This past weekend the Penn Sailing Team competed at SUNY Maritime College in the War Memorial, which is also the MAISA Conference fleet racing championship for the fall as well as the qualifier for ACCs. After finishing 6th in last year’s War Memorial, the team was eager to improve on their performance.
The Quaker team, consisting of myself, Drew Gallagher, Catie Hopkins, Cary Kane, Patricia Andrade, Maxwell Ryder, and Foster Collins, were received warmly by the Gallagher family once again at their Larchmont home. We all got a great sleep in preparation for a big day of racing on Saturday.
The breeze was up and the temperature was down on Saturday morning when we arrived at the venue. Luckily, conditions were favorable for racing and the R.C. was able to get things started right away. We got off to a solid start in both A and B divisions and were looking very good for the early part of the event. The day was not without its mishaps, however. One of Cary’s and my races was abandoned due to a cargo ship going through the course when we were in second place – we finished 12th in the “do-over” race. Drew sailed consistently well all day, just as he had been working on doing all season. It was a great culmination of a semester’s work. Unfortunately, the day left us in a tie for 8th place, and a mere few points out of qualifying for ACCs.
Unfortunately for us, Sunday dawned with howling winds which forced the Race Committee to leave us postponed on shore for most of the day. Finally, the B Division was sent out to finish the set that A had started the day before. Drew sailed with Foster and they were definitely a force to be reckoned with in the intense breeze. Unfortunately, the two teams we needed to beat in order to clinch a berth in ACCs were just slightly better, just edging out Drew in the last race.
While the team was a little bit disappointed that they didn’t make their goal of qualifying for ACCs, we feel that we learned a lot from the event and from the season as a whole. We saw a lot of great promise from our freshmen and a great improvement from the rest of the team. The future looks bright for Penn Sailing as we move into preparations for our spring season. With a good body of work in the spring, I think we have a great chance to make it back to National Semifinals and perhaps the Dinghy finals as well.
Thanks very much to our coach Billy Martin for a great season on and off the water, and thanks to all the parents and alumni who graciously hosted us this season, especially the Gallaghers, whose proximity to the New York City venues (not to mention their fantastic hospitality) made them our “MVP Hosts” of the Fall 2014 season.
This weekend, Drew Gallagher, Foster Collins, Jack Swikart and I ventured into NEISA for the first time this season for the Hoyt Trophy at Brown. We knew we would be in for a tough weekend based on the forecast and the teams who were attending, but we were excited as we headed north.
Saturday brought light and shifty breeze as A division shipped out in Brown’s new Z420s, leading to the first A race getting abandoned a little more halfway through, but as the day went on the breeze picked up but stayed shifty. Jack and I put in a few solid sets in the light conditions in A Division, and Drew and Foster put up a fight in B Division. A Division got off 6 races, in which Jack and I had some ups and downs while B Division only made it through 4 races before sunset was looming. We ended with an A set, a good dinner, and early bedtime.
Sunday’s conditions proved much more exciting than Saturday’s with big breeze cycling up and down throughout the day. The day started with a B set where Drew and Foster got the hang of the Z420 in the heavier air. While the big breeze was more suited for Drew and Foster, Jack and I worked hard and tried our best to hold the boat down in the big puffs that started cranking down the course at the end of the afternoon. We sailed two sets in A Division and three in B, finishing with ten competitive races in each division In a tough fight with imperfect pairings, we all made it through the day while focusing on learning the right lessons.
The team is headed to the War Memorial Regatta next weekend in hopes of qualifying for ACCs. We definitely came out of this weekend feeling tired, but we’re ready to work hard for the next week and get excited for the final stretch of our season!
This weekend the Penn Sailing Team, composed of Jack Swikart, Drew Gallagher, Keen Butcher, Caroline Garth, Catie Hopkins, Patricia Andrade, and Cary Kane, ventured to Annapolis, MD for one of the most competitive intersectional regattas of the year – Navy Fall. The Navy Fall is a 4-division event sailed in FJs, Z420s, Lasers, and Laser Radials, and it attracts the best college sailing teams from around the country. For the first time since 2011, Penn was able to field a team deep enough to compete in this challenging event.
The first day started off with perfect conditions – 10-15 knots out of the Northwest blowing straight down the Severn River. The sun was shining and everyone was excited to compete. Jack and Catie started the event in the A-Division Z420s, while Drew and Pati started in the FJs for B Division. Keen took the helm for C Division Lasers while Caroline held down the D Division Radials. The Midshipmen of Navy ran off 8 races in each division on the day. The team had some ups and downs the first day but ultimately struggled in the challenging shifty conditions. The teams at the regatta were all ranked in the national top 25, so we were happy to have taken lessons away from the day and mixed it up with these elite college teams.
