On Deck With UCI’s Sailing Association

Most UC Irvine students know how to take advantage of our proximity to beautiful beaches, whether it is by surfing, body boarding or just plain tanning. Yet there is one water sport that often goes unnoticed by Anteaters: sailing. To be competitive, this sport needs as much strength, stamina and determination as any other sport out there, as shown by the talent of the members of the UCI Sailing Association and the Intercollegiate Sailing Team.
Started in 1965 before the campus was even open, UCISA is open to all members of the UCI campus as well as their spouses. Classes to become sailing-certified are offered through the ARC in four-to-five week periods in which participants meet one day a week for about four hours. From the very first day, students are out on the waters of Newport Harbor sailing on ‘Capris’ boats, which are 14 feet long. After passing rating tests, students are given a ‘Capri rating.’ Along with membership to UCISA, students are able to use the UCI Capris in Newport Harbor to sail either on their own or with friends and family.
The next rating is for ‘Shields,’ which are larger keelboats that are around 30 feet long and can carry four to five people who work as the crew. With additional training and tests, students can eventually become Shields Skippers, which means that they are capable of managing the crew on a Shields Keelboat and can sail the boat around the harbor.
While the idea of taking more classes, studying and passing more tests may seem a bit mundane to students, the members of UCISA ensure that sailing classes are far from ordinary.
‘[Sailing] is anything you want it to be. If you need to relax, this is your sport. If you want excitement, this is also your sport. If you need intellectual challenge, this is definitely your sport!’ said Jane Hartley, staff commodore of UCISA.
‘The UCISA gives students an opportunity to get involved in an activity which normally most of us wouldn’t be able to afford. Learning to sail through a private company is expensive and even more expensive is renting or buying a boat. Sailing is a great sport and its cool that the UCISA is able to make it available to a group of young college students,’ said Bryan Gohn, a second-year film and media studies major.
UCISA provides a warm environment for all sailing enthusiasts to interact with one another, as well as providing members the opportunity to continue to learn and develop their skills on the water. Another main directive of the UCISA is to expose the general public of UCI and its guests to the thrills of sailing. Guests are welcome to share in the experience of sailing a ship by simply signing a waiver form and getting fitted for a life jacket. With monthly meetings, social events, harbor tours, night sails and club racing, there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to get their ‘sea legs.’
‘Sailing is open to everyone. It is non-discriminating, unlike a lot of other sports. You can be young or old, male or female, physical or non-physical