25 boats from 7 countries took to the water for the first race of the Snipe Western Hemisphere and Oriental Championships yesterday. The regatta, hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club will see 6 more races taking place with 2 each today, Friday and Saturday.
Leaders after day one, Randy Lake and Piet Van Os (USA) had hoped for light airs but none of the competitors expected the exceptionally light conditions and pea soup they were faced with yesterday. "Very non-typical Long Beach,"
said Lake of San Diego.
The reigning world champions Alexandre Paradeda and Flavio Fernandes (BRA) finished just boat lengths behind Lake and admitted that they had considerable problems finding the marks, indeed the fog was so thick that even some of the committee boats had trouble finding their way back into the harbor afterwards.
Lake, a 31-year-old airline pilot, led at every mark except at the first leeward gate turn as the leaders groped in the fog for the yellow inflatable marks. Lake said the fog didn't bother them except for the first downwind leg "when we didn't know where we were going. [Otherwise,] you can still tell if you're getting the shifts or not."
Complete results, photos and other information are available at: