Year: 2012


2012 MAISA Club Championships

This weekend, Mike Russom, Meaghan Harding, Jose-Maria Barrero and I traveled down to Norfolk, VA to compete in the MAISA Club Championships held at Old Dominion University. We arrived on Saturday morning to 15-18 knots of breeze and temperatures around 50º.

After layering up on shore, Mike and Meg headed out to sail the first set in A division, and started out strong with two third place finishes. They stayed consistent throughout the other three sets sailed on Saturday, with two first place finishes and a few more third places. Mike and Meg were tied for second by the time we finished up racing on Saturday.

Jose and I sailed to fourth and second place finishes in our first set in B division, and stayed fairly consistent all day. By finishing first in the last three races of the day, we ended up second to Fordham in B division by the end of Saturday. Overall, Penn was also in second, just behind Fordham.

On Sunday, we arrived at the ODU Sailing Center to much calmer but shiftier wind. We completed the remaining two sets of the regatta in 5-8 knots of wind from the north. Although both Mike and Meg and Jose and I had some strong finishes, we struggled at times in the light wind. We ended up third overall, just behind Fordham and University of Virginia. Congratulations to the Fordham Rams for winning the 2012 MAISA Club Championships, and thanks to William and Mary and ODU for hosting the event. Full scores can be found at

This weekend concluded our Fall 2012 sailing season – thanks to all of our supporters and we will see you back in the spring!
-Christina Johns, C’13


Penn Competes At 2012 War Memorial

This weekend, Christina Johns, Jose-Maria Barrero Patty Andrade, Meaghan Harding, Foster Collins and I returned to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point for the 2012 War Memorial Regatta- a regatta that serves as the MAISA Fall Championship and the 2012 Atlantic Coast Championship Qualifier. Similar to last week, the regatta was split between FJs and 420s. A-Division started in FJs with B sailing in 420s. After 9 races the fleets swapped to ensure equality among the sailors.

With Hurricane Sandy on the horizon, our Coach, Jack Kerr wanted to field the best heavy air team possible. Foster Collins (SEAS ’16) made his Penn Sailing debut joining the team to heavy in the FJ.

To our surprise, Saturday morning was calm and sunny. I started the day sailing with Patty as the wind was out of the east at approximately 5 knots. Overall, Patty and I sailed well. We were a little shocked at the aggressive starting tactics but we were able to stay in phase and finish around 10th throughout the day. The highlight of the day was when we won the start of the 5th race in a huge left phase. After the “tack and go” near the pin we led the fleet around the course and won the race. In B-Division, Christina team with Meaghan for all twelve races. Their results were similar as they battled with the strong current and shifty breeze. Once we swapped fleets Meg and Christina were able to end the day on a high note by sailing the FJ well and posting three strong finishes. We ended the day in 11th overall excited to finish the last six races of the regatta in more breeze.

On Sunday, Kings Point was beginning to experience the outer bands of Hurricane Sandy. When we arrived the breeze was sustained around 15 knots and building. I started sailing with Jose in the 420. Christina sailed the first race with Meg but opted to go with Foster after the breeze picked up to 20 knots. By the last two races, the breeze was well over 20 knots and the chop was around 2 feet. Jose took over B-Division Skipper and Meg jumped in my boat to help post two strong finishes.

All 18 races were completed by 1PM and all 36 boats were derigged and removed from KP’s docks by 3PM. While we didn’t reach our goal of qualifying for the Atlantic Coast Champs we now look forward to defending our MAISA Club Team Championship Title next weekend at Old Dominion University.

For full results:


Penn Sailing 8th at Kings Point Dinghy Open

This weekend Christina Johns, Mike Russom, Jose-Maria Barrero, Patty Andrade and I traveled with our Coach, Jack Kerr to the Kings Point Dinghy Open at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. Mike and Patty (and Jose in heavier conditions) managed the A-Division while Christina and I sailed B-Division. All in all, it was a great event and the team ended up in eighth place out of twenty teams. We sailed sixteen races all together out of a projected twenty. The A-Division sailed FJ’s and the B-Division was in 420’s for the first ten races and we switched fleets for the last six.