Sunday came with much more breeze than Saturday, but the race committee was not deterred. They were able to complete 6 more races in each division for a total of 14. The team sailed much better on Sunday than Saturday, with over 10 top-10 scores including a bullet from Drew and Catie in the last race of B Division. We finished the event in 18th place out of 20 teams, and while it was tough to hang with the country’s top teams, we felt we learned a lot over the course of the weekend that will help us later in the season.
Thanks to the Navy Midshipmen for running such a great event and to the Harding family for hosting us once again! The team hopes to take their lessons into the home stretch of the season, including the extremely competitive Hoyt Trophy at Brown and the MAISA Fleet Race Championship: the War Memorial.
It has been an exciting fall season for Keen Butcher ’18, who has sailed in a singlehanded boat for Penn nearly every one of the last 5 weekends. After just missing out on qualifying for the Carl Van Duyne on his first weekend at KP’s Laser North regatta, Keen was able to power through and make it into the championship via the “second chance” qualifier hosted by Navy two weeks later.
Going up against the top singlehanded sailors in MAISA is no easy task – most who follow college sailing closely agree that MAISA is the toughest district in the nation for singlehanded sailing. Keen would be competing for one of four coveted Nationals berths against multiple sailors who were named All-MAISA last year, not to mention last year’s national champ from Georgetown, Greg Martinez.
So on Penn’s Fall Break weekend, Keen went back to the Naval Academy once again to test his skills against the best Laser sailors in MAISA. The first day was cold and wet, while the second was cold but sunnier. The breeze was not too strong, but was enough for the Midshipmen to run the full rotation of 14 races. After all was said and done, Keen finished 12th out of the 18 boat fleet – a solid performance for the freshman from Houston, TX.
While Keen’s Laser season is over, he hopes to sail some more doublehanded events in the fall and looks to return to the Van Duyne next year to try again for a shot at Singlehanded Nationals.
This week, the team headed to Fordham University to compete in the Jesuit Open Intersectional. Jack Swikart, Drew Gallagher, Lucy Sergeant, Pati Andrade, and I arrived at the wonderful Gallagher family’s beautiful home and headed to bed early in preparation for what promised to be a windy day.
Saturday morning dawned not just windy, but cold and rainy. Our coach, Billy Martin, met us at the Morris Yacht and Beach Club on City Island, NY and we all geared up together. Jack and I braved the freezing Long Island Sound to launch the boat from the beach. However, “boat” is a generous term for our vessel as water shot up through the centerboard trunk as we sailed. After struggling through a slow, water-logged set Jack and I returned to the dock and filed for redress (which was later granted). Meanwhile, Drew and Pati headed out as the wind built and sailed incredibly well, landing 3rd place. Unfortunately, the wind had continued to build and the race committee had to cancel the day after just one B race as almost half the fleet was in distress. Disappointed, the team returned to the Gallagher’s and settled into a relaxing afternoon including a trip to see Guardians of the Galaxy at the local theater and some much needed homework time accompanied by our favorite song “Say Something” on the piano.
By Sunday the rain had stopped and the wind had dropped to 15-18. Drew and Pati suffered through the wet launch and began with one race to finish their set from Saturday. Jack and I followed with two 3rd place finishes in our first set of the day. By this time the wind was dying slowly. Drew and Pati returned to the water before Jack and Lucy went back out for what would be their final set of the day (and Lucy’s first races as a college sailor!). Drew and Pati finished the day strong with a 4th and a 1st place finish. After a desperate (an unsuccessful) attempt to get a final half set off, the race committee gave up and sent the sailors in. After sampling “the best cheesecake” in all of New York, the team pilled back into the car and headed back to campus.
The weekend was incredibly fun, and though the team was disappointed not to get all the time on the water we would have liked, we enjoyed being able to relax a bit together as well. A huge thank you goes out to the Gallagher family for their incredibly kind hospitality. We would also like to thank Mrs. Swikart and Kate for coming out to support us despite the weather, and as always we would like to thank Billy for his helpful coaching advice all weekend!
This weekend Penn competed in the Saint Mary’s Fall Intersectional, hosted at the sailing center in Saint Mary’s City, Maryland. 18 teams competed in Z420s and FJs over two days of fickle breeze. Jack Swikart (’15) and Catie Hopkins (’17) represented Penn in A Division, starting in FJs on Saturday, while Drew Gallagher (’18) and Patricia Andrade (’15) kicked off the weekend in the new Z420 fleet for B Division. The steep competition at this intersectional was a step up in difficulty from what Penn has faced so far this season.
Sailors arrived at the sailing center on Saturday morning to glassy water and a dismally light forecast. Nonetheless, the Race Committee was able to complete four races in puffy breeze (1-6 knots) from an unusual land direction, the scores from which reflected the wind’s unpredictability. After an onshore postponement around midday, the sea breeze began to fill, in which Penn sailed one of their best sets of the regatta, leaving them in 9th place at the conclusion of the day.
