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  • 7 Jun 2021 10:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    UBSea News
    June 7, 2021

    Registration for the 2021-2022 Season STILL OPEN!

    We are still accepting both student and general public members - join us! Check out our lessons or mentorship program (below)! If the lesson you would like to participate in is full, please add yourself to the general waitlist for that water activity (bottom of lesson page).  

    **If you are a beginner certified member who would like to re-do the water portion of a lesson for free today until June 10 email hello@ubcsailing.org.

    Jericho Racing

    Racing is back! Jericho is hosting their racing series Tuesday nights at 6:15pm and Sundays at 12:30pm. Don't forget to register here to be able to race.

    Laser Racing Sails

    We recently purchased new Laser Standard Mark II sails that we will be using exclusively for racing. To ensure the equipment is well cared for, we are in the process of adding a locked compartment in the Club Room where we will store these sails. If you’re a racer and want access to these sails for Tuesday or Sunday Racing please email commodore@ubcsailing.org to receive the code for the lock. Lastly, to ensure the sails are used by people with racing experience, only members who have raced at least twice this season may request their use.

    Mentorship Program

    Our mentorship program is in effect - it is a way for members to get certified on our fleets via the guidance and instruction of other members who are experienced with a particular craft. Mentoring covers the same skills as lessons, and:

    • is free of charge (though your mentor may appreciate a beverage or meal at the Galley)
    • requires flexibility to coordinate times where mentor, mentee, and craft are available during suitable conditions
    • allows mentees to allocate up to 2 work hours amongst mentors
    • follows a checklist (also available in a folder in the club room drawer labeled "mentorship checklists") specific to the craft to standardize certification to ensure members are sufficiently skilled to safely operate vessels

    We have mentorship checklists for most of our crafts including beginner and C1 Sailing, beginner and intermediate kayaking, and intermediate and high wind windsurfing. We aim to have the intermediate, C2, C3, A1 and A2 sailing checklist done by end of June. Mentors and mentees can connect with each other on our forum

    Social Coordinator

    Enjoy being a part of and building community? Do you enjoy organizing events? Then we encourage you to apply for our social coordinator position. This role includes coming up with events for current and prospective members to help with recruitment and grow our sense of community. If you’re interested in the position, please email commodore@ubcsailing.org and state why you think you’d be a good fit for the role. 

    Introducing the New RS Quest!

    As part of our fleet renewal we voted to replace our FJ fleet with the RS Quest. This is a beginner friendly boat that is stable, comfortable and tons of fun with potential for trapeze and spinnaker add-ons. We just purchased one RS Quest to test it out and get a sense of how it will fit into our Club. We’re extremely excited to have it here! If you’d like to sail it and give us your feedback, please register for one of our RS Quest Rigging Workshops

    Boats Rearranged

    The Hobies and Nacras have been shifted from the grassy bumps and onto the flat areas. We are aware that parking these boats was hard and this should make the process much easier. The lighter skiffs are now on these hills and one RS 800 has been moved to the second row of boats where our Hobie, Jungle Beast, used to sit.

    Chilly Summers

    It is every member's responsibility to dress warm enough so that at no time during their sail or paddle they feel cold. Beyond the physiological risks of hypothermia, being cold reduces your ability to learn and improve during a session. A few recommendations:

    • head cover (toque, cap), gloves, above-ankle neoprene booties to keep warm and protect from injury
    • long sleeve, long-leg wetsuit, of the right thickness
    • additional wool layers, rashguard, windbreaker

    Safety Reminder

    As sailors/windsurfers/paddlers, we are always adapting to changing conditions such as wind speed, currents, and other vessels on the water. Sound decision making takes practice and time to gradually develop. Over the past weeks, we have noticed certain situations from beginner sailors that could lead to personal injury, injury of their guests, and damage to our equipment, which in turn could endanger other members using that equipment. When taking equipment out, especially with a guest, consider the following:

    • how skilled are you at controlling equipment on your own, including its balance, with a guest who does not know how to balance it on the water or when to adjust sail controls?
    • how do you handle launching? landing? who holds the dolly?
    • how do you recover from a capsize? how do you deal with your guest in that event? what are your priorities?
    • is the day's weather and tide making your sail harder or easier? how do you adjust?
    • can you adequately communicate with your guest to ensure safety? reach help during your sail?

    This list is not exhaustive. If you are unsure of these questions, delay your sail until the conditions are better, or your skill and knowledge have improved either through mentoring or lessons. Perhaps refrain from taking a guest with you until you gain more experience. If a member is observed putting themselves, their guest, or equipment at risk, it is in the interest of all members to advise them of the risk you saw and to let our executives know. This way the equipment can be checked, remedial training can be offered, and if needed, equipment access suspended until rectified. We want to ensure that other members can continue to safely enjoy our water sports.

    UBCSC Grill & Chill

    Summer is sizzling and so is our grill. Join us for dinner and get to know your fellow water-sport enthusiasts on June 26 at 5pm! Registration is first-come, first-served and plus one. Please let us know of vegetarian preferences and song requests in the notes section. See you there!


