About the Mystic Lakes Snipe Fleet
 

The Winchester and Medford Boat Club Snipe fleets race on the Upper Mystic Lake, a ~3/4 mile wide body of fresh water 8 miles northwest of downtown Boston. The lake is the home of the perennial collegiate powerhouse Tufts sailing team and is well known for its shifty conditions and moderate breezes. "No-sail" days are rare in that there is usually enough wind to race and the ban on power boats (except race committee boats) makes for pleasant days on the water - at least until you get shnookered by a 90 degree shift and lose the entire fleet with 100 yards to go. The locals have grown to appreciate patience and to find warped amusement in watching visiting racers pull their hair out over the challenging conditions.

The Winchester Boat Club, home of Fleet 77, has over twenty Snipes. The Medford Boat Club, home of Fleet 777, resides on the opposite (south) end of the lake and has just under ten Snipes in its ranks. In addition to being one of the largest Snipe fleets in the country, the Mystic Lake fleet is also one of the largest and most active one-design fleets in the Boston area, particularly as a dinghy class.

Starting in mid-May and going right through Labor Day, these two fleets race together every Saturday and Sunday, with up to four races conducted each day. Skippers are scored for the season championship for only those races in which they compete, although at least 15 races must be sailed in order to qualify. In addition to weekend series races, each club hosts one Snipe regatta annually. The Winchester Invitational is typically held the second weekend in July, while the Mystic Lake Open is hosted by Medford over the third weekend in September. The two club's junior programs, while run in Optimists, 420's and N-10's, have generated enough interest for a one-day Junior Snipe Regatta to be held in late July, made possible by Snipe owners loaning their boats out. 10-15 Snipes typically complete with 11-17 year-old skippers and crews and including many non-juniors as and crews.

While many of the current Snipers have been around for a number of years, there are usually at least a few teenagers (or younger) on the line each weekend. The controlled environment makes racing with young tots possible as many local an travelling Snipers can attest. Current regular Snipers who have grown up in the class include Jimmy Bowers (and now his sons), Sally and Katie Levinson, Adam and Kelly Rousmaniere, Cam Fraser, Will Tagliamonte, Noah Lazerus - and the list is growing!  The fleet holds 3-4 parties over the course of the season to keep the party atmosphere alive and to help join the multiple generations together.

The Snipe fleet has had many sailors go through its ranks over the years and compete successfully at the national and international levels, including Norm Towle, Tom Legere, Ralph Swanson, Art & Jennifer Rousmaniere, Dave Lence, Jimmy Bowers and John MacRae. Today, the Mystic Lake fleet is becoming a hotbed of youthful Snipe potential, with many Snipe families encouraging their "younger generations" to take the helm.

For more information about the Mystic Lakes Snipe Fleet, contact:
Art Rousmaniere: art.rousmaniere at gmail.com or
Rich Lazarus: rich at lazari.us