The forecast for Sunday was even less promising than the day before, and as expected, when sailors arrived on Sunday there was not a ripple to be found in the entire bay. An onshore postponement was not long in coming, and sailors changed gears to homework mode while they awaited a verdict. Luckily, the morning was hot enough to engender a sea breeze, which had completely filled by noon. Shifts were longer and less drastic than they were on Saturday and wind pressure was more or less consistent, which made for some close racing—one race in A Division saw the first twelve boats finish within seven seconds of each other. Despite the opposition, Jack came out of the gate in style, securing a bullet in the first race. Before the day was out, Penn competed in six intense races, over the course of which Drew’s scores slipped slightly from the previous day’s and Jack’s were improved.
This weekend was definitely a learning experience—and a relatively successful one; Penn finished 11th out of 18 teams, narrowly beating out GW and Eckerd with a few crucial passes on the very last leg of the regatta.
Next weekend we send a team to New York to compete in the Jesuit Open at Fordham and enjoy home field advantage for the Philly Fleet Race.
This past weekend, Jack Swikart, Patricia Andrade, Cary Kane, Drew Gallagher, Keen Butcher and I traveled to Kings Point for our first big intersectional regatta of the season. Because the Nevins Trophy is a three division regatta, we were sailing all 3 of Kings Point’s fleets at the same time. While Jack and I started out in A Division FJs, Drew and Pati sailed the 420s in B Division, and Keen took charge of the C Division Lasers. The breeze was solid right off the bat, but cycling all morning, and Jack made the switch to Cary after the first race, only to switch me back in after another three races. Drew and Pati posted some solid races in the medium breeze, including a bullet right before the lunch break, and Keen was consistent all day. After lunch the breeze picked up considerably, leading to a tough afternoon for everyone, especially without our heavier crews for the big breeze. After fighting through gusts of about 20 for most of the afternoon races, we finished the day in 11th place overall. After a great diner dinner, we headed to bed ready for the next day.
Sunday morning we awoke to humidity and no breeze, conditions that didn’t change once we got to King’s Point. After a bit of a wind delay on shore, we finally got out with the hopes of starting the first race around 11:00, but we floated around for another 45 minutes before the A division sequence started (in which time I learned how to sail a Laser and Keen learned how to crew). The bit of breeze held just long enough for each division to get one more race off. We all posted pretty solid midfleet finishes before the fleet started sailing back towards the docks. We officially went into onshore postponement shortly thereafter, and then to the end of the regatta about an hour later- a typical Kings Point Sunday. We ended the weekend in 11th place out of 20 very competitive teams – a great start for our season. On the whole, we had a great weekend and showed a lot of promise for the coming season, definitely learning a lot about what work we have ahead of us for this fall.
Many thanks to the Gallagher family for hosting us this weekend!
For the first time in many years (maybe ever, we’re actually not sure), Penn did not need to send its top two skippers to the MAISA Central Fall Qualifier. This is a testament to the depth of the Quaker squad and a sign of the program getting closer to the level of programs such as Navy and Georgetown, which also enjoy the luxury of being able to send their top teams to intersectionals instead of their fall qualifier.
Skippers Joe Farned and Caroline Garth made the trip down to Washington College (known as WAC) for the qualifier, along with crews Carolyn Kearney, Meaghan Harding, and Audrey Harnagel. While the conditions were light, fluky, and unpredictable, the Quakers put on a great performance by finishing 4th, behind host Washington College, MAISA Central powerhouse Navy, and visiting MAISA South team St. Mary’s. This qualified Penn for their conference championship, the War Memorial, along with WAC, Navy, and Villanova, who earned the 4th Central berth to the event.
Thank you very much to the Harding family for hosting the team for the weekend!
Scores can be found at: scores.collegesailing.org/f14/central-fall-qualifier
This weekend Penn competed in the Cornell Fall Open hosted at the sailing center on Cayuga Lake, just north of Ithaca New York. With a fleet of 18 420s we were in a rotations all weekend with A Division sailed by Drew Gallagher (C’18) and B Division skipper Carolyn Kearney (C’18) starting with Jack Swikart (C’15) relieving her. The crews for the weekend were Foster Collins (C’16) and Cary Kane (C’17). The regatta offered a choice opportunity for the new recruits (Drew and Carolyn) to get used to sailing at the college level in a low pressure environment, in preparation for the coming season.
