2010 WBC Invite Results Report

A glorious year of Sniping on the Mystic Lakes was topped off with seven tight races in light to medium conditions at this 54th edition. And almost HALF of the 16 teams included family teams. Which got me wondering……

Why do we sail, really? Is the sting of blistered hands and the burn of thighs and forearms really what we all would call “fun”? For many, perhaps. But a good number of us feel the tug in other ways. John Masefield’s famous poem “Sea Fever” hits a nerve to many, hinting that it just may be in our DNA. Regattas like this Winchester Invitational draw many blood-relative teams, many of which are separated by a generation. There is a magic to occasions like these where the urge for competition intersects with time with a parent, sibling or child.

Norm Towle is a legend on this Mystic Lake from his racing days in the 60’s and 70’s, claiming three fleet championships and a third at the 1976 Nationals. His older brother Dick was not too shabby either as a skipper and crew for his younger brother. Fast-forward to this year’s Invitational where Norm’s daughter and WBC Rear Commodore Beth Locke raced at different times with her two sons: 8-year old Brendan and 12-year-old Teddy (who skippered two of the races) in her uncle Dick’s old Snipe 19969 - complete with classic central post for jib cleating! For Beth, not finishing at the top of the fleet finish was irrelevant. It was about sailing with her kids, refreshing glory day memories of crewing for her dad coupled with the thrill of continuing the family tradition, if just for a weekend.

Katie and Sally Levinson are active members of the Winchester High School and Tufts sailing teams respectively and are Snipe thoroughbreds, having a grandfather and grand uncle who were national and world champions in the ‘60’s as well as National US Masters champion parents Harry and Sarah.  The cool part is that pairs of Levinson teams still come in many flavors: for this regatta, the variable team of Sarah crewing for Harry, Harry crewing for Katie and Katie crewing for Harry finished fifth.

One of the permanent racing buoys on the Upper Mystic Lake honors another 3-generation Snipe name: Fraser. Jim kicked off the tradition back in '72 with his first boat and initiated the Medford Boat Club’s Mystic Lake Open in '74.  Jim’s son, Martin, has been a regular at countless local and national regattas over the years and remains a pillar to Medford Snipe fleet 777.  He has paired with his wife Suzette as both a racing team and parents of multiple junior District champion Cam and regular crew MacKenzie. The Frasers are on their 6th Snipe 30903 – their first new Snipe over the years! Cam finished a scant four points out of fifth place in the regatta.

Diagonally across the lake from the Fraser turning mark is Swanson. This tradition began in the 50’s with Ralph Swanson’s first Snipe (number 9872 and named Last Straw) and included six Snipes over the years. Though grand-children Lindsey and Brook have recently “graduated” from Sniping on lake, there are no fewer than four of the trademark “Swanson green” Snipes that end in “999” on the lake, one of which was sailed by the father-son team of Gilmore and Connor O’Neil in the regatta. Truly, the Swanson name has touched many all over the world, with Ralph serving as international Snipe Commodore and Berta as race committee chairperson for countless local, national and international Snipe regattas. Talk about a humungous Snipe family.

Yet many Mystic Lakers do not have the fortune of having grown up as youths in the class. Jennifer and Art Rousmaniere both come from Long Island sailing families and hooked their kid’s Adam and Kelly as regular Snipers by age 10. They were crewing for their kids at the Whittemore St. John regatta on Lake Quassapaug, CT a few weeks earlier. John Tagliamonte, who often races with son Will (who started at age 4) first stepped in a Snipe as a crew in 1990, having raced against fellow WBC Sniper John MacRae in college sailing.  John and wife Myrna, as well as Jimmy Bowers, are deep into family expansion mode with multiple rug-rats under age eight who are nearing the sailing age. Many of us skippers who have regular crews heading off to far corners are looking anxiously at this simmering stock of potential future crews! For the regatta, Art and Jennifer finished third, John and Myra took second and Jimmy Bowers with crew Andrea Nilson finished first. Jimmy became the first WBC commodore to win the host regatta since Ralph Swanson in the 70’s. There are many others, including Sue Lodico and sister Jan Tabor, who have been sailing together since... um… er… well… etiquette prevents me from mentioning age of females. All I can say is that they have been sailing Snipes longer than I. Sue and Jan finished arithmetically tied with Cam.

And “family” can be taken to mean more than blood relatives. One highlight for the Winchester fleet has to be the near-trifecta at the 1986 Nationals when Dave Lence (who grew up in a house on west side of the lake) won the Wells (consolation) series, mid-teenaged Jimmy and Michael Bowers won the Juniors (going on to place 4th in the Junior Worlds in Italy), but Art and Jennifer Rousmaniere broke the streak by finishing second in the Heinzerling (championship) series.

So why do YOU race Snipes?

“I must down to the lake again, to the squirrelly winds and the sky, and all I ask is sturdy Snipe and friend or family as crew to help me keep my sanity and keep the right perspective on what is important – eye!”  - apologies to John Masefield.

- Art Rousmaniere

RESULTS....
fleets represented...
yellow = Winchester Fleet 77 
green = Medford Fleet 77
blue = independent (Ashland MA)
 purple = independent; from somewhere from the boondocks in Minnesota
 place  boat # Skipper/Crew

1

2

3

4

 5

6

7

 tot

 1

 30330

 Jim Bowers/ Andrea Nilson

 1

 1

 2

 1

 2

 (4)

 2

 9

 2

 29797

 John / Myrna Chan MacRae

 (5)

 2

 4

 11

 3

 29499

Art / Jennifer Rousmaniere 

 3

 4

(6)

 5

 2

 20

 4

 27733

Michael Bowers/ Jean Connors 

 8

 9

 3

(11)

 5

 20

 5

 29842

Harry/ Sarah/ Katie Levinson 

 2

 5

 8

(DNF) 

 13

 10

 1

 39

 6

29311 

John Tagliamonte/ Michelle Morphew 

10 

 7

 3

(14) 

 9

40 

 7

 30470

 John Lally/ Kerry O'Brien

10 

 6

 4

 7

 9

 (12)

 42

 8

28422 

 Sue Lodico/ Jan Tabor

 7

 3

 5

 9

(10)

 9

 10

 43

 9

30903 

Cam Fraser/ Charlotte 

 8

 10

 4

 (14)

12 

 43

 10

28542 

Bob Coyle/ Julie Stepenson 

 9

 9

(11) 

 6

 43

 11

29102 

Chuck Oman/ Christina Peretti

 11

(12) 

12 

 6

 6

11 

 53

 12

25650 

Ray Schmidt/ Sarin Jay 

 (DNF)

 11

 11

 10

 15

 13

 67

 13

27999 

Gilmore/ Connor O'Neil 

 (DNF)

 13

 13

 DNF

 12

14 

 76

 14

 30089

Andy Klein/ Deb Meuse 

 (DNC)

DNC 

 DNC

DNC 

 8

11 

 78

 15

 8542

Beth/ Bendon/ Teddy Locke 

 13

14

14 

 DNS

 16

 13

 DNS

 87

 16

 26541  Bill/ Wendy Swanton  12  15  (DNF)  DNF  15  DNF  15  91
 
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