Despite a lack of wind Saturday morning that prevented us from starting our day until after one pm, the conditions in the afternoon were favorable; steady breeze at 10-15 mph and clear, sunny skies. A-Division got off nine races before sundown and B division did eight. While this meant Mike and Patty would have to sail one race in FJ’s and Christina and I would have to sail two in 420‘s the next morning before switching fleets, at that point it was nearly six and the temperature had fallen below fifty; no one was unhappy to head in. We ended the day in tenth place; certainly a satisfactory standing but we were definitely eager to return the next morning and sail fast.

Thankfully, conditions on Sunday morning allowed us to do just that. It was another beautiful fall day with winds at 10-15 mph out of the north. Mike and Patty started off the morning successfully, closing out before lunch with a first place finish. Christina and I were somewhat slower to get off the ground and were having trouble finding our place at the starting line, but once that came together after lunch we finished out the day strong with two sixths and a ninth. Jose came in to crew for Mike when the wind picked up at around one pm and they managed very well in the slightly heavier conditions, ending the day with a first, a second and a sixth. All in all, we had a quality showing on Sunday and left Long Island in high spirits, feeling ready to return for the Atlantic Coast Championship Qualifiers in Kings Point the next weekend. Fall break is Monday and Tuesday so we look forward to getting extra time on the water with our coach before returning to KP to finish the season strong.

Thanks to alumni liaison, Skip Swikart for hosting the team at his home on Friday night and KP Freshman, Austin Newman for the photo above.

To see the full results go to

-Meaghan Harding ’16


Mike 7th at Van Duyne

This weekend I sailed the Carl Van Duyne men’s singlehanded regatta. This regatta was hosted at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD and served as the MAISA men’s singlehanded qualifier for the ICSA national championship. 18 sailors assembled at the Naval Academy to compete the prestigious event. 6 qualified at the MAISA south regatta (where I placed 5th), 6 qualified at the MAISA north regatta at King’s Point and 6 qualified at a combined north and south regatta hosted two weekends ago at Navy.

On Saturday, I was psyched up. I knew I was a bit of an underdog so I rigged the navy laser as quickly as possible then sat down with my coach, Jack Kerr to try and figure out the 10-knot southwesterly breeze.

The sail out was spectacular. In addition to the Van Duyne, Navy was hosting the annual Navy Fall Women’s Intersectional. In total there were 78 navy boats sailing across Annapolis Harbor. This, combined with the sailboat traffic associated with the Annapolis Boat Show, made for a truly spectacular sight. As a senior who has been involved in college sailing for the last six seasons, I couldn’t help but take a moment to admire the day.

The racing started in a building 12 knots. The first three races were strange to say the least. I’m not making excuses but over the course of the first three races the wind rotated 90 degrees to the right to align with the Severn River. I finished around mid-fleet for all six races we completed before lunch.

After lunch the breeze built to a sustained 20 knots coming straight down the Severn River. Normally with that direction at Navy we sail right off the seawall but due to the Navy Women’s regatta we had to return to our course by the Annapolis towers. I performed significantly better in the afternoon with three top five finishes in the 8 races after lunch. It was a long day in the breeze. After 14 races I finished the day in 7th overall.

On Sunday we arrived to chilly temps, rain and very little breeze. Thankfully Navy’s Ian Burman had the foresight to complete most of the regatta on Saturday so, with 4 races planned, we launched and headed to Eastport in a 4 knot Northerly.

I was excited at that chance to change the channel. With Jack’s help I developed a plan for to first race. After my best start of the regatta I reached the first mark in the lead and was able to maintain for the rest of the race. In the second race I went and did it again only losing to Georgetown’s Chris Barnard on the last downwind. The last two races of the regatta didn’t go quite as well (finished around 10th) but I was still very happy with my day. I maintained my position and finished the regatta in 7th place.

For full results:

-Mike Russom, Captain


Penn Hosts Philly Fleet Race

Saturday dawned bright and early with the Penn Sailing team meeting at 7.30am on campus and leaving for the Corinthian Yacht Club shortly thereafter. It was a bit fresher than most of us had anticipated with the temperature hovering in the low 60s for most of the day. While some of us went for a quick coffee run, the others started preparing for the regatta. There were six teams in total which meant that we had to do a minimum of six sets, or twelve races between the two divisions.

