Perils of 2009

When it rains it pours. Just ask the sailing team at UC Irvine. They’re still smarting over losing last year’s Sloop Pacific Coast Championship to USC by one point. This year it’s losing varsity status to become, instead, a club sport. Fly away funding. Fly away coaching. The perils of 2009 visited upon the student body, and yes we get it that funding cuts were coming down and somebody was going to bleed and . . . The UC Irvine Anteater Team winning the Sloop PCCs Hand it to ...

13th October 2009.
By Kimball Livingston

When it rains it pours. Just ask the sailing team at UC Irvine.

They’re still smarting over losing last year’s Sloop Pacific Coast Championship to USC by one point.

This year it’s losing varsity status to become, instead, a club sport. Fly away funding. Fly away coaching. The perils of 2009 visited upon the student body, and yes we get it that funding cuts were coming down and somebody was going to bleed and . . .

UCI_boat_sloop_PCCs The UC Irvine Anteater Team winning the Sloop PCCs

Hand it to the Anteater Sailing Team bloggers for knowing how to spin
“an opportunity to develop student leaders.”

And hand it to these kids for actually developing student leaders and winning the 2009 Sloop PCCs and a ride to the Nationals October 23-25 at the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. Well, not exactly a ride. In fact, they couldn’t even ride home in the Suburban that carried them to the PCCs on San Francisco Bay because during the regatta the dear old thing took to coughing blood and the transmission ceased transmitting.

Ah, the days of late-night pizza and sleeping bags on the floor.

As I write, the Anteaters’ Suburban is resting quietly in the motor pool at Cal Berkeley with repairs estimated at a crisis price of $2,500. That’s one big ouch. At the same time the team is juggling the cost of airfare to the East Coast (yes, UCI will contribute, eventually) while struggling with the question of whether to sell or repair their regatta chariot.

Suburban Photo courtesy Danielle Richards

Struggle.

Juggle.

Recent graduate Danielle Richards, a sportsmanship award winner in her senior year, frames the moment thus:

Some of the options/ideas flying around are:
a) Take $2,500 out of the team funds and do the repair
b) Somehow get the car back to Irvine and try to repair it for a better rate (need to pay to get it down here though)
c) Sell the car and go back to renting a car to tow to regattas and chartering boats (very pricey option)
d) Sell the car and look for another Suburban/van (has to be 10 seats or less) that can tow (another pricey option)

Not an option: Leaving the car to accrue storage charges.

The PCCs were sailed in early October, held jointly by Cal Maritime and Richmond Yacht Club in J/22s. The win felt “unreal” but oh so welcome to skipper Brian Hoover ’12 who had come to the event with a serious goal. Now, when they get to New London, the team—freshman Ashley Hobson, senior Ryan Moore, senior Monica Orphan, and senior and Team Captain Frank O’Brien—will face sailors from the Coast Guard Academy, St. Mary’s, Navy, University of Toledo, University of Wisconsin, Brown, Boston College, University of Washington, Charleston, and South Alabama.

180px-UCIrvineAnteatersThey’ll get there. These hiccups are all too familiar when it comes to collegiate sailing in the West. This team represents a campus community that voted to adopt the anteater as its symbol because it was “original and irrelevant.” As I understand it, None of the Above ran a pretty close second. Sometimes, getting through life takes a sense of humor.

Meanwhile, you can tell that the national title racing for the Cornelius Shields, Sr. Trophy will be a proper East Coast event. The Notice of Race flatly states that for the Saturday night regatta party:

“Proper Dress is required including a collared shirt and shoes.”

Time to go shopping. But first, a sand contest . . .

Anteater_sand_sculpture


About the author:

Kimball Livingston

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Kimball Livingston is a former senior editor, and now editor-at-large, for SAIL. His work also has appeared in Sailing World, Cruising World, Soundings, and more. Over three years, Kimball sailed the Centennial Transpacific, Centennial Newport-Bermuda, and 100th Chicago-Mac. His blog posts appear courtesy of his website www.KimballLivingston.com.
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