    Best Regards,

    UBC Sailing Club



  • 6 Jun 2021 9:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Join the UBCSC #skiffskwad and become certified on our spicy RS500. This boat has trapezing and spinnaker capability, so in addition to sailing you will be able to fly! Advanced sailing classes are available as early as Jun 10-20 and Jun 24-Jul 4 to intermediate-certified members.

    You have learnt the basics of sailing, now it is time to take your skills to the next level. See you on the water (or in the sky)!

    #ubcsc #ubcsailingclub #ubcsailing #skiffskwad #sailing #rssailing #vancity #pacificnorthwest #jerichobeach #jerichosailingcentre #trapezeartist #needforspeed

  • 10 May 2021 9:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    UBSea News
    May 10, 2021

    Registration for the 2021-2022 Season STILL OPEN!

    We are still accepting members - join us! A warm welcome to those who have already joined the UBCSC. We are excited for the upcoming season bringing with it the opportunity to meet fellow water-sport enthusiasts, develop new skills, and stay healthy during the pandemic. Whether you are a beginner or expert, student or general public, enjoy calm paddles or have a need for speed, you can find it at the UBCSC for the most affordable price in Vancouver. Check out our lessons! Note: due to high demand, payment is required 15 mins after you register for a lesson before it is offered to the next member on the waitlist so be sure to secure your spot. 

    Extra Beginner Lessons Available Now

    Due to popular demand, extra beginner sailing, windsurfing, and kayaking lessons have been added for the upcoming month and are now open for registration. These include a daytime beginner sailing lesson starting May 17-20, beginner windsurfing course scheduled for Jun 10-13, and a daytime beginner kayak class on May 16. Become certified in time for warm, windy, summer days. 

    Work Hour Opportunities

    Remember that refundable work deposit you paid for during registration? You can get it back by:

    • completing duties listed here
    • completing repairs/work you've independently identified was necessary
    • referring a friend - 1 work hr per friend who becomes a member!
    • If you are an experienced Hobie sailor who has been with the UBCSC for a few years, you can earn a work hour by creating a checklist of what needs to be taught in our mentorship program to become C1 certified.
    • Fostering the aquatic community by volunteering with clubs based out of the Jericho Sailing Centre such as the Disabled Sailing Association or the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets.
    Make sure to submit your hours here. The UBCSC is non-profit and member-run, meaning we need your help to maintain and repair fleets to keep our equipment in prime condition so it can continue to keep us floating, foiling, and flying! 

    Find it on the Forum

    The forum is a website tool for members to discuss all things UBC Sailing Club. If you have questions post them here or answer to help out fellow members. Find sailing partners, work hours, and FAQs on the forum. 

    Monthly Safety Reminder

    Prolonging the life of our equipment is essential to minimizing expenditure and consequent fees. If you have questions or need to brush up on proper care, visit the forum and keep an eye out for posters around the club.  

    Best Regards,

    UBC Sailing Club


  • 24 Apr 2021 6:03 PM | Anonymous member

    With the start of the season, you may want to:
    - buy/try a wetsuit, thermal rashguard, or hat
    - get a tour of the Jericho sailing centre and our club equipment
    - meet a member of the Steering Committee, to answer your questions
    - just hang out by the water to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine (or our occasional local specialty, liquid sunshine)


    We are now organizing in-person office hours. You can see them listed on this page. If you plan to come, make sure to register for that day, as we may not be present otherwise.

  • 26 Mar 2021 7:02 PM | Anonymous

    UBSea News
    March 26, 2021

    Registration for the 2021-2022 Season NOW OPEN!

    Register for the new season here! We are using a new website and registration system so everyone (including returning members) will have to create a new account. In order to make sure that we have a signed waiver from all our members, we have to manually approve your registration, which may take a few days to complete. If possible, please register ASAP so that we can start processing applications before lesson registration opens.

    Lesson Registration Opens April 3, 2021 @ 10 AM

    The lesson calendar is up and registration will open Saturday, April 3, 2021, at 10 AM (PDT). We expect that lessons will fill up quickly, so make sure that you have registered as a member on our website well in advance, as registration applications can take multiple days to process.

    Also please note that there may be some last minute changes to the calendar, before April 3, so check regularly if you are aiming to sign up for a specific lesson set.

    Vanguard Workshop

    Did you take intermediate lessons last season? If that's the case, we are now giving you the opportunity to get certified on the Vanguards, which are our intermediate double handed boat. Last year, due to Covid, we were only able to certify members on Lasers but we are now hosting a free workshop to teach you all about the Vanguard. Content covered includes rigging, launching and landing. It will take place on Wednesday, April 8th at 8pm and you can register for it on our website.

    COVID-19 Affecting Doublehanded Lessons

    For the time being, we ask that you register for lessons with someone who is already in your Core Bubble. When you sign up, you will pay for both yourself and on behalf of your partner.

    Please see our website for more information and how this process may change later in Summer.