Saturday started as a cold and rainy morning with temperatures in the low 50s and light shifty conditions. Drew and Cary started in A, with Carolyn and Foster in B. Results were solidly in the top 10 for the day even though the conditions were tough. The lake provided a challenging venue because of the localized shifts and puffs that allowed a select few boats to sail away with the race. After the second set, Jack, who had thus far been the acting coach for this regatta stepped in to B to get some practice in 420s with Cary (who was switched from A) to get some practice together ahead of Sunday’s dismal forecast. By the beginning of the A set, the breeze had shifted by about 180 degrees and increased to over 20 kts, which worked in favor of the A crew switch, with Drew and Foster hiking their way to a well-earned 2nd in the first race. Unfortunately racing was called for the evening after only a single A race.
Sunday morning started after Jack’s gleeful trip through Tim Hortons (a Canadian donut chain with clearly superior donut holes). In contrast to the day before, Sunday’s weather was beautiful with skies clearing around noon. Luckily the forecast was not as bad as first thought, and we were able to get 6 rotations with only a few light air races. The day went well for A with the heavy pair of Drew and Foster finishing with top tens, all the while learning the dos and don’ts of college sailing. Carolyn and Cary had a great first set in B coming out of the gate with a bullet in their first race of the day. Jack switched in to B Division again to give Carolyn some much-needed rest, and ran away with the last 4 races with bullets across the last two sets.
Next weekend is all hands of deck as we send out two full squads to Nevins Trophy and Central Fall Qualifiers!
After reviewing multiple candidates, Penn Sailing is happy to announce that Billy Martin will be the team’s newest head coach.
Last spring, the team hired Johnny Norfleet, formerly an assistant coach at Hobart William Smith Colleges and had great success with him as the head coach. All the sailors felt that they learned a lot from Johnny, who brought a unique style of coaching to the mix. However, Johnny was offered the opportunity to pursue his professional ambition of studying for an MBA at Fordham University, which he accepted. He is now the head coach there, replacing Reed Johnson who needed more time to run his business on Long Beach Island. (ed. note: Pearl Street Market, it’s awesome)
After meeting with Billy over the summer, we knew he was the perfect fit for our program, and hopefully the long-term coaching solution we’ve been looking for. Billy had an extremely successful college sailing career at Boston University, where he graduated in 2010. He competed in multiple national championships as a starting skipper in both singlehanded and doublehanded boats, and was awarded the NEISA Sportsmanship Award, one of college sailing’s highest honors. Billy has spent the last few years working and coaching in Boston, but is now moving back to the Philadelphia area. This represents a homecoming for Billy since he is originally from the area, having learned to sail at the Riverton Yacht Club.
“We’re extremely excited to have Billy on board.” remarked senior captain Jack Swikart, “Because he sailed on and worked with a club team at BU in the past, we know that he will be able to quickly learn the ins and outs of our team and help us find new success on the water.”
What an exhilarating way to end the season – to be where the action is, sailing against the country’s top teams for a coveted spot in the 18-team ICSA Co-Ed Nationals fleet! Such was the situation we found ourselves in at the start of our summer as we competed in the Eastern Bracket of the Semi-Finals at St. Mary’s College of MD on June 3-4.
Instead of our normal routine of leaving campus on a Friday evening, we found ourselves piling into the old minivan at 39th and Spruce on a Monday just after noon. The six of us, including Mac Agnese, Catie Hopkins, Cary Kane, Nina Kaledin, Joe Farned, and myself, crammed ourselves and all of our gear into the van for what we hoped would be a four-day excursion. Unlike any other college regatta, or any other national championship prior to this year, all 36 semi-final teams would be at the national finals. However, only 18 would earn the right to sail in the championship. Think of it like making the cut in a major golf tournament, or winning a first-round game at the NCAA tournament (if only Penn could do that….). The format for the semi-finals was, like the past six years, two fleets of 18 boats determined by seeding. The top 9 from each side, “East” and “West” would advance to the final fleet. We qualified for the semis by placing an all-time best 5th in our spring conference championship, but now it was time to prove we belonged in the finals.
The first day of the regatta dawned with light but steady breeze and generally perfect conditions for racing. It was the first time since beginner Optis that I felt pre-race nerves as Cary and I sailed to the starting line. It didn’t take long for those to dissipate after we nailed our first start, winning the pin and sailing to a 4th place finish! We placed 10th the next race giving us a solid position to work with. Mac and Catie sailed next, earning two mid-fleet finishes in B Division to put us in 10th place, only 2 points out of the coveted 9th qualifying spot. Unfortunately the breeze did not cooperate for the rest of the day, forcing the race committee to send us home with only two races in the books and a relatively bleak wind forecast for the following day.
But Wednesday arrived with a solid breeze around 5-8 knots, allowing both A and B Divisions to get in two more races before the wind shut off. Mac and I both sailed consistently by getting 7, 10 and 8, 9 respectively. However, we were still two points out of qualifying after 4 races in each division, so we prayed to the wind gods to deliver a sea breeze sometime before the 5:00 cutoff time for racing. They delivered, bringing in a light southerly across historic Church Point around 3:00. The officials scrambled to set a course and get in additional races.
