Over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, 10 UC San Diego Sailing Team members travelled to Honolulu, Hawaii to participate in the Pete Wenner Rainbow Invitational, hosted by University of Hawaii. We were excited to see beautiful Hawaii, especially the many of us who had never gone before. On our first full day in Hawaii, the team went on a grueling but rewarding 3.5 hour hike, marching up a ridge to see some wonderful views of the south shore of Oahu. After numerous photographs along the path, we finished up and headed to the beach to enjoy the sun and surf before turning in for the day.
The next day, several of us headed out early in the morning to begin the first day of racing. Due to the large number of sailors who went, each one of us only had a few races to sail, but all of us were looking forward to experiencing the winds in the Hawaiian Lagoon. I joined the Varsity group of sailors on Saturday, our first day of sailing, for several races. The day started with very little wind, but it soon picked up to around 10 knots while shifting to the left, perfect for someone of my light weight. Despite a somewhat rough start to the first race involving a too crowded pin, Nick Delfino and I were able to catch up and pass several other boats. In our second race, an open pin side start helped the both of us to cruise to a top three finish with some of the best sailing I have ever experienced at a regatta. After watching some more excellent sailing from my teammates, I headed back out, this time with Hayley Chong as my skipper. The two of us were able to finish in 13th place thanks to good boat side starts in both of our races together, despite some difficult downwind legs due to a short main sheet. We stayed out for two more races as the wind started to drop and shift back to the right, enjoying ourselves immensely.
After the last few races of the day ended, we headed over to the barbecue hosted by the UH Sailing Team and the regatta’s sponsor, Pete Wenner. After a wonderful dinner, we discovered that we had managed to finish 6th out of 18 overall for the day, as well as our A division boat placing 2nd in its division.
The next day, the JV squad headed out to race. Wind conditions looked less ideal for them, with light winds on the first several races, hampering our heavier teams, and then the wind picked up, making life difficult for the lighter combinations. Despite this, the JV team soldiered on, improving throughout the day in their racing. After sailing was done for the day, everyone gathered together for a team dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant, where we had a delicious meal. The following day, we packed up to leave, visited the beach one last time, and then flew back to San Diego happy to have visited the beautiful island of Oahu.