Month: October 2012


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