UBC TSC Sailing Completes Travel-Heavy Fall Season


As the cold sets in and the days grow darker, UBC TSC Sailing has wrapped up its fall season. After several weeks of high calibre events and strong efforts put in by the team, here is a recap of the last month and a half in sailing.


Stoney Burke Regatta @ UC Berkeley

October 14-15, 4 UBC TSC Sailors descended on San Francisco for the annual Stoney Burke Regatta. This is a fun and highly competitive interconference regatta sailed off of Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. Five sailors, including three rookies, sailed their best against talented teams in what were incredibly tricky conditions. On the first day of competition winds were lights, so races were postponed for two hours on shore. In the afternoon, two rotations were sailed in each fleet with Aidan Chiu (’21) and Jane Velghe (’19) having a good set in A fleet, scoring a 2nd in their final race of the day. In B fleet, exciting rookie skipper Eric Lyall (’21) sailed one rotation with Nicholas Navarre (’20) and the next with fellow rookie Jennifer Vincent (’21), posting solid mid-fleet results. After the first day of racing UBC was tied with University of Hawaii for 8th place out of 13 boats. The second day saw even lighter winds, and only one race was run in each fleet. There were no changes to the standings despite solid 5th and 6th place showings from UBC, and the final results remained UBC in 8th, winning the tiebreaker with University of Hawaii. Full scores are available here. Thanks go out to alumni Neil Roberts (’15) for housing the team and continuing to support his alma mater, as well as UC Berkeley for once again hosting a fantastic event!


The 2017 UBC CICSA Fleet Racing Nationals Team

CICSA Fleet Racing Nationals @ RMC of Canada

An annual staple of the UBC Thunderbirds Sailing SC is a trek out to Ontario in late October to compete against the best schools in Canada. Having finished second at this regatta the previous two years, the pressure was on to finally get the win. The experienced team of Matthew Goguen (’19), Joseph Gustafson (’18), Catherine Hackwell (’19), Elmeri Hakkinen (’18), and Richard Minielly (’20) raced competitively in the tricky conditions, with wind and waves varying constantly over the two-day event, but ultimately fell just short of their final goal. The team finished the regatta in 5th, although it must be noted that the point spread from 1st place to 5th was only 9 points following 16 scored races, showing just how competitive the Canadian teams were this year. However, some successes did come out of the weekend, with team Finance Executive Catherine Hackwell (’19) being voted in as CICSA Vice-President for 2017! This position will help both Catherine and the team as both look to grow and learn in the next year. Thanks to Royal Military College of Canada for hosting the event, Robyn Lepa and Connor Mackenzie for providing housing, and Guy and Sandy Hackwell for coming to support the team!





North North Fall Championship Regatta @ University of Washington

The same weekend as some of the ‘Birds flew out to Kingston, another squad was send to Seattle for the fall district championship regatta. With both a co-ed team of Eric Lyall (’21), Vincent de Mesmaeker (’19), Aidan Chiu (’21), and Jane Velghe (’19) as well as a women’s team of Laura Stewart (’18), Crystal Song (’19), Jenny Dinwoodie (’19), and Molly Voltz (’20), the team had high hopes. With both days of racing sailed in exceptionally light breeze and shifty conditions, the ‘Birds struggled to gain consistency. With results ranging from 2nd to 10th, the coed team ended up in 4th, while the womens team finished 7th out of 11 boats. This result was similar to last year for the ‘Birds, but not the improvement they had been seeking. Knowing that a regatta does not define a team, they are looking forward to proving themselves in the spring. Full scores available here.



Frosh/Soph Regatta @ Western Washington University


Looking for a more relaxed and fun event after what seemed like never ending championships, the team sent a squad of newer team members to race on Lake Whatcom November 4/5. At the annual Frosh/Soph Regatta, only first or second year teammates are allowed to race in their normal positions. If any upperclassmen attend, they must switch away from their usual role in the boat. This event was sailed in the cold and snow this year, but Crystal Song (’19), Natalie Benoit (’20), Erez Buyukyilmaz (’21), and Osa Hawthorne (’20) persevered, sailing hard for 4 full rotations. Natalie and Crystal sailed extra impressively, achieving only podium results for their first two rotations. After racing concluded on Sunday, the team finished 7th out of 16 boats, a respectable showing for UBC. Full scores available here


Pacific Coast Championships @ UC Santa Barbara

In a late-season addition to the schedule, UBC TSC Sailing decided to attend PCC’s for the first time in recent history. This is a very large and competitive interconference regatta held in Santa Barbara, California on November 11-12. With division rivals University of Washington and University of Victoria in attendance, the weekend looked as if it would be a fun and challenging experience for all. With competition in three divisions instead of the usual two, although only A and B were officially scored, UBC sent six sailors to sail in the California sun. In A fleet, Georg Lauritsen (’20) and Gabrielle Savage (’18) finished 14th in their fleet, in B fleet Aidan Chiu (’21) and Jane Velghe (’19) finished 15th in their fleet, and in C fleet Ryan Wood (’21) and Felix Bolongaro (’21) finished 14th in their fleet. Full scores available here. Accounting for variations in fleet, this is a remarkably consistent and solid showing from UBC in a competitive 23 boat fleet. The team sailed their best and managed to beat several very talented teams while enjoying the warm California weather. Placing in the top 16 at PCCs also qualifies UBC to attend Rose Bowl, hosted by USC January 6-7.



The team would like to thank all of those who supported them this season, be it through housing, donations, advice, or any other form of support. Starting from the qualifier wins in September all the way to strong showings in interconference regattas, the team has achieved new heights so far this year and looks forward to continuing their winning tradition in the spring.


If you would like to support the team more, please feel free to reach out to us at any time through email or facebook. Alternatively, the team is continuously accepting donations through UBC Bird Backer.


Article by Richard Minielly