“Big Waves” Made This Year at Jericho Beach!

The new UBC President participates in the Day of the Long Boat and wins his division!!


President Ono’s team celebrates their victory.

Photo Cred: Stephanie Oey

President Ono in a coveted championship shirt receiving his prized longboat.


President Ono and his wife, Wendy Yip take a snapshot at the photobooth.

Not since 1985 has a UBC President participated in a Special Event with the UBC REC Program, but this year, in his first term, Dr. Santa Ono and his wife, Wendy Yip, entered the Staff and Faculty Division in the 29th year running of the Day of the Long Boat down at Jericho Beach.   It was a family affair as their two children Juliana and Sarah also attended so as to support their parents and to cheer their boat on.

“We were just thrilled to have him participate in this event!” says Jason McManus, Manager of the Intramural Sports Program. “And as the sterns man in his boat I felt the pressure to really do well!” added McManus. “But it, quickly became evident that he was in it to win it. And we did!!”

Racing against 5 other boats in his division, Dr. Ono had some competition from other staff and sponsor boats who had experience in this race. As the wind picked up, hundreds of students lined the beach to cheer their new President on and to, officially, welcome him to the university.

“Go Dr. Ono” and “Cool dude” was heard throughout the cheering crowds for the students knew that his participation was meaningful! “We are so thrilled to have him come on down to the beach and be with us today” commented Robyn Wilmer, a student organizer with UBC REC’s Special Events Program. “I don’t think this has ever happened, before, to have our school President be part of a UBC REC event!”

But it has happened before. In 1985, Dr. George Pederson, urged on by Dave Frank (former AMS President and student member of the Board of Governors at the time) laced up his runners to be part of an 8 person relay known as the Arts’ 20 Relay and that was unprecedented!

In the Alumni Division this year, 7 teams vied for the winning title, including Team Vintage, back for the 3rd year to redeem their title from 2014! “We had a boat load of younger paddlers this year, recent alumni from the UBC REC Program. All in all, we had student alumni representing over 45 years in our boat”, says team captain, Joanie Webster. “We thought we had it in the bag! But obviously we didn’t!! We came last, again. But our standing didn’t matter as the “mature” alumni and the younger generations had a blast together. We’re the same type of people, no matter what age, and who we are is what makes the leadership program so special at UBC REC”.

Photo Cred: Reed Eaglesham

Team Spirit Crusher – Champions of the Alumni Division.

Photo Cred: Bronwyn Davies

Team We Thought this was the LoLa’s Afterparty? took a swim in the Alumni heat


Team Vintage captained by Joanie Webster – spanning 45 years of involvement.

As in 2015, when Team Stroking In Public dethroned Team Vintage, the 2016 Alumni Championship title again changed boats this year when Team Spirit Crusher ran away with the race. “I really thought we were going to be in trouble” mentioned Nathan Wong after the race “especially when we drew a middle lane”. But somehow, straight off the start the team sneaked out in front and stayed away from what turned into an eventful race only a few boat lengths behind them, including an unfortunate capsize of Team We Thought this was the LoLa’s Afterparty?  In the end all the teams arrived safely back on shore and enjoyed catching up over snacks, hot drinks, and murmurings of next years race! Already?

Can’t wait!

Joanie Webster – Alumni of the UBC REC Program


Upcoming events:

Saturday, February 18, 2017 (3-5pm) – February IM Alumni Gym Jam

Saturday, April  8, 2017 – Intramural Staff Recognition Banquet