Following its recent practice with Stanford, the UCSB sailing team now prepares to host the Fall Pacific Coast Championship Sailing conference this weekend, the biggest West Coast regatta of the fall.
“Our team has grown in both size and skill over the past two months,” sophomore Captain Grant Rickon said. “Each practice has the same competitive level as a regatta and pushes every sailor to the best of their abilities.”
Top placement in this regatta will determine rankings, and will allow the UCSB team to have priority choice of which spring, out-of-conference regattas it would like to attend.
“We would choose to go to the Saint Mary’s Intersectional,” Head Coach Brad Schaupeter said. “We would get to sail the same course where the National Championship will be held, and in the same boats.”
Starting this weekend for UCSB are sophomores Ian Stokes and Natalie Davidson, who will be driving and crewing, respectively, in the A-division, freshmen Stephen Long driving with Kristina Miller crewing in the B-division, and sophomore Cobi Allen driving with senior Preston Beye crewing in the C-division.
“You could have four great sailors to win a National Championship, but typically the better teams have many sailors who could compete on the national level,” Schaupetersaid. “I believe that we are second in the conference, because I believe we are the second deepest team.”
With teams from all over the northwest and Canada coming to UCSB to sail in this conference regatta, the team is confident that it has an advantage on its home water.
“We are used to the chop, the swell, the currents and how the breeze shifts back and forth,” sophomore Ginger Luckey said. “Most teams are used to sailing on flatter bays, and since we are used to practicing on the ocean, it prepares us to handle our boats better.”
Extensive practice schedules and the new knowledge from the past weekend will benefit the team in the PCCSC.
“We have been given a great gift of humility, practicing with national level teams prior to the event, to show that there is always room for improvement,” Rickon said. “This idea of improvement has given us a fire to fuel in hopes to burn brighter, and sail harder.”
This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in the print edition of the Daily Nexus.