At this point, it was a dogfight for the last spot between us, Wisconsin, Michigan, and UC Santa Barbara. Knowing we would only get two more races each, both Mac and I kept close tabs on those teams off the line. After one more A Division race, we were just inside of qualifying, edging out Wisco by one point. But from there things started to get messy, and our relative inexperience in national competition began to show. We couldn’t quite get it done in either division, losing out to both Wisco and UCSB giving us an 11th place finish.
It was a little disappointing to have to go home early. But having taken a step back to look at just how far we’ve come this year, I can only conclude that our finish at Semi-Finals is simply the next step on our journey to becoming one of the top programs in the nation. Far from being discouraged, we are excited to get back on the water come August!
The past two weeks have been some of the most fun I’ve had during my three years of college sailing. Due to the vast difference in final exam dates across the many schools competing in post-season sailing, few, if any, regattas are scheduled from early May through the start of the national championships. This leaves teams whose seasons are not yet over with the task of planning practices in order to keep them sharp during their time off.
For Penn’s first post-season venture in 5 years, the team wanted to practice with some of the premier teams in the country. Thanks to the many connections of our coach Johnny Norfleet, we were invited to practice with some of the best teams in New England over the course of two weeks. Our first trip would take us to Yale from May 20-24, and the second practice would be at Coast Guard from May 27-30.
Exactly a week after final exams ended at Penn, the team reconvened in Philly to drive to Connecticut. A group composed of Mac Agnese, Catie Hopkins, Joe Farned, Patricia Andrade, Cary Kane and I began our long drive up to the New Haven area around 5:00. Nina Kaledin met us at our host house after driving from her own home in upstate New York. We were graciously offered housing at the residences of two Penn Sailing alumni in Essex, CT – Linda Grossman (’91) and George Graf (’55) – where we stayed for the duration of our time in Connecticut.
Our first day at Yale brought very light breeze and balmy temperatures. All 36 of Yale’s boats (18 FJs and 18 Z420s – just like St. Mary’s) were filled on the first day by a number of different teams from across New England. Top programs like Harvard, Tufts, Brown, and Conn College were there, giving the practice the same sort of feeling as a full-on intersectional regatta. The breeze filled in more consistently in the afternoon, allowing us to get some high-caliber practice races in the new Z420s we would be sailing at Nationals.
The second day brought much colder temperatures and intermittent showers, as well as steadier breeze. Most of the teams from the previous day stuck around, so all boats were once again filled. We got more solid practice in the Z420s, learning some of the boat’s ins and outs while practicing against some of the best sailors in the country. After sailing, the Grafs treated the team to a delicious dinner at a great local pizza place.
Our third and final day at Yale came with perfect conditions, though fewer teams were present. The different teams decided collectively to practice in FJs, rounding out a full fleet of 18 for the day. We ran a lot of starts and different boatspeed drills that took us way out into the Long Island Sound. Exhausted, the team returned to Essex where Linda and her husband Craig cooked the team pizzas on their grill cookout-style.
Our final day of practice took us to the US Coast Guard Academy for a “regatta” against their team and some local sailors. The conditions were once again perfect for sailing, albeit slightly chilly, allowing for three races before a lunch break when the breeze died. After lunch we sailed more practice-like races to keep the practice productive and fun (partial courses, crew races, etc.). Unofficially, at least three Penn boats were in the top 5, but at the end of the day, we were all more than satisfied with the practice we were able to get in. Afterwards, we all headed back to Philly for a couple days rest before Round 2.
Thank you so much to the families of George Graf and Linda Grossman for opening their homes to the team for the week and being such fantastic hosts. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude for supporting us on our road to nationals.
Check back for our week 2 report, and other Nationals-related news!
Penn’s best-ever finish in a Spring MAISA Championship qualifies them for ICSA Nationals
What a weekend for the Penn Sailing Team – what a year, in fact. As I write this, I think back on the past year and how far the team has come in such a short time. Sorely missing our strong senior leadership from last year, it was a hard road for us to travel to get to this point. But we’ve finally made it, everyone; here’s how it happened.
This past weekend I traveled with Mac Agnese, Patricia Andrade, Catie Hopkins, Meaghan Harding, and Joe Farned to Kings Point for the second weekend in a row. This time, it wasn’t for a competitive 3-division intersectional, but for our conference championship, which is the qualifier for the first round of the ICSA National Championship. It was no longer time for practice and focusing on improvement, but time for performance. Each and every team was bringing their A-game to perhaps the most competitive America Trophy in the history of MAISA. The top 8 teams would earn a spot to the Co-ed Semifinals; the remaining 10 would end their competitive seasons there.
