BLOG & NEWS

  • 7 Feb 2021 6:15 PM | Anonymous

    A few weeks ago, former UBC Sailing Club fleet captain Peter Stricker posted a throwback picture on our Facebook page. It showed our fleet of Flying Juniors at the Kistilano Yacht Club in the 1970's.

    Through the conversations that followed, Peter shared with us the story of his years at the UBC Sailing Club. You can read it here.

    He also shared scans of the Beautiful BC magazine from 1974 containing an article about sailing, and the picture initially posted on our Facebook page.

    These scans are below - click on them to enjoy them in full size.


  • 5 Feb 2021 9:50 PM | Anonymous

    (this is the last part of Peter's story - to read from the start, click here)

    Move to the Jericho Sailing Center

    I don’t recall the exact date the Jericho Center discussions began, but we got wind of the City redeveloping the site into some sort of marine park and beach. We pitched the UBC Sailing Club as an interested participant, since we were anxious to have our own dedicated facility and, in any event, KYC was beginning to tire of our presence. When we first explored the hangars, they were a mess – broken glass everywhere, junk on the floors, cabinets full of airplane parts – Quel Chantier!

    We invited some City “dignitaries” to KYC to discuss what UBC would require at Jericho, and then took them down to the KYC dock, packed them into our rubber duck and drove them to the Jericho site. We even put a few boards in the water on the beach so the visitors wouldn’t get their feet wet.

    But alas, it was rather drizzly and the water was a bit rough, so unfortunately our distinguished guests arrived with wet shoes. There was also a lady in high heels. But they were good sports! Fortunately, when all was said and done, we were given permission to move into one of the hangars, the one near the top of the picture, at the far west end of the property, where we had a ramp to launch and recover the boats.
    (note from Jean-Baptiste: that building - the smallest on the picture - is the only one left now, and is the main facility at the Jericho Sailing Centre - more JSC history can be found here)

    Former Jericho RCAF base in the 1970'sThe former RCAF base looked in the mid-70’s when we moved in (stock photo)

    This base was used during World War II to service amphibious patrol bombers, and until the mid-1970’s, they were just an eyesore. The land access to the hangars was from 4th Avenue, then north on NW Marine, then along Discovery St. to the hangars. Where Discovery St. enters the compound, there was a guard shack and a guard with an attitude, and his big German Shephard named Blackie. But we were very nice and polite to him, chatted with him, and he got to like us, so, if you said you’re with the UBC Sailing Club he’d smile and wave you through. Otherwise, he’d say “Sick-em Blackie”.

    One of the FJ’s we were working on at the side of one of the hangars One of the FJ’s we were working on at the side of one of the hangars

    Here you can clearly see one of the hangars at the lower right of the picture, gleaming in the sunshineThe photo above clearly shows one of the hangars at the lower right of the picture, gleaming in the sunshine.

    When I graduated in the spring of 1975, I had to leave the UBC Sailing Club, so I joined the Kitsilano Yacht Club and bought a Fireball in partnership with another young sailor, whose girlfriend was a UBC undergrad and sailing club member. So I still hung around the UBC sailing club, and watched them leave the KYC and move to Jericho. Here are some pictures of not just the UBC Sailing Club boats, but others at the Jericho hangars in the summer of 1976.

    Summer of 1976: Sunset at the newly opened Jericho Sailing Center, boats are being stowed for the night. Summer of 1976: Sunset at the newly opened Jericho Sailing Center, boats are being stowed for the night.

    Sailboats (including the UBC boats) stored at the Jericho Sailing Center hangars, after a massive clean-up. Summer of 1976 Sailboats (including the UBC boats) stored at the Jericho Sailing Center hangars, after a massive clean-up. Summer of 1976

    One last thing I recall, circa 1974 or 1975 we were in the process of replacing the Flying Juniors with Enterprise class boats. The FJ’s were in pretty rough shape, and the Enterprise seemed more sturdy and comfortable, while still pretty fast and powerful. I seem to recall that the order was placed for a dozen or so, but I didn’t stay long enough to see whether they were ever delivered.

