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Denmark

Dear Newport Harbor Sailing Foundation,

Thank you for making it possible for me to compete in the 2011 Snipe World Championships held in Rungsted, Denmark. Your contribution to our campaign allowed Tyler Sinks and I to practice in San Diego throughout the summer and arrive early in Denmark for a three-day rigging and practice session with other members of Team USA. This proved to be very beneficial as the other sailors included names such as Augie Diaz, who is a three-time world champion in the class. He knows the boat inside and out so when it came time to tune our rigs and discuss sail shapes, we knew we were working with the best.

One big change from our sunny southern California training was the weather. We had heard that because the venue is so far north we could expect to be sailing until eight-thirty at night. The sun simply doesn't set until about 10pm. Pair that with cold water and big breeze and you have what makes for some chilly sailing. This was an unpleasant change but nonetheless we layered on the wetsuits and set out to sail a strong event.

Day one started out as a bit of a false start when we woke up to a solid 30-35 knot breeze. We went to the boat park to await obvious postponement and were laughing to ourselves when we realized that other than one other country, the Americans were the only sailors to show up. Apparently the trend in Europe is to stay at your hotel with the entire team, sending one runner down to report updates back. This breeze was being generated by a large cold front from the north and held all day while we passed the time inside the yacht club. At 5:30pm the RC told us we would be going sailing in an hour so we rigged up and tried to get warm. We sailed one race in 25-28kts and things got hectic pretty fast. The Snipe is a very demanding boat that mixes strength with technique so sometimes the biggest guys don't always win in big breeze. It was slightly disheartening when a pair of very thin short Japanese sailors rolled us going upwind in the big stuff. The regatta pressed on and we very rarely saw any of the light summer air that we heard was typical of the venue. This made for long exhausting days that usually held three races each, all courses about an hour and a half long.

Aside from the cold weather, Denmark was an awesome place to visit. One evening after finishing dinner with our host family around 9pm, our host announced that we should go wakeboarding. We agreed but once on the water decided it was far too cold to do any swimming so he offered to take us to Sweden. It was only a five to ten minute whaler run away so we buzzed over to a small island and wandered around the seaside village. After a half hour there we crossed back to Denmark and were home at 10:30 pm just as the sun was disappearing. What an adventure!

Overall Tyler and I sailed the boat well but had trouble with our starts, putting a few letters on the scorecard. This made it difficult to make a run at our top ten goal, finishing mid-fleet. The Snipe fleet is extremely deep and multiple world champions were at the event. I look forward to continuing in the class and learning from some of the great American Snipe sailors. Thank you again for your support of my trip to the Snipe Worlds. Without it we could not have gained the experiences or made the memories we did.

Sincerely,

Jeff Aschieris

Day 1

Hey gang,

We were able to get through measurement today at the yacht club which is great to get behind us! There were some patches of rain but never too bad. Here is a photo of all the gear packed in a tiny car.

Turns out the family we are staying with has a son who is a two-time Finn Olympian and has won the Finn Worlds. Wish he was here to offer some local knowledge.

John Aschieris

Day 2

hey guys,

Today we spent a very long day at the boat park doing boatwork and getting everything set up the way we want it. We had hoped to get sailing around 2pm but ended up working til 7pm. There is some more to do tomorrow but we will go sailing for sure. Most all the Americans are here now and we are having fun with the group. Everything is very expensive in Denmark as we are learning quickly but we are limiting expenses as much as possible. all for now

Jeff Aschieris

Day 4

hey guys,

Today was very windy, but bc of boatwork we could not get sailing. It is frustrating having so much stuff to do to prepare the boat but it is very important. Our problem is that even though we have a good hull, the rigging was very unusual and requiring lots and lots of changing. Then our rig seems to have very odd bend and not giving us proper measurement. We have been working lots with Augie Diaz but when he said "I don't know boys this seems very odd" we knew we had more work ahead. Things are coming together with the help of the US team but slowly at that. Tomorrow we only have a bit left to do to get completely ready to start racing. Also the storms that roll through often halt boatwork bc of rain. Don't worry we will be ready to go Wednesday morning for sure.

We have been pretty good about limiting spending by eating most meals at home. Only really spending money on groceries and boat parts. Things are all good. Until next time,

Jeff Aschieris

Day 5

Hi all,

It's day 5 over here. We were up early to get down to the club and finish up some projects with the boat. Today we made huge leaps forward as I was able to negotiate with a Spanish team into letting us use their spare mast. Pretty much a small miracle really. Anyways the rig looked better when we made our measurements and we got right on the water. We felt decently quick and are ready to put the finishing touches on and get racing. Tonight we will have our opening ceremonies, and the awards for the junior worlds will be given out. More updates soon

John Aschieris