What would you do if you were left without a coach two weeks before practices were scheduled to start?
The UCSB sailing club team knew what to do. The squad continued with its scheduled practice and prepared for its first regattas of the season, without worrying about the lack of a coach.
The Santa Barbara sailing squad consists of about 30 dedicated individuals who are willing to put in the hard work and commitment required of all sport club athletes. The team’s results are a testament to its resilience and perseverance in tough times.
On Oct. 4, junior Lindsay Buchan placed second at the Pacific Coast Championships in the single-handed division, proving that the Gauchos would continue to endure. Buchan earned a berth at the National Championships, which will be held Nov. 8-10 in Houston, Texas.
“I’m really looking forward to competing at Nationals and representing [UCSB],” Buchan said. “I also can’t wait until the North-South regatta, which is held at Lake Cachuma in November. All the schools in California and some from Washington, Oregon and a few from back East compete. It’s a lot of fun.”
Buchan qualified for Nationals in a single-handed boat called a Laser, which fits just one person. The team also competes in double-handed, two-person boats called FJs.
In the double-handed competition at the Bryson Women’s Intersectional, held in Redwood City, Calif. on Oct. 5-6, the UCSB women’s team dominated the field and won the regatta for its first win of the season.
“A lot of sailing involves sailing with more than one person. However, it’s always about sailing for the team, not for a particular boat,” co-captain Nick Gazuliz said. “Sailing with another person does involve a serious amount of trust and communication and a whole lot of practice.”
The team consists of both men and women, who play on either the co-ed team or the women’s team. On the co-ed team, the men are usually skippers or steersmen, while the women are usually the crew in charge of the front sail.
Since the squad currently has no coach, co-captain Dana Jones helps decide who races for the varsity team at which regattas. Jones is redshirting this fall. The team also uses sail-offs to help with this decision process.
The varsity team consists of extremely competitive individuals and the varsity races are limited to only two boats: an A and a B boat. In the JV races, on the other hand, anyone has the opportunity to race.
“People are allowed to participate at whatever level they want to participate at,” sophomore Andrew Kobylinski said. “Our team is very casual; we are mainly out there to have fun.”
The team might be casual but they still love to compete. Their biggest competition this year comes from the University of Hawaii, USC and Stanford. The Gauchos’ coach from last season left UCSB in September 2002 to coach the Stanford Cardinal.
“We are actively looking for a new coach; it is really hard to run practice without a coach,” Gazuliz said. “But we just got two new FJs and four sets of sails, so we are all really excited about this season, even without a coach.”
UCSB competed this past weekend at the Stoney Burke Intersectional regatta at Treasure Island, Calif.
Santa Barbara hopes these next few weeks will help edge it into the top 10 schools.
“The top 10 usually consists of all East Coast schools, but we hope to break into the top 10 this year, because we are extremely competitive with those schools, even though they have a long sailing history,” Kobylinski said.
For more information about sailing, please e-mail .
UPCOMING EVENTS FOR SPORT CLUBS:
Saturday, Oct. 19-Sunday, Oct. 20:
ROLLER HOCKEY tournament – Wayne Gretzky Center at Upland, Calif.
Sunday, Oct. 20:
FIELD HOCKEY double-header at Harder Stadium; 11 a.m. vs. UCLA and 2 p.m. vs. Cal Poly.