    Another thing I recall is that we had a faculty member in the club who had a Tornado catamaran that I think he kept at KYC, and he took out members in it – in fact, I sailed it single-handed a couple of times. Now that’s one powerful machine!

    A few years later (1978) when renting a boat to sail around the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. This is a certificate that I received which was technically required for a non-US skipper to take a US registered vessel outside US waters. I got this on St. John Island in the US Virgin Islands, as we were going to the British islands. The customs office was at a little old lady's house with chickens and dogs near the dock. We all got a kick out of it. It's a nice souvenir A few years later (1978) when renting a boat to sail around the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. This is a certificate that I received which was technically required for a non-US skipper to take a US registered vessel outside US waters. I got this on St. John Island in the US Virgin Islands, as we were going to the British islands. The customs office was at a little old lady's house with chickens and dogs near the dock. We all got a kick out of it. It's a nice souvenir

    I hope you enjoyed my recollections – it certainly brought back fond memories. It’s hard to believe it was almost a half century ago!

    If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me...

    Peter Stricker
    (note: kindly ask by email if you would like to get Peter's email or phone number)

    We hope you enjoyed reading this as much as we did. If you have stories, pictures, videos you would like to share here, we'd love to hear from you! Please get in touch here.

  • 5 Feb 2021 8:04 PM | Anonymous

    (this is part 2 of Peter's story - to read from the start, click here)

    During my tenure as Fleet captain, I also wrote a Sailing Training Manual that one of the departmental secretaries typed out and we distributed to the members. I don’t recall her name but I do recall that I had mad crush on her, but she wouldn’t reciprocate. Well, them’s the breaks!

    We also organized long-weekend cruises, for example, Thanksgiving and Easter, where we rented larger sailing yachts to accommodate 4 to 6 members (and friends) per boat. These required bona-fide skippers with some formal pedigree, such as a Canadian Power Squadrons certificate and the rental company would also give us a check ride prior to the rental to make sure we were competent. There were a handful of us, including me, who qualified. The participants would share the rental cost, as the AMS wouldn’t cover that. We would sail the Gulf Islands or up Howe Sound, or in the US San Juan islands. The boats ranged from Cal-20’s to Catalina 22’s to Catalina 27’s.

    There were a couple of rental outfits located on Granville Island and one in North Vancouver. The North Vancouver one was a pain, as you’d have to navigate the busy harbor, dodge the Seabus that doesn’t care about anyone else, and the Lions Gate Bridge with the tricky tidal current, with all the other marine traffic. We only did that once. There was also a really nice rental outfit on Vancouver Island, in Maple Bay, which was convenient because we’re already in the islands, no need to cross the Strait. There was also a rental outfit in Anacortes WA, which was only an hour and a half drive south, and nicely accessible to the San Juan Islands. If you go there, be sure to spend some time in Friday Harbor!

    Sometimes we would organize two or three boats, and then tie up overnight. One of our favorite locales was Pirates’ Cove, at the north end of deCourcy Island, just to the west of the north end of Valdes Island. That was a quiet place to anchor, even in rough weather and raft up the boats if there were more than one.

    On one memorable occasion, we were about three boats, and tied up at a marina, in such a way that one boat was tied up to the dock, the second was tied to the first and third tied to the second. At low tide, the boat closest to the dock got a couple of its lifeline stanchions bent because of the wave action. So one of the skippers said – “no problem, there’s a sawmill on Vancouver Island, just a few miles away, where my father is the big boss, we’ll just go there and have a welder straighten it and weld the damaged stanchions. So we did, the stanchions were fixed, but later on when his dad found out, the sh*t hit the fan. (That’s the guy at the left in the picture below) But as they say, it’s easier (and more effective) to ask for forgiveness than permission. Fortunately, we avoided having to pay for the damage.