    Recruiting Head of Communication and Head of Marketing

    We’re looking to hire a Head of Communication. This role is primarily responsible for communicating with potential or current members through newsletters, social media, and emails. On a daily basis, answering emails will be the primary task. This person should have sufficient experience and knowledge of how the club operates to answer club related questions.

    The Head of Marketing will contribute to marketing campaigns and recruitment. This job entails allocating a budget effectively to increase awareness of the UBC Sailing Club among students and non-students through creating ads, organizing Open Houses, running AMS Club Day booths and other similar activities. Specific Club related knowledge is not required but could be an asset.

    Both student and nonstudent members are welcomed to apply for these positions. These are volunteer positions and are not paid.  However, both positions receive a free UBCSC membership.

    You can apply here. Applications are due Monday, April 5, 2021 @ 11:59 PM. 

    New (Old) Laser in our Fleet

    Thanks to siblings Neil and Devyn Cousineau for donating their laser from the 1980’s. Since we recently had to retire one of the Lasers due to extensive damage, we will be using this boat for this season and replacing it with a newer one either by the end of this season or the beginning of next season.

    Virtual Registration Night & Office Hours

    The Steering Committee is working hard to prepare for the 2021/22 season. We are sure many of you have questions you’d like to ask us as we approach this next season. Whether you are a member concerned about our COVID-19 guidelines, or you are interested in joining our club, we are here to answer your questions. That's why we are hosting regularly scheduled UBCSC Virtual Office Hours.

    There will be an additional Virtual Registration Night on April 2nd, as well as additional office hours on April 3rd for questions regarding club and lesson registration. Click here to see our upcoming office hours.

    Newsletter Renamed

    We've renamed our newsletter from the old Tsunami News to the current UBSea News. Look out for our newsletter to stay up to date on important Club announcements and upcoming events.

    Best Regards,

    UBC Sailing Club 

  • 23 Feb 2021 7:00 PM | Anonymous

    TSUNAMI NEWS - 23 FEB 2021


    Virtual Town Hall

    We will be hosting our next town hall on Thursday, March 11 2021 at 6PM (PST) as a Zoom meeting. Our panel will be presenting updates on a variety of club operations, with topics such as: the new mentorship program, our new website, fleet renewal, COVID-19 impact and policies, and lessons for the upcoming season. Members will also have the opportunity to ask questions, so be sure to come by if you have any for the Steering Committee.

    Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/92249761656

    Workshop - Barriers in accessing outdoor groups faced by BIPOC

    The UBC Surf Club, Varsity Outdoor Club and Ski and Board Club are hosting a virtual workshop on dismantling barriers BIPOC face when accessing outdoor clubs.  

    As members of the UBC Sailing Club, we participate in a sport that has historically been white dominant and has higher barriers to entry. We really encourage everyone to attend to hear 3 speakers talk about the work they've been doing to increase the diversity and inclusivity of outdoor groups. There will also be a guided workshop on how to make outdoor clubs more accessible to everyone.

    Date: Feb 24th at 5pm 

    Location: Zoom 

    Registration: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/who-belongs-outside-a-workshop-on-dismantling-barriers-tickets-141248497057?fbclid=IwAR0vvMoKHCqfGBrHY5h9WVE8fQDCMGFmzJSIZTkBlnJkVukqAPkcDjTMSGE

    New website

    The new website is live already. From here on it will be the centrepiece that helps the Steering Committee manage club membership and communication. While we will present it in more detail at the town hall, you can already check it out and help us make it work for you. If you see something that does not function, or think of something that should be there, please email JB at jb-leveque@ubcsailing.org.

    Members are welcome to the Steering Committee meetings

    Interested in what the Steering Committee does? Maybe you want to join the Steering Committee in the future? Come listen and watch the meetings in action.

    See when we are having our next meeting, and register on our events calendar.

    Windsurfing social event

    Exciting news! Join us on Wed, Feb 24 at 7PM (PST) for windsurfing stories night, cause hey, it'll be better than Netflix   Featuring speakers such as wave surfer in Maui (Craig Hennesey, a former windsurfing fleet captain), and a 4-time Canadian Olympian sailor and windsurfer (Nikola Girke).

    Event link: tinyurl.com/WindStories

    Zoom social event

    Come join us at our online social event being hosted on Thursday, March 4 at 7:00PM (PST); socialize and meet new people!

    Zoom meeting link: https://ubc.zoom.us/j/69923348786?pwd=U0tobU50M2tXTlY0cXR4TGt4dHdqZz09

    Meeting ID: 699 2334 8786

    Passcode: 251060

    We're hiring instructors!

    Are you interested in working for us as a Windsurfing Instructor? If so, please email our head instructor, Christoph, at headinstructor@ubcsailing.org.

  • 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)

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UBC SAILING CLUB

Sailing - Windsurfing - Kayaking - Paddle boarding

Jericho Sailing Centre, 1300 Discovery St., Vancouver BC V6R 4K5
Like most of Vancouver, the Jericho Sailing Centre is located on unceded, traditional and ancestral territory of the Coast Salish Peoples,
including the territories of xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) - What does that mean?

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