Winter Update: UBC Sailing Wins North-North Regatta

During the last week of November, UBC won its first double-handed regatta south of the border since 2016. Sailors Nicolai Blasdel, Hugh Atkinson, Eric Lyall and Madeline DesBrisay put on a fantastic performance, winning 7/12 races to finish 1st of 11 teams. Check out the results here.

Other than Canadain Nationals, this was our biggest regatta of the term. North-North is what’s called a “ranking regatta”. Each season, all the Northwest colleges are ranked. The highest-ranked colleges are invited to attend regattas in different regions across America.

The team after winning North-North

The team decided to drive down in the light, so we left at around 5 pm. We watched the sunset almost immediately and made our way across the border. Western Washington University (WWU) needed help bringing some boats down to the event, so we made a pit stop at their sailing centre. After wandering around in the surrounding pitch-black forest, we finally bumped into someone from WWU and they led us to the trailer. We hooked up a gigantic trailer to the not-so-gigantic Subaru and miraculously pulled it all the way to Seattle.

Day 1 of the event brought a light offshore breeze of (3-6 knots) and absolutely frigid air. Nicolai and Hugh (A-Division) launched early for some extra practice and scored a 7th and a 1st. Eric and Madeline (B-division) won both their races, passing 4 boats on the final downwind to edge out UW at the favoured end of the finish line. The team finished the day in 2nd.

UBC leading to the first mark.

Day 2 brought pretty similar conditions with a shifty 5-7 knots from the south. UBC nearly missed the first race while repairing a broken rudder. Thankfully, the University of Washington (UW) was able to help fix it, and a re-start was called giving UBC time to sail down to the racecourse and then win the race. With some smart, strategic sailing from Nicolai and Hugh, UBC managed to stay ahead of UW and come away with the win.

Quote of the trip: We pulled up to the border officer, who says “How do you all know each other?”. Hugh replies “Great!” Everyone bursts out laughing, and the officer lets us through.

Coming Up: UBC is hosting the Sea to Sky regatta March 7-8. The St. Francis Invite is March 28-29 in San Francisco.

Nicolai & Hugh roll tacking in the lead.