    Meeting of two boats off Vancouver Island. The fellow in the crazy white hat is me, the one at the far left is the guy whose father ran the mill where we had one of the boats repaired. Meeting of two boats off Vancouver Island. The fellow in the crazy white hat is me, the one at the far left is the guy whose father ran the mill where we had one of the boats repaired.

    More cruising pictures...

    Five members on a Cal 20 – yours truly on the bow pulpit Five members on a Cal 20 – yours truly on the bow pulpit

    Packing up on the dock after breakfast, ready to move onPacking up on the dock after breakfast, ready to move on

    Under way to the next Destination – Can you spot who’s steering the boat? Under way to the next Destination – Can you spot who’s steering the boat?

    Under way to the next Destination – this group even has an entertainer Under way to the next Destination – this group even has an entertainer

    (to read part 3, click here)

  • 5 Feb 2021 6:56 PM | Anonymous

    Recently, a picture was posted on the UBC Sailing Club's Facebook page. A throwback to the 1970's. The club's FJ's (we had some then too!) at the KYC dock, with a short writeup by the person who shared it, Peter Stricker, former fleet captain at the UBC Sailing Club.

    I was thrilled to find a piece of history from our club. I chatted a bit with Peter and used that picture as the main illustration to the About/History page of the website we were are overhauling.

    I shared that with Peter, we chatted som more, and in the process learned that he too was a Mechanical Engineer and worked in aviation. A few days later, he shared with me more pictures and the well-written piece below, reproduced here with his permission.

    - by Peter A. Stricker, MASc. - Mech. Engrg. 1975

    I arrived at the UBC campus in the fall of 1972, after a year working at the Powell River paper mill, having graduated from McGill in the spring of 1971. In the paragraphs below, I will recount some of my sailing experiences from those days --- certainly among the best years of my life were spent at UBC and especially the Sailing Club.

    Until my arrival in Powell River in June of 1971, I have never been in a sailboat, just saw them from a distance on the water. But in Powell River, one of my engineering colleagues was an active racer, and one day he took me out sailing in his 12-foot Signet, and I was hooked. A sailing school was coming to town for a week to provide lessons, so I took that. The “school” consisted of a young man with a pickup truck towing a trailer, with a total of six Sabots packed on board, resting on their sterns, pointing skyward. The Sabot is a very basic 8-foot dinghy - imagine a rowboat with a single sail, centerboard and rudder. So we spent 5 evenings after work on the water learning the basics, and I duly became a certified Sabot skipper.

    Later that fall and winter, I took a Canadian Power Squadrons Boating Course, which taught the basics of boat handling, safety and navigation rules, which came in handy for cruising later in my sailing life.

    And, of course, I occasionally crewed for my office colleague during the winter racing season, when his wife or kids couldn’t make it, but he never let me actually sail the boat during a race, just a few times after the race heading back to the dock.

    So, by the time I arrived at UBC, I knew all about sailing, but had virtually zero hands-on experience. When I signed on to the UBC Sailing Club, I considered myself a “novice”.

    The first Saturday following the club sign-up meeting, about a hundred students congregated a the Kitsilano Yacht Club, where the UBC Sailing Club kept their boats and used their dock and storage facilities. The first order of business, after launching the boats and tying them up at the floating dock, was to find enough skippers to take all these novices out for a ride. Volunteer skippers were recruited, but I did not volunteer, as I thought my meager experience as a crew was not sufficient to accept the responsibility for two other living souls, in (for me) unfamiliar waters, so I waited in line to be taken out for a ride.

    The dozen or so Flying Juniors were launched, a dozen volunteer “skippers” were recruited, and the rush began. Not only were we monopolizing the dock and storage areas at KYC, but also interfering with the their members’ launching their Fireballs, that were preparing for their weekly Saturday race.

