Toms River

This weekend Jack Swikart, Pati Andrade, Mac Agnese, Meg Harding and I headed to Toms River, New Jersey for our first big regatta of the season.

Friday night we feasted on a home-cooked meal with the other half of the team, and then headed back to the Swikart’s house to get some rest knowing we’d have an early start on Saturday.

After leaving the Swikart’s at 7:30 with some quick food pitstops along the way, we arrived at Toms River Yacht Club to cloudy skies and a massive white tent being pitched on the lawn. We rigged our boats, Jack and Pati had the dreaded Tech in A division, while Mac and I had the 420 for B. After it poured for a minute, the sun came out for the rest of the day.

Starting in some fairly light breeze, we set the standard for the day early, showing consistency in each race, even as the breeze started to pick up. Mac and I started with a string of firsts, and Jack and Pati started with a 4th which would be their worst finish of the day.

After three sets in winds that had gotten up to 14-18, Meg and I switched off in the 420s. After a few challenges in their first race, Meg and Mac continued to dominate the B fleet, as Jack and Pati kept cleaning up in A.

With no lunch break and strong winds, it wasn’t long before we reached the halfway point of the regatta. After nine races, Jack switched into the 420 and Mac into the Tech to finish off the day. They both continued to extend our lead in the standings, finishing the day consistent with how it had started.

With the wedding impending, we were off the water by 3:30 with a commanding 48 point lead in the standings. As a reward for a great day we took a detour to see the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, and then headed back to the Swikart’s to eat with the rest of the team and compare stories and bruises from the day.

Sunday morning we packed up and headed out to finish off the last six races. The wind, despite sunny skies, was blowing hard even early in the morning. Meg and Jack started off again in the 420s while Pati and Mac prepared to finish off in the Tech.

After both pairs struggled a little bit with consistency in a breeze that topped out around 22 knots, they both finished with solid last races that confirmed our lead over St. Mary’s. After the world’s longest search for a sail bag, we headed back to Penn, my first college regatta under my belt.

Thanks to OCC and Toms River for hosting the regatta. Also, big thanks to the Garths for feeding us on Friday, and the Swikarts for being such great hosts all weekend.

Full results can be found here: http://scores.collegesailing.org/f13/central-fall-1/

Catie Hopkins ’17

SUNY Maritime

This weekend (September 21-22), Max Ryder, Cary Kane, Caroline Garth, and I headed north to not-so-SUNY Maritime to compete in our first double-handed event of the year.

After a veritable feast of lasagna and cupcakes, we spent a restful Friday night an at the Garth’s house in New Jersey. The next morning, we awoke at 6:30am, went to Grandma’s Bagel’s (which gave Naval Bagels a run for its money), and drove an hour to the Bronx.

After a one hour wind delay, the forecasted southeasterly breeze and storm system began to fill. The first set was completed in 5-7 knots. In A division, Cary and I led the pack consistently on the upwinds. After some difficult downwinds, however, we posted 3rd and 4th place finishes. Caroline Garth (New Jersey State Champion) and Max also came off the line well, posting a 2nd and a 7th for their first set. The wind built progressively — much to our frustration as one of the lighter teams — peaking at 16-22 knots for the last rotation. At the end of the day we won a protest in A division against Columbia and finished out Saturday in 5th place overall.

After dining with the rest of the team at the Swikart’s house and staying another night at the Garth’s, we returned to SUNY on Sunday. We sailed six races in both A and B fleets, handling breeze up to 24 knots. In terms of results, Sunday proved more challenging, and we posted a number of midfleet finishes.

Towards the end of the day, we sat next to Cornell in the standings. In perhaps the greatest alliterative showdown in the history of Penn sailing, Caroline challenged Cornell in the last two B division races. Despite a fantastic set, we lost out by only 9 points.

Ultimately, we finished 6th place out of 18 teams. Full results can be found here:
http://scores.collegesailing.org/f13/maritime-fall-open/full-scores/

Thanks to the Maritime sailors for running twelve races in tricky race management conditions on the East River. Also, a huge thank you goes out to the Garth family, who hosted us for the weekend, and Mr. Garth who drove us to SUNY and back. Also, we are extremely grateful to Mr. Swikart, who drove us from Penn to New Jersey on Friday, and from New Jersey to Penn on Sunday!

Fair winds,

Joe Farned ’17

Laser South

Boats. Bearclaws. Beginnings.

This weekend (September 14-15), Jack Swikart and I headed south to Navy for Laser South for the first regatta of the fall season.

After a restful Friday night at the Harding’s house in Annapolis, we woke up at 7:30am, got cheesy at Naval Bagels, and were on the docks rigging our Lasers by 9am. Quick to launch, the 20 full rig sailors were out on the water thirty minutes later splitting tacks and watching for puffs in the light conditions.

Jack was able to get off the line cleanly for the first set of two races, while I struggled to accelerate despite setting up with wide holes below. Strategically, it was key to simply connect the few puffs and position ourselves for the shift, phasing right and left every two or three minutes. Jack’s 5th and 6th finishes put him towards the top of the results.

As the breeze picked up, the lefties began to roll through. For the next six races, everybody immediately tacked to port after the gun, so competition for the pin end was fierce. For the majority of these races, Jack and I posted midfleet finishes. At the end of the day, the breeze went right, which added to our frustration over the unpredictable conditions. After seven and half hours of sailing, we came in at 5pm.

There was expected to no to little breeze on the second day. The first two races were canceled, unfortunately, considering that Jack and I rounded in the top 5 for each for lack of breeze. However, the race committee opted to move the fleet out of the Severn into the Chesapeake where we sailed 6 more races in breezy and wavy conditions to complete a series of 18 races.

Ultimately, Jack placed 15th and I placed 17th. Full results can found at:
http://scores.collegesailing.org/f13/laser-south/full-scores/

A huge thank you goes out to the Harding family, who not only housed us and made us feel welcome, but also surprised with us lunches and snacks. Also, Jack was very kind to volunteer his car and time for the trip South. And, of course, we are grateful for the help of our coach Jack Kerr, who helped guide us through the tricky conditions.

Fair winds,

Joe Farned ’17

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