The other five schools arrived a bit later and by ten o’clock we were able to start the first race. The race courses throughout the day were either W4 or W3, with a downwind gate. The Ocean County Vikings dominated from the start, putting in consistently strong results of 1st or 2nd place finishes. Meanwhile, the Quakers averaged 4th and 5th place finishes in both divisions. We got into the groove as time went on though, and netted a respectable number of 2nd and 3rd place finishes. Unfortunately, with only 8 sets in the entire regatta, the good results were unable to offset the initial ones and both A and B Divisions finished in 5th overall.

Philly Fleet Race was a very enjoyable experience for all who took part. More than half of us were competing for the first time, and had only sailed the FJs a couple of times in our lives, so it was really more of a learning experience than anything. It was good to get acquainted with the format of college sailing regattas, with the two divisions and rotation of boats, while having the familiarity of home waters. I look forward eagerly to the next regatta.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Bleustein of the Daily Pennsylvanian.

– Sherlyn Chen, ’16


2012 St. Mary’s Fall Intersectional

The weekend of September 22-23, 2012 the Penn Sailing Team traveled to St. Mary’s College of Maryland to participate in their Fall Interconference. From the beginning of the weekend we knew that this would be a competitive event, where we would measure up against several of the country’s best varsity teams.

Once we arrived at St. Mary’s facilities on Saturday morning we contemplated the beautiful weather conditions for the day ahead: clear skies, temperature in the 80s, and southerly wind ranging from 8 to 15 knots. With this in mind, we rigged our boats and set out on the water. Captain Mike Russom skippered A division, crewed by sophomore Patricia Andrade, while Co-Captain Christina Johns skippered B as I manned the front of the boat.

Saturday was a long, hard day with both divisions sailing 12 races sailed just out of. A division began in FJs while B sailed 420s, switching after nine races near the end of Saturday. The breezy conditions, along with some choppy water and strong competitors made for some great sailing. On most of the upwind legs, Christina and I hiked relentlessly to keep our 420 flat on the water and up to speed, while jumping from rail to rail on tacks. Mike and Patricia also gave their all in their effort to compete, while securing a few mid-fleet finishes on Saturday. By the end of the day we were exhausted from battling the wind and the waves, in addition to the opposing teams.

On Sunday morning, we returned to St. Mary’s to complete the last six races, with A division by now in 420s and B in FJs. Although the wind wasn’t as consistently strong as on Saturday, it proved to be a challenging and different day, with temperatures in the 60s, and large wind shifts that could make or break races. Midway through Sunday, Patricia and I exchanged places, so that she sailed the final three races with Christina and I with Mike. After a challenging morning this decision seemed to pay off, with Mike and I finishing in 3rd in our first race together and the girls also feeling more comfortable for the final set.

Overall, our experience at St. Mary’s showed us that Penn Sailing was capable of remaining in the fight against most of the other competitors, while we gained valuable time on the water as the Fall 2012 season comes into full speed.

To see the full results go to

Our women’s team will be back at St. Mary’s next weekend to compete in MAISA Women’s ACC Qualifier.

-Jose-Maria Barrero, ‘13


Going To War Memorial After MAISA Central Fall #1

This weekend, Mike Russom, Meaghan Harding, Jose-Maria Barrero and I traveled to Toms River, New Jersey to compete in the Central Fall Qualifier for the War Memorial Regatta later in the season. We arrived on Saturday to 10-15 knots of breeze from the northwest and were excited to get a good start to the regatta with three sets before lunch. Mike and Meg, who were sailing A division in Tech Dinghies, fared well in the shifty conditions and averaged sixth place. Jose and I started the regatta in 420s, and also maintained scores in the 5-7 range. After a quick lunch break, we headed back out and sailed fairly consistently into the late afternoon. After 9 races, we switched fleets, and Jose and I sailed one race in the Tech Dinghy before heading in for the day. Mike and Meg finished out the day strong with three top finishes in the 420.

Today, we returned excited to sail, but due to a lack of wind, the regatta was called at noon. We ended up sixth overall, which gets us a berth at the War Memorial Qualifier on the last weekend of October.

