But once the races began, Ernesto Rodriguez and Kathleen Tocke cemented their performance in the four-day event – in which they placed in the top three in six out of the eight races – to win the championship.
The world’s top-ranked SSL Snipe team concluded the regatta Friday with 19 points, three points ahead of second-place finishers Augie Diaz and Christine De Silva. Arthur Blodgett and Grace Howie, with 40 points, finished third.
Rodriguez called the competition “a tough regatta with tough conditions.”
“We were fortunate today to have a really good first race. We were going into the last day with Augie a couple of points behind us. We ended up using our drop on the second race and that was good enough to win the regatta,” he said. “But I felt like Augie sailed better than us. In fact, I realized that in eight races, we only beat him in three. That’s how tough sailing is. It could have went either way.”
Once the wind reached five knots, race seven took place, with Mary Baker and Trisha Kelly finishing in first. Rodriguez and Tocke followed in second place.
In the last race, race eight, Diaz and De Silva beat the fleet to the finish, with Randy Lake and Maddy McGrath in second and David and Paige Tillson in third.
Rodriguez and Tocke hit a road bump at the end, finishing 11th in the final race, but the result didn’t scuttle their championship pursuit.
Among junior sailors, Justin Callahan and Aiden Hoogland topped the field, followed by Trevor Davis and Ale Torres in second and Peter Busch and Cam Spriggs in third. Five of the eight junior teams competing finished in the top half of the fleet.
The regatta was held on two courses, the Pacific Ocean course southeast of Point Loma and the South San Diego Bay course.