We drove up to New York City on Friday evening and ate at a delicious Long Island diner before heading off to bed for a good night’s rest at the hotel. Saturday dawned rainy and chilly, but the sun was beginning to come out by the time we hit the water around 10:00. Pati and I held down A-Division while Mac and Catie took on B-Division. The first few races for both fleets were light and shifty, which led to some up-and-down races for many teams. Pati and I heeded the words of our coach Johnny Norfleet and tried to minimize mistakes which led to us sailing 4 consistent races in the morning before lunch. Meanwhile, Mac and Catie jumped out of the gate in B-Division with a 2, 5 to start the day. The race committee managed to get two more B-Division races in while A-Division ate lunch on shore, in which Mac and Catie sailed another great set of 7, 2. Then the fleets switched and Pati and I were able to sail two more consistent A-Division races before the wind completely shut off and we waited on the water for the breeze to fill. We experienced a variety of weather conditions including heat, cold, sun, rain, and even a rainbow, but consistent breeze was not among them. Around 5:30 the race committee gave up and sent the fleets in for the day. After six A-Division races and four B-Division races, we were sitting in 6th place, just ten points out of third. Saturday was also Mac’s birthday. His mom, who came all the way from Florida just to see us, generously offered to treat us to dinner on Saturday night – thanks again Mrs. Agnese!
Sunday brought much stronger breeze and abundant sunshine, with winds varying from 10 to 18 knots. The race committee decided that there would be lunch on the water so as to minimize downtime and allow B-Division to make up their two race deficit. Both Mac and I came out of the gate strong and moved up to third at one point during the day. The conditions were extremely challenging: the breeze was strong but very shifty, and the waves often came from multiple directions at once due to the strong and unpredictable current for which Kings Point is infamous. This made for thrilling but difficult competition in both divisions. Around race 12, Pati switched in with Mac due to increasing breeze strength while I took Meg to sail the 420. After 10 challenging races in A-Division and a whopping 12 B-Division races on Sunday, the 4:00 time limit expired and the regatta was finished with 16 races in each division.
After all was said and done, the team placed an extremely impressive 5th overall, bolstered by Mac’s tremendous performance in B-Division in which he tied for 1st! We couldn’t be happier with our result, not only because we know that we gave it our best and performed well, but also because we punched our ticket to Nationals for the first time in over 5 years! The Quakers are back!
At the awards ceremony afterwards, the MAISA All-Conference Awards were presented. Mac was named to the Second Team All-MAISA for Co-ed, and was one of only ten co-ed skippers to be named All-Conference this year. Congrats to Mac!
At such a critical point in the season, there are so many people that I want to thank. I won’t do them all here (you’ll have to wait for our newsletter!), but first I do want to take the opportunity to thank our coach Johnny Norfleet for doing such a great job with the team this season and helping us get to the next level. I also want to thank all of the parents and friends of Penn Sailing who helped us along the way this past year –especially the Swikart Family, the Harding Family, and the Landy Family, who graciously housed the team on multiple occasions this year.
And of course, I want to thank all of the members of the Penn Sailing Team. From long rides in the old minivan, to no-breeze practice days on the Delaware, to always making time for team meetings, you all deserve tons of credit for this accomplishment. You’ve made your captain so proud.
Make sure to follow the team as we head for Nationals next month! We’ll be periodically posting updates to our Facebook page, as well as updating here during the regatta. The first round of the 2014 ICSA Nationals at St. Mary’s College of Maryland starts on June 3rd. See you all then!
Over this past weekend, April 19-20th, Penn Sailing competed in the Admiral’s Cup intersectional hosted by Kings Point in Great Neck, NY. With teams from MAISA, NEISA, and MCSA in attendance, Penn fought to a 14th place finish out of 20 teams.
In A Division, Jack Swikart ‘15 and Helen Boone ‘16 represented Penn. Mac Agnese ‘16 and Catie Hopkins ’17 sailed B division. In C division, Joe Farned ’17 sailed the Laser Full Rig.
On Saturday, we saw light winds building to about 15 knots. In all three divisions, the team posted mixed results, with more difficult races interspersed throughout top 5 finishes. Throughout the day, the start proved crucial, as strong current and a short trapezoid course heavily favored the leaders off the line. After a lunch break, the wind died and the race committee ultimately called racing around 5pm.
On Sunday, we were greeted by more consistent breeze. With this breeze, we were able to round out a 14 race regatta by 1:30pm. The competition on Sunday proved equally stiff. The line was heavily pin favored; the winner of the race was consistently the boat able to win the pin and tack off the line with clear air. With these challenging conditions, Penn was still able to post some strong finishes and concluded the regatta in 14th place.
Next weekend, Penn will be taking the America Trophy in its bid to qualify for Nationals.