Full results can be found at

-Christina Johns, Co-Captain


Mike 5th At 1st Laser Qualifier

This weekend we opened the 2012 season at the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. I traveled with Villanova’s Will Joumas to participate in the MAISA South Laser Event in an attempt to qualify for the Carl Van Duyne Trophy.

When I first arrived in Annapolis I was a little worried about the lack of laser sailing I did over the past summer. I tried hard to sail during my summer in New York but unfortunately I was limited to a few sessions of remote control laser racing in Central Park. While my fellow r/c racers would argue… I feel few things compare to actual time in the boat.

On Saturday morning, after a stop at Naval Bagels to fuel up, I rigged the Navy Laser in all its 6-to-1 vang glory and set out to the course in a building 8 knot Southerly. While the first few practice jibes were a little rough, I quickly regained a level of comfort in the boat and was able to post: 9, 3, 9, 5, 4, 5 before lunch. In the afternoon I really tried to focus on my downwind speed (an issue I had in the morning) as the breeze built. By the time we started the seventh race the breeze was up to approx. 15 knots as a huge cold front began to move in on the fleet. I was feeling strong and fast. At one point I was OCS but went back and was able to claw my way back to 8th overall. My finishes for the afternoon were: 4, 3, 8, 3.

At approximately 4PM the sky turned black and the call was made to return to shore to try and beat the approaching storm. I was feeling good after a strong last race and began reaching in alongside ODU’s Collin Leon. As we passed Severn Sailing Association, Collin and I speculated as to whether we would get in before the storm hit. I was pretty sure we would be okay but as we approached the Naval Academy seawall- I was wrong.

With the entire full-rig fleet and most of the radials still on the water we were hit with a 40-knot squall that some would only describe as “gnarly.” The temperature drop was amazing. Soon after we reached the Naval Academy seawall the lights turned off and we were blasted with violent shots of cool air. When the storm hit, it hit with force. I watched as every single radial was knocked over in front of me. Before I knew what happened my laser flipped and my favorite kaenon hat was gone to the wind. I was left perched on the side of the laser with one foot on the daggerboard and the other on the hiking strap. There I stayed for about 10 minutes trying to prevent the boat from turtling or righting itself in the 40+ knots of breeze. I learned that when it’s going nuts the best thing to do with a laser is lay the rig down and just try and ride out the storm. At points the rain was so intense I could not see Collin who was only 20 ft away! As soon as the breeze dropped down to 25-30 knots I righted the laser and finished the sail in. Thankfully everyone was ok as the Midshipmen did a great job keeping tabs on the flipped fleet throughout the squall. It was quite the end to my first day back in the boat!

On Sunday, my quads were happy to see 5-7 knots from the West. The beautiful September weather was very different from the overcast skies of the day before. Unfortunately, the nice weather brought out a lot of pleasure boat traffic so conditions were light and extra choppy on the Severn River. In the first race, I was surprisingly quick downwind. I had a mediocre start but was able to pick a few shifts and get back in the hunt. I rounded the windward mark for the second time in third and was able to pass two top sailors to win the first race of the day- it felt great. Unfortunately, this celebration was short-lived. I posted: 8, 6 before the wind completely shut off and a race was abandoned due to a lack of wind.

After an extended lunch / wind postponement, we went back out to give it one last go. I really struggled in the light breeze and boat chop. It wasn’t necessarily a speed issue; rather I just could not make a good tactical decision in the trying conditions to save my life. There was one point when I lost 7 boats on the downwind after rounding the second windward mark in 3rd and going to a side that I thought had more wind; it was extremely difficult sailing. In the end I finished 10, 10, 6 to complete the regatta.

I ended up 5th overall with a considerable margin to the 6th place finisher, George Prieto. Georgetown’s Chris Barnard took top honors at the regatta. The top six move finishers move on to the Carl Van Duyne so I’m excited to get to the next step in the singlehanded nationals qualification process.

Full Results:

Next week we will be at OCC trying to qualify for War Memorial Trophy!

