Day of the Longboat: Vancouver, BC

Settling into a new city is always an experience especially with the added responsibilities of academics looming over oneself. And sometimes, a little break is needed from all the hustle and bustle of campus life and the student study schedule.

Last Sunday, I went down to the Jericho Sailing Centre to witness a UBC event known as, “Day of the Longboat,” to help out by watching some friends’ belonging during the race and photograph the event.

It was a mixture of UBC students and local aquatic sport enthused Vancouverites at the marina. Some of the latter, were those “baes you only see once in a lifetime,” if you know what I mean.
(Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

An annual heavily anticipated UBC Recreation event with multiple outside sponsors, it is a weekend long spectacular with teams of excited students and alumni competing and paddling their hearts out in friendly (“just for fun”) or competitive longboat races with winning prizes and a few raffles as well. It is the largest race of its kind in the world.

It was a surprisingly sunny day, which made everyone on the team ready to kick some friendly ass in the co-ed race. However, the fear of capsizing was evident.

Tsk, tsk. (Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

Teams dress up, cheer, apply face paint … it is needed decompression from the beginning of midterm season (early October) that runs until Halloween, which will be entirely another event and story. My team was less prepared than the ones with matching outfits, onesies, or what have you, but after the application of a little face paint, they were ready to go.

The finish line (Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

After completing the course, which is dependent on whether you are rowing competitively or not, one member of the team must leap out of the boat and bang the gong. It is not always the most graceful exit.

There were so many teams! Oh my god! It was difficult to keep up and figure where they were after they took off. (Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)
On your marks, get set, row! (Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

The team consisted of mostly international students, many of them from tropical regions. For this reason, the fear of capsizing was even more frightening considering the water was quite cold for even us local North Americans. They did not capsize; though, some rowers on the boat attempted to (much to the dismay of the majority). However, they did crash into a few other canoes.

At one point, the wind even was pushing them back in the wrong direction. In retrospect, it is a surprise they finished second to last, oh, I mean, first. (Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

Overall though, they looked good doing it, at least, from a distance. It was not necessary for everyone to attend the mandatory clinic, so a few were novice on the subject of sea canoeing.

Can you see a bit of the dismay? (Photo credits by PintsizedPioneer)

We got back around three o’clock after racing at one twenty and an underwhelming lunch at the marina. After that, it was Linguistics assignment time … with a trip to a “treat yo self” restaurant with friends and the supermarket afterwards. Will I participate in DOTL next year? We’ll see. Am I going to take advantage of Vancouver’s seaside more? Fuck yeah. For more detailed information, follow this link to UBC Recreation.

This is a taste of things to come. Vancouver is full of sights and events throughout the year, UBC independent ones as well of course, and you can be sure that I will be trying to stop by a good load of them. But for now, it is study time.

Midterm season has not begun very hot for me, so it is time to get busy … Get excited though! My birthday is approaching, which translates to a trip downtown, UBC Oktoberfest, and let’s not forget Canadian Thanksgiving before all of that fun! October is a time to celebrate. Travel safe and stay tuned!