A huge thank you goes to the Swikart family for housing us and feeding us a wonderful Easter dinner! Also, thank you to our coach Johnny Norfleet who helped us perform our best throughout the weekend.
This weekend Meaghan Harding, Caroline Garth, Patricia Andrade Chevres and I headed up to the North Country to compete and MAISA Women’s Championship at Cornell. MAISA Women’s Championship serves as a qualifier for Women’s Nationals. Our weekend of ‘dreams coming true’ did not quite reflect in our scores, but Penn women’s sailing had an incredible weekend in terms of learning and development. Caroline Garth skippered the A division with me as her crew, and the multi-talented Meg Harding skipped B with Pati Andrade Chevres as her crew.
On Saturday morning, we arrived at Lake Cayuga and started racing around 9:45AM. The wind, roughly breezing at 12 knots, was solidly coming in from the North West. Although the air was cold and the water was colder, there were no delays in the competition and in total 10A and 10B races were held. On Saturday night the gals ate a lovely dinner in Cortland, New York, then returned to the hotel to rest up and prepare for tomorrow.
Easter morning we returned to Lake Cayuga and found an egg hidden underneath our boat (a gift from the easter bunny, perhaps). We sailed two more sets in a light, shifty and unpredictable wind coming from the South. A few races were restarted and the sets were long, but after finishing the day at 4PM the Quaker Ladies were both proud and pleased with the progress they made. In Caroline’s best race she came in 7th and Meg’s best race she also came in 7th.
Thank you to the Cornell Sailing team as well as the racing committee for hosting and managing the event.
Last weekend four recreational members of the team, Matthias Chia, Cruz Vargas, Steven Ho, & Audrey Harnagel headed down to Newark to compete in the Delaware Spring Open. This was Audrey’s first regatta, Steven’s first regatta as a skipper, and Cruz’s second regatta. The sea-hardened and experienced sensei Matthias had much to teach us.
For most of the team, this was our first time in Newark, DE. We decided to explore Main Street to try out some of the local cuisine and ended up eating dinner at both California Tortilla (2.5/5 stars) and a place that specialized in macaroni and cheese dishes (3.25/5 stars).
We arrived at the course a few minutes after 9 on Saturday morning with a little bit of rest and quite a bit of eagerness to sail; the weather was perfect. Races started around 10:15, with a solid westerly wind of about 8 knots. Right before lunch the wind shifted to coming out of the northeast, so the course was changed accordingly. The wind almost completely died a few times during the day, though only briefly. For most of the day the wind fluctuated between 5 and 13 knots.
Matthias and Cruz sailed hard, and steadily improved throughout the day. When the wind shifted towards the middle of the day, the course was changed from a W4 to a W3. Unfortunately Matthias and Cruz missed this announcement and shot outside of the finish line towards the windward mark when they should have been finishing with second place. Despite the quick turn around and (re)finish, they still managed to not get last that race. Two of the last three races were first place finishes for Matthias and Cruz, and they ended up tying for third place in the A division, even with the midday misunderstanding.
Steven and Audrey sailed competitively in their division, and had several finishes above the middle of the pack. They placed fifth in their division (only 1 point away from 4th) but also steadily improved throughout the day. The final race in the Delaware Open resulted in a first victory for both sailors in their respective positions.
Special thanks to Matthias for patiently teaching me the ropes throughout the weekend. Also, shout out to Mitch Poster and housemates; you guys were great hosts and probably the chillest people I’ve ever met. Stay S-themed my friends.
Owen, Mossbacher, and Knapp Trophies (aka. The Old Guard Regatta)
Our regatta weekend started on Friday afternoon as Jack Swikart, Mac Agnese, Pati Andrade, and I drove away from Penn’s Spring Fling weekend carnival and headed north towards Yale. After a daunting four-hour drive up, we stopped for our traditional Outback dinner before arriving at the hotel. After a team bonding movie night watching Disney’s Frozen, we all went to bed.
The next morning dawned warm and sunny. We arrived at Yale Corinthian Yacht Club early with plenty of time to rig and prepare for the day. Jack and Pati would spend the day sailing the intriguing new Z420s in A fleet, while Mac and I would race FJ’s in B. The wind was a consistent SSW 8 to 10 knots, making for a slightly choppy Long Island Sound. After four races each, both fleets headed in for a lunch break before returning to the water still in their original boats. Unfortunately, the wind died just after both fleets completed their first 2 races, forcing the race committee to abandon the A fleet’s half finished 7th race. The delay lasted at least 3 hours as the teams chatted with friends on the water. The breeze came back around 5:00 and after two more races for each fleet, the race committee sent the sailors in. After de-rigging, the Penn team headed into New Haven to check out Yale’s campus briefly before finding dinner at an amazing Italian place closer to our hotel. (Shameless plug for Bella Pizza – they were that good)
Sunday was a little cooler than Saturday, with a lighter 5-7 knot breeze that gradually built to 10 knots before lunch. Jack and Pati were now sailing FJs while Mac and I took on the Z420. After four morning races, both fleets returned to shore for a quick lunch break. The sailors returned to the water for three final races in a slightly lighter SE breeze with large waves from the Long Island Sound rolling right-to-left across the course, making for tricky conditions.