-Mike Russom, Captain


Penn Sailing 9th at MAISA Women’s Dinghy Championships

Penn’s women’s sailing team finished in 9th place at the 2012 MAISA Women’s Dinghy Championships held on April 21-22 at Old Dominion University. Junior Christina Johns and senior Kelsi Schoenrock sailed A division, while junior Emma Kofmehl and senior Marina Reppucci sailed B division. On Saturday, the day started with very light and shifty conditions, which were difficult for all competitors to manage. However, it built to more consistent breeze by the end of the day and after 10 A races and 8 B races completed on Saturday, Penn was in 9th. Sunday brought heavy rain and more consistent wind, and in the end, the team retained their ninth place finish to finish up their season. Congratulations to the Georgetown Hoyas for winning the 2012 MAISA Women’s Championships!


Penn Sailing 10th at America Trophy

The America Trophy was held this year at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY. The Mid-Atlantic district uses this event as their qualifier for the semifinals of the national championship, where the top 8 teams advance. The regatta was held in 420s out of Hobart’s facilities, located right at the north end of Cayuga Lake.

Freshman Jack Swikart skippered the A Division with senior Kelsi Schoenrock crewing, while junior captain Mike Russom skippered B division with fellow junior Christina Johns crewing.

While upstate New York experienced frigid temperatures and even snow during the week leading up to the event, Saturday morning brought sunshine and a cool, pleasant morning. The sailors arrived at the lake to find perfect sailing conditions, but they didn’t last long. The breeze began to shut off after just 3 races, and didn’t return until late in the afternoon, when 3 more races were completed. After Saturday’s racing, the Quakers stood in 9th place, with only a few points separating them from the teams in front of and behind them. Georgetown led the event after day 1.

The weather on Sunday was more cooperative, with clouds, cooler temperatures, and a light southerly breeze to start the day. However, the conditions proved no less challenging than the previous day’s for the sailors, but the race committee still managed to complete 10 races in both divisions. The Quakers managed to keep pace with all the top teams, but at the end of the day ended up in 10th place. This was not enough to qualify them for semi-nationals, but everyone feels they learned from the experience.

The Women’s Team will travel next weekend to Old Dominion University for their semi-nationals qualifier.

Complete scores can be found at:


Penn Sailing 10th at Old Guard

Penn Sailing traveled to the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club in Branford, CT, this past weekend to compete for the Mosbacher Trophy and the Ivy League Championship. Penn was one of fifteen teams competing for the Owen, Mosbacher and Knapp Trophies, and finished 5th among the Ivy League teams.

Freshman Jack Swikart and senior Kelsi Schoenrock sailed A division, and Juniors Mike Russom and Christina Johns sailed B division.

On Saturday, the team arrived at Yale to a steady 10-15 knot breeze for the start of racing at 10:30 that tapered off as the day went on. Eight races were sailed in each division. After the first day, the Quakers were in 7th place overall.

Sunday was a bit lighter, with a 5-10 knot breeze that consistently died and shifted throughout the day, making for tough conditions. Four races were sailed in each division, and Penn ended up 10th overall. Congratulations to the Yale Bulldogs for winning the 2012 Old Guard as well as the Mosbacher Trophy.

The team is looking forward to two full weeks of practice before competing at Ocean County College on April 7-8th in the OCC 2-on-2 team race.


Penn Sailing an Impressive 16th at Truxtun Umsted Intersectional

The Truxtun Umsted Intersectional (a.k.a. “The Trux”) is held each year at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, and is widely regarded to be one of the most competitive college sailing events of the year, rivaled only by its fall counterpart Navy Fall, the ACCs, and the National Championship. The Quakers looked to improve their national standing by competing in this prestigious event among a tough field of 20 schools, which featured 17 of the top 25 schools nationwide.

Freshman Jack Swikart skippered the A Division, while Junior Christina Johns held down B Division. The Trux is a four-division regatta that features Laser Standards and Laser Radials, so Junior Captain Mike Russom anchored the team in C Division while Freshman Matthias Chia took on the D Division in only his second collegiate event. Senior Kelsi Schoenrock crewed for A Division while Marina Reppucci and Ali Zablocki, both seniors as well, split time crewing in B Division.

