This past weekend, UCSD’s sailing tritons hosted the annual regatta in memory of Jeff Simon. With a total of 34 boats from 12 universities on the start line (an increase of 7 boats from last year), it was a great success for UCSD.
Saturday was a beautiful sunny day with high temperatures and a strong and steady wind. The conditions for a regatta were in other words, perfect! Being the first regatta of 2018 for many of us, excitement was in the air while we prepared the equipment and talked about tactics. Due to the exceptional moon-phase that resulted in the super blue blood moon, the tide was stronger than it usually is. The tide was the center of discussion regarding tactics for the day, “where should we be to benefit from the current it creates?” was a question often heard. Our fellow sailors from other universities started showing up at around 09.30 and prepared their boats for the day. Saturday was a very busy day at the yacht club since there was another regatta taking place as well as ongoing construction work at the old clubhouse, which resulted in us having to beach our boats. With unusually steady wind conditions in Mission Bay and the high numbers of boats, the starts where filled with action and inchwide margins that did not leave any room for error or doubtful judgement. I can proudly announce that no incidents occurred and an overall high level of sportsmanship was upheld. Sailing is a tough sport with often concentrated faces and intense yelling when trying to communicate and warn other boats with your own presence. The atmosphere back at the beach was fortunately the opposite with lots of laughter and smiles. The low-tide made itself known to our noses and feet at the end of the day when we had to go into the dark, sulphur-smelling, mud with our dollies to drag the boats up on land. Our sailors where visibly tired after all the sailing and the heavy sun when we left the club at around 5:30 PM.
Sunday was much the same for wind and tide conditions, but at this point our sailors were ready to face these conditions. With a postponement early in the day due to little wind, everyone was shocked and excited when the wind filled in much the same as it had the day before. After racing, our team held our annual raffle, in which many items, sailing related or not, are raffled off and all the proceeds going to charity. The team raised over $500 for the Autism Tree Project Foundation, located here in San Diego and very close to the heart of one of our volunteer coaches. We would like to congratulate University of Southern California for not only taking 1st place, but also 4th, 5th, and 6th – what an incredible weekend for their team! UCSD placed 11th, 20th, 26th, 33rd, and 34th in this competitive fleet. Many of our sailors had not sailed for a long time or had just started to learn how to skipper the boat themselves, including team member Erik. It was his first time skippering in a competitive setting and he said “My skippering definitely needs work, but the experience was very insightful into how much I have to learn.” We are very proud to have held and sailed in such a fun event and we are looking forward to our next regatta!
-Nils René and Erik Redburn ‘21
Santa Barbara Championship Regatta
by Lauren Liu
I may not be new at sailing, but I am new to the UC San Diego Sailing team. Our Santa Barbara championship regatta is the first time that I traveled with the team to race. We spent some time preparing earlier in the week by loading up a trailer with 3 of the boats we were planning to bring with us. On the day we left, several of us went down to Mission Bay early to load the other 3 boats into a trailer. It was a lot of work to prepare, but we had so many people helping that it was pretty easy to get the job done quickly. After that, we settled into our cars for the long drive to Santa Barbara. Normally a 4 hour drive, it took us about from 11am to 6pm to arrive at the Ocean Mesa campsite, including a break in Irvine for food and gas. Most of us opted to sleep some of the drive and were well rested when we got to the campsite. I absolutely love camping, so I was really looking forward to this portion of the trip. We quickly set up some tents mostly with the help of flashlights, and one of the earlier groups came back from the grocery store with food to make kebabs and corn on the cob over the fire. We cooked the food in various ways with varying degrees of success, but I had a blast getting to know my teammates better.
When we arrived at Santa Barbara Yacht Club on Saturday morning, it was a bit chilly, but very sunny and quickly warmed up. We first rigged five boats and got them ready to launch. The first rotations of skippers and crews sailed the boats over to the course areas while the rest of us brought our bags and canopy over to the viewing point. Unfortunately the wind was so light that day that none of the races could be completed. The good news: UC San Diego tied for first on Saturday. The bad news: I think we were tied with 15 other teams! Almost everyone brought their boats to the beach line next to the viewing area and we waited awhile to see if the wind would pick up. It never really did, so after some fun playing games, munching on food, and playing on the beach, we packed up everything and returned to our campsites for the night.
The forecast for Sunday was a much different story. In the morning, we woke up a little earlier so we could clean up the campsite and load up the cars. It was a good thing too, because a storm rolled in over the mountains later in the morning, bringing wind and rain, and then just rain, and then lots of wind after a brief reprieve for the rest of the afternoon. Almost everyone was soaked and chilled, and the conditions in the morning weren’t kind enough to allow the JV out to race. After the storm let up a bit, the JV was able to get quite a few races in. I’m experienced in sailing and being out on the water in difficult conditions, but I’m still very new (and very bad at) racing, so I was very excited to test myself in the heavier winds. The waters were rough and the winds were gusting, giving me every bit of the challenge I was hoping for. Of the two races I skippered, I capsized going downwind twice and didn’t finish either race. Throughout, I had so much fun learning the limits of my ability as a skipper and bonding with the team. I’m definitely looking forward to spending more time with the team and improving my skills over the rest of the year!
UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr., La Jolla, CA 92093
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