keep people sailing during these pandemic times.

We hope to schedule a Zoom Debrief soon to review video footage. All the women expressed strong interest in doing more Women’s events soon!

Pos Sail Skipper/Crew 1 2 3 4 5 Total
1 29044 Sarah Alexander/Mariah Leffingwell 5 4 5 1 1 16.00 1
2 30510 Katherine Bennett/Jessica Bennett 1 6 2 2 5 16.00 2
3 29682 Lorie Stout/Jen Sturmer 3 3 4 5 3 18.00 3
4 31313 Lisa Pline/Jill Bennett 14/OCS 1 1 3 2 21.00 4
5 30687 Marissa Milliken/Ellie Wells 4 2 3 8 6 23.00 5
6 29645 Bianca Mesa/Izzy Fadullon 2 5 7 4 9 27.00 6
7 31391 Nikki Bruno/Ashley Love 6 9 6 6 4 31.00 7
8 30629 Holly O’Hare/Dorian Haldaman 7 7 8 7 7 36.00 8
9 30391 Kat Martin/Lee Mullins 14/OCS 10 9 9 8 50.00 9
10 29940 Eloise Canfield/Shalom Fadullon 14/OCS 11 11 10 10 56.00 10
11 29782 Sara Floyd-Jones/Georgie Peet 14/OCS 8 10 12 14/DNC 58.00 11
12 28999 Kristin Mullins/Carol McVeigh 8 12 12 14/DNF 14/DNC 60.00 12
13 28142 Michael Ann Ashford/Flora Cole 9 13 14/OCS 11 14/DNC 61.00 13


(1)Scoring System is ISAF Low Point 2017-2020
(2)Time limit expired (TLE) penalty is: Finishers plus 1

Information is Final

Principal Race Officer: Alex Pline


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