The summer-like weather the team enjoyed all week in practice followed them into the weekend on Saturday as they arrived to sunny skies, mild temperatures and a light breeze. Each division sailed four solid races in the morning before the breeze began to fade and the race committee called the sailors in for lunch. Unfortunately, the dying breeze never returned, and racing was called off late in the afternoon. After Day 1, the Quakers found themselves in 17th place, just behind the Terriers of Boston University. Yale led the event after day 1.

The sailors were not as lucky with the weather on Sunday, as the morning brought cloudy skies, a thick fog, and no wind. The race committee postponed on shore until about noon when a light easterly began to fill in, at which point all 80 boats left the dock looking to finish a few races before day’s end. The conditions proved difficult for the race committee, as they could not get a steady breeze to set the course until almost 2:00. The race committee fired off two quick races in the last hour of racing, bringing the regatta total to six. The Quakers fared well on the day; behind two very strong races by Captain Mike Russom in the Laser Division, the team managed to overtake Boston University to finish the regatta in 16th place, just one behind Harvard. Yale won the event, followed by Tufts in second and Brown University in third.

A special thanks to the Navy Midshipmen who, in addition to hosting the event, held a top-notch cookout on Saturday afternoon for all the sailors.

Complete scores can be found at


Penn Takes 2nd at WAC 2 on 2

Freshman Jack Swikart and Junior Captain Mike Russom were back in action this week as they traveled to Washington College in Chestertown, MD to compete in the 2012 WAC 2 on 2 Team Race Invite. Juniors Jose-Maria Barreros and Audrey Boles did a wonderful job in the front of the boats as they split time crewing for both skippers in the varying conditions.

On Saturday, the Quakers were met with steady winds around 11 knots when they arrived at the Washington College Sailing / Crew Center. The WAC race committee did a wonderful job completing two and a half round robins (for a total of 24 races averaging about 8 minutes in length) throughout the day before the unusually low “full moon” tide prevented further racing. The Quakers ended the day in second place with an 8 – 2 record with the two losses coming from WAC and Villanova in the first and second round robins, respectively.

On Sunday, the Quakers were excited to arrive at the Sailing Center to a steady 8 knots with little chop- conditions that Jack described as being “perfect for team racing.” The team finished the third round robin with three easy wins against Princeton, Washington College, and Villanova. As the breeze built in the afternoon it was clear that the regatta would come down to one final race with Washington College as both teams were tied with 13-2 records. The Quakers fought hard and actually beat WAC on the water with a 2,3 finish. Unfortunately, after reviewing what happened at a crowded leeward-mark rounding, the Quakers realized that they were in the wrong and opted to withdraw from the race resulting in WAC beating Penn overall 14-2 to 13-3. Regardless of the finish, the last race was exciting and reflected the competitive nature of team racing in the MAISA Division. Congratulations to the Washington College Shoremen on their victory!

The team is excited to finally start practice this coming week at the Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia. Best of luck to the Quakers as they work to prepare for the Truxtun Umsted Regatta to be held next weekend at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.


Penn Sailing Earns 5th Place Honors at ODU Spring…

The Penn Sailing Team started off its Spring 2012 season by traveling south to Old Dominion University in Norfolk Virginia. It was also the first event of the season for many of the other teams in attendance. Skippering A Division was Junior captain Mike Russom, while freshman Jack Swikart skippered B Division. Juniors Fred Wang and Jose-Maria Barreros each crewed part of the regatta in both divisions.

Saturday brought heavy rain and strong winds in the morning, but by the time the boats hit the water, the wind had died down to around 15 knots and the rain had slowed to a drizzle. Six races were completed in each division before the wind died completely and racing was called for the day, leaving the team sitting in 7th place.

The team also woke to heavy rain on Sunday, but with much less wind. Over the course of the day, the breeze varied between 0 and 5 knots, allowing the race committee to get 4 more races off in each division. While Jack Swikart held the line in B Division, Mike Russom managed to shake off the rust, finishing his A Division series with two bullets and propelling the team to an overall 5th place finish. Navy took the win, followed by St. Mary’s and Old Dominion.

A special thanks to the Landy family, who graciously hosted the team for the weekend.

Complete scores can be found at