Tunnicliffe racing in the Snipe Women’s Worlds

Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) winner of the Gold Medal - Laser Radial - 2008 Olympics
I’ve turned my back on the Laser Radial this week to compete in the Snipe Women’s World Championship hosted by the Real Club Roquetas de Mar. Racing started today and will finish on September 28.

Although it was originally a traditional fishing village, Roquetas de Mar is today a holiday resort on the Costa de Almeria about half way between Cartagena and Malaga. The old town with its maze of narrow streets dates from Roman time.

This year the Snipe is celebrating its 75th anniversary. It was designed by William Crosby in the 30’s but has evolved into a modern, tactical racing dinghy with over 30,000 boats constructed worldwide and is sailed in 26 different countries. And consider this: the top two Olympic medallists in the world of sailing, with five and four medals respectively, were Snipe sailors Torben Grael and Paul Elvstrom.

This is a great opportunity for me to sail a top level event in a boat I’m not familiar with. Relative to a Radial, the 15-foot Snipe dinghy is so much more complicated and I’m learning a lot every day. My crew is Kathleen Tocke who regularly sails with Snipe champion Augie Diaz and we’ve put in five days of hard work to get up to speed as a team. I’m learning a lot every day. I think it’s good to sail in events in boats that are new to me because it provides a great opportunity for me to develop a better feel for my sport.

There are 20 teams entered in the regatta, the majority from Spain, but we have nine countries represented. The two-time defending champions from Uruguay are back here to race and there are four crews from Japan. Kathleen and I are the only Americans in the event. I’m the individual with the least experience at the event but we have a great boat and we’re counting on the practise we’ve done before racing started.

Getting online here isn’t easy so my next report will come after we finish.

Tunicliffe and Tocke were third on the first day of racing.

1 ESPAÑA Marina Gallego / Marina Sánchez

2 BRASIL Juliana Poncioni / Viviane de Olveira

3 USA Anna Tunnicliffe / Kathleen Tocke

4 ITALIA: Sara Barbarossa / Marinella Gorgato

5 ESPAÑA: Beatriz Peña / Julia Marfil