Fall Pacific Coast Championship
Last weekend, November 14th through the 15th, the UC San Diego sailing team had the honor of attending the Fall PCC Regatta. The regatta was held off the beautiful coast of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club, and was hosted by the UC Santa Barbara team. Framed against drop back of the coastal mountains, we fit in two incredibly interesting days of sailing.
Nineteen strong with six boats in tow, we made our way up to Santa Barbara in a fleet of over the course of Friday where we camped out under the stars at the Ocean Mesa Campground, which is located in the beautiful, oceanside El Capitan National Park.
Saturday brought idyllic Santa Barbara conditions with blue skies and warm weather. The only element lacking was wind, which did not reach over 3 knots throughout the course of the race day. Junior Varsity abandoned two attempts at racing before calling it a day. Varsity did not attempt any races and was canceled shortly after. So instead of sailing, the team mostly spent time enjoying what Santa Barbara’s beaches had to offer.
Sunday brought the complete opposite of Saturday’s beautiful weather and hugely varying wind speeds. The beginnings of a storm ushered in winds well in the 20’s. In the morning, when I raced, the winds were cold and it began to rain. For those of us that brought it, we were thankful for our foul weather gear. The choppy waves and strong gusts of wind made for a wild ride. At one point a particularly gust of wind took down five boats in our particular fleet in one fell swoop. My boat was no exception, one moment we were sailing swiftly upwind towards a gybe and in the next a burst of wind scooped our boat up, slammed us back down and we capsized instantly. We had to retire the boat from the race shortly afterwards due to a rapid leak. Eventually the wind, after completely, picked up and the regatta fit in four more solid races.
Varsity finished the Fall PCC in 13th place. JV 1 finished in 8th place, JV 3 finished in 13th place, and the JV 2 boat was retired prematurely for repairs. Overall this was a fantastic regatta for me. I was able to experience both extremes of sailing within one regatta as well as travel to one of the most beautiful places in Southern California. I’m so lucky I was able to sail and travel with such amazing teammates.
by Lauren Liu