    UBC Flying Juniors at the Kitsilano dock. The Fireballs in the foreground are KYC members’ boats. This picture appeared in the Winter issue of the Beautiful BC magazine. I’m the guy wearing the yellow oilskin jacket, standing in the foreground. A couple of KYC Fireballs are also visible at the lower right, as well as a sliver of a Laser. UBC Flying Juniors at the Kitsilano dock. The Fireballs in the foreground are KYC members’ boats. This picture appeared in the Winter issue of the Beautiful BC magazine. I’m the guy wearing the yellow oilskin jacket, standing in the foreground. A couple of KYC Fireballs are also visible at the lower right, as well as a sliver of a Laser.

    Eventually I got a turn to go out with my skipper and another novice, three per boat. It was a typical cloudy, cool fall morning, the wind moderate from the east. So we headed downwind, toward the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, and I handled the jib and centerboard as I had been taught. I also began to notice that our skipper was not a “real” skipper, but one who had at best “meager” experience sailing. So when we were a mile or so downwind, I suggested we turn back, as we would be beating all the way back to KYC. So, we did, and I quickly noticed that the skipper was not at all adept at sailing close-hauled upwind, in fact, although we were sort of pointing upwind, we were actually drifting downwind. So I suggested that he pull the main in all the way, steer the boat until the main just begins to luff, while I was taking care of the jib. But he had a hard time getting it just right – we were vacillating between being stuck in irons and running on a broad reach. He was so exasperated that he handed me the tiller and said “Ok, you know this better than I do, so you steer!” So I got us safely and expeditiously back to KYC, and from that point on, I was an official UBC Sailing Club skipper!

    One lesson I learned that day is that there are people who don’t know what they don’t know, while there are those who don’t know what they know.

    During the winter 1972 season, we received several Lasers and held races every Saturday where the Lasers and FJ’s raced together. We also had a committee boat, the “Rubber Duck”, a sturdy little Zodiac inflatable dinghy. I enjoyed racing the Laser, because I could do it all by myself – I’m sort of a loner. I also helped with the race committee with running the races when my turn came up.

    Launching the “Rubber Duck”. Need to wear boots if you don’t want to get your feet wet! Launching the “Rubber Duck”. Need to wear boots if you don’t want to get your feet wet!

    Readying the boats at the dock for a race Readying the boats at the dock for a race

    FJ’s rounding the downwind mark, turning on the windward leg. That kayak had better get out of the way!FJ’s rounding the downwind mark, turning on the windward leg. That kayak had better get out of the way!

    On Sundays we didn’t have organized races, so members who were skippers could take the boats out and sail around at their pleasure. One day, as we were hanging out in the clubhouse late afternoon, we noticed that one of the FJ’s hadn’t returned. We weren’t sure who was on the boat, but it was about an hour before dark, and we couldn’t see the FJ anywhere, so we called the Coast Guard, with the description of the missing boat. About an hour later, the Coast Guard cutter arrived at the KYC dock, with the FJ sitting on the aft of the boat. We all rushed down to the dock, the CG crew shoved the boat off the stern of the cutter into the water, handed the painter to the embarrassed sailor, and off they went. They found him near the lighthouse, with the wind blowing from the east. Silence all around. The skipper quietly said “sorry” and we helped him get the boat back up the ramp to the storage area.

    Suggestion: If you’re a novice just going for a joyride, sail upwind first, so coming home will be easier.

    In my second and third year at UBC (1973-1975), I served as Fleet Captain. We organized a couple of “Gluhwein and chicken” events during the winters, where we invited the KYC members. We would order several trays of Kentucky Fried Chicken (did you know they did catering?) and with the gluhwein, not much sailing was accomplished those days.

    (to read part 2, click here)

UBC SAILING CLUB

Sailing - Windsurfing - Kayaking - Paddle boarding

Jericho Sailing Centre, 1300 Discovery St., Vancouver BC V6R 4K5

hello@ubcsailing.org


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software