Thirty one boats turned out for the Snipe national championship on one of the warmest weekends in the year (27-30 July). The GBR boats were all happy to see the arrival of eight French and four Belgian boats. Broadstairs couldn’t have organised the BBQ weather better, but the sailors had to wait until the final Sunday for a good wind.
Friday 27 July dawned with a gentle north-easterly which backed to the north just before the course was laid. The racing started promptly and Giovanni Galeotti and Dina DeBock sailed inshore straight from the start, they made it to the windward mark first and were never caught. Peter Wolstenholme and Phillip Marshall, Ben Van Cauwenbergh and Nadia Deferm stayed out in the tide on the second beat taking advantage of more wind they took second and third positions.
The second race looked like being a repeat until the tide increased and no one made it around the windward mark. Five minutes after the ‘N’ flag was hoisted the wind filled in. Within thirty minutes race two was re-started, once again success came from being the first inshore out of the tide. Jean Jacques Frebault and Gill Boisaubert led the fleet around this time never really being threatened by Maxime Romain, Sue Antonelli and Guy Celis. The windward mark was not the place to be when the majority of the fleet arrived, as boats approached from the shore on port and rounded to port to head off dead downwind.
Light air again plagued the day. Three boats made it around the windward mark to head off downtide, this meant that everyone had to wait for two and a half hours for an abandonment. The wait for wind ashore was in vain.
Awaking to a light southerly on Sunday morning gave the snipers optimism, we were rewarded with a superb days sailing in a Force 3-4. A premature start for Peter Wolstenholme and Phillip Marshall meant that this was a likely discard, managed to pull back to seven, his pre-event rival Jean Jacques Frebault notched up his second first place with Neil and Jenny Martin finishing second.
Race two saw most of the foreign competitors underestimating the strength of the tide on the first beat, this left many of the GBR boats (Ian and Bridget Knight fifth and Ian and Brian Gregory ninth) to pick up some useful results.
Peter Wolstenholme went into the last race knowing that only a second first place and a bad race by Jean Jacques Frebault would do. All the leading boats made a mid-line start, but the experienced Jean Jacques Frebault never faultered and took his third bullet and the championship.
Back ashore Ian Marshall discovered that a number of boats had been 20%’d following a General recall in the last race. The ensuing hearing concluded that an ambiguity in the amendment to the race instructions cast reasonable doubt, and the race results were amended.
1 FRA29322 Jean Jacques Frebault/Gill Boisaubert 6.25
2 GBR29611 Peter Wolstenholme/Phillip Marshall 2.75
3 BEL28373 Ben Van Cauwenbergh/Nadia Deferm 15
4 BEL29794 Giovanni Galeotti/Dina DeBock 15.75
5 BEL29115 Guy Celis/Dirk Ghys 18
6 GBR29676 Neil Martin/Jenny Martin 19
7 GBR27106 Sue Antonelli/David Cummins 26
8 FRA29367 Maxime Romain/Kasper Wedersoe 28
9 BEL28207 Yves Bassette/Gunther Van Holimindal 38
10 GBR29501 Ian Marshall/Richard Marshall 39
11 FRA29856 Jerome Thomas/Nadie Spizzicino 43
12 GBR29834 Alan Williams/Liz Crouch 46
13 GBR29677 Mark Antonelli/Robert Whitehead 51
14 GBR27098 John Love/Chris Surridge 53
15 GBR28451 Ian Gregory/Brian Gregory 53
16 GBR29303 Nick McGonigle/Guy Welch 53
17 GBR15602 Ian Knight/Bridget Knight 57
19 FRA29836 Jacques Romain/Remy Ortiz 64
20 FRA27028 Sylvie Le Bour-Boisaubert/Camille Boisaubert 67
21 GBR29408 Alan Hoy/Janet Hoy 86
23 FRA29682 William Milner/Blondine Milner 86
24 GBR27330 Richard Lambert/Robin Desmond 90
25 FRA29453 Jean Marie Aubourg/Christine Aubourg 94