Quite a few years ago SCIRA asked some of the best sailors in the U.S. how they felt about competing in the Snipe. Here's a sample of what they had to say:
"The competition combined with the design of the boat makes the Snipe
Class the place to be to work on tactics. There is also unmatched camaraderie
which keeps things in perspective."
Mark Reynolds, Gold Medal - Star Class - Barcelona 1992
"If you round the first mark six boat lengths behind the leader in a 470
race you're probably in second place. If you round six boat lengths behind in a
Snipe race you're lucky if you're in the top ten! We were so impressed by the
Snipe Class competition that we chose to race the entire Snipe Southern Circuit
the spring prior to the 1988 Olympic trails instead of traveling to Europe for
the 470 Worlds."
Allison Jolly, Silver Medal - Women's 470 - Pusan 1988
"The Snipe is a true one-design boat. The emphasis is on tactics since
boat speeds are so equal." I highly recommend that everyone at the highest competitive level spend some time in a Snipe.
Paul Foerster, Silver Medal - Flying Dutchman - Barcelona 1992
"Why are we buying a new Snipe? It's really very simple; To keep pushing.
The competitive nature of the boats and the emphasis on tactics makes it a great
place to keep your skills sharp. The people are fun and the class has a
reputation for great parties."
Jim Brady, Silver Medal - Soling Class Barcelona 1992
Julia Trotman, Silver Medal - Europe Class - Barcelona 1992
"The Snipe provides a truly unique racing experience... Its basically a
cross between closed course college racing and an open water boat speed contest.
The fact that there is a wide range in competitive crew weights and that there
are many husband/wife teams out there racing really makes it a boat for
everyone. Maybe it is this aspect of Snipe racing that I enjoy the most. Being
able to race competitively with my wife or kids against other boats doing
exactly the same thing makes it a great family boat as
Greg Fisher, Lightning North American Champion - 1990
"The Snipe is a highly technical, highly responsive minimally expensive
boat. Even though setting up the rig to go fast is a challenge, a relatively
inexperienced crew can win if they sail well, whether they weigh 275 in a breeze
or 320 in light air. Its leaders give the Class a strong direction and
versatility, and the parties are fun. Every sailor should have
Peter Commette, Laser World Champion - 1975, Snipe National Champion - 1996
"The things that attract me to the Snipe were the relative cheap cost of
racing the boat, the fact that two "normal" weight people could compete together
and the reputation of the Class as competitive, yet friendly. After a few
regattas I found these things were certainly true. When I began my Olympic
Campaign I felt it was important to compete in classes other than just the
Europe Dinghy. This would enable me to keep sharp tactically and learn as much
as possible. I preferred crewing because it would enable me to race without as
much responsibility had I organized the effort. Snipe sailing improved my
physical stamina and taught me the importance of hiking hard. The close quarter
racing in large fleets and continually being relied on for input from aggressive
helmsmen sharpened my tactical abilities. Snipe sailing has also increased my
general knowledge regarding sail trim, design developments and boat maintenance.
I always recommend it as a good class for any
Nancy Haberland, Annapolis, MD
"The strength of the Snipe Class is in its superior management. The
Snipe Bulletin is as good a one-design publication as exists,
communications are excellent among members and the class is very well run. This
Class is one of the best when it comes to socializing. Snipe sailors know the
importance of good racing but don't place all of the emphasis on the racing and
winning. They want to have fun and enjoy the friendships that they make through
the sport. Another important aspect is the placing of major regattas in great
locations where you would not normally travel and where anyone can be
competitive. There's no point in having all the regattas out in the open ocean
where only a few people will dominate."
"The Snipe was the perfect springboard for my Olympic pursuits. Many of
the top Snipe sailors already had their other foot into Olympic or major
offshore pursuits. They brought similar intensity to the Class. However,
regardless of what happens on the water there is always a strong social
environment that usually lasts long into the night. It is this balance that
makes the Snipe Class special. After concluding my Olympic campaign, returning
to the Snipe was just what I needed. The special balance of the Class has once
again gotten me excited about our sport."
Craig Leweck, Snipe National Champion - 1988