The team is very pleased with their performance on the weekend, since the Owen Trophy also serves as the Ivy League Championship, in which Penn placed 3rd behind Yale, the number 2 team in the nation, and Brown, which ranks 11th. It was a great improvement on our result from last year, and we look forward to getting even better going forward. Not to mention that we had fun getting back into the swing of fleet racing and thoroughly enjoyed getting to try out the new Z-420s, which will be featured at the ICSA Nationals this June. Thank you very much to Yale Corinthian Yacht Club and the Yale sailing team for hosting the event!
Over the weekend, the Penn sailing team traveled to the Naval Academy in Annapolis to compete in the Prosser Trophy, which also serves as the MAISA Conference Championship as well as our qualifier for team race nationals. We drove down with a full van, consisting of Jack, Joe, Foster, Meaghan, Pati, Catie, and myself and had the pleasure of staying at the Harding’s house. After a relaxing movie night and a good night of sleep, we headed to the venue early Saturday morning to compete in the first team race conference championship that Penn has been to in years.
Saturday began with a 15 knot northwesterly that held throughout most of the day allowing us to get 16 races off. We were able to pull off a few wins and more importantly we consistently improved as the day progressed. It was also a beautiful, sunny day in the high 50s, so it proved to be an all-around great day. To top it off, the Harding’s had a delicious dinner waiting for us when we got back!
Following another great night of sleep, the team made its usual pit stop at Naval Bagels and arrived at Navy early for what would prove to be a long day, but with a lot less racing than the day before. The light and fluky northwesterly caused some problems for the race officials, as many races were abandoned. Eventually the wind filled in from the east and we were able to complete the third and final round robin of the regatta. Like the day before, we got better and better and will look to come back stronger in next year’s team race conference championship.
Big thanks to the Naval Academy, the volunteers, and the umpires for putting on a great event and of course to the Harding family for hosting us once again!
This past weekend, Caroline Garth, Max Ryder, Nina Kaledin and I traveled across the state of New Jersey to Toms River for the Ocean County College Spring Open. It was my first regatta so I was really excited to get out on the water on Saturday. After a hearty meal at the Garth household and a good night’s sleep, we were ready to go on Saturday morning.
On Saturday the regatta began with winds from the NW at around 17 mph. Caroline skippered A Division with Nina crewing while Max skippered B Division with me in as his crew. During our first B Division set, the winds increased to 24 mph with gusts up to 30 mph, so after only 2 sets, the races were cancelled for the rest of the day because of the high winds and multiple capsizes in both fleets. Max and I were unfortunately in one of the boats that flipped!
On Sunday, the conditions were much more tame, with winds out of the West around 7 mph. We were able to get much more racing done than we did on Saturday, with both A and B Divisions getting off 8 races before the wind died in the middle of the day. Though it filled back in just before the deadline, the races were cancelled after a total of 5 sets between the two days.
Overall we finished sixth out of the 9 teams, just barely missing out on 5th by one point to Columbia. Both of our boats were able to crack the top 5 in races over the course of the event, and we learned and improved a lot.
A special thanks to the Garth family for hosting the team at their home this weekend, as well as helping us arrange our transportation to and from the venue! I’m very excited to go to more regattas in the future.
This past weekend Mac Agnese, Catie Hopkins, Jack Swikart, Pati Andrade, Joe Farned and myself competed in the Admiral Moore Team Race at SUNY Maritime. We set out from Penn on Friday night excited for the team races ahead and after staying at the Swikart’s house, we set out for New York early the next morning eager and ready for a chance to practice team racing at a fun and windy intersectional.
We got fun and we definitely got windy — the breeze built up to 10-22 knots in the afternoon. Still, the races got off smoothly and the SUNY race committee was able to pull off an impressive 61 races total by 5:40 pm on Saturday. Each team sailed 14 races and we managed to pull out several wins and finished the day feeling good about our efforts. It was a long day, but we ended in high spirits, if a bit damp and cold.
The next morning we spryly bounded from bed in anticipation for the excitement in our near-futures. We had only 6 races to complete in the second round robin so we knew we’d be fresh and ready to compete. We finished up by 2 pm and headed back to school feeling accomplished with the improvements we steadily made throughout the whole regatta.
We went into this event focused on taking the chance to get back in the boats and practice a type of race we’ve never had the opportunity to experience as a team — it was exciting. The differences between our first several races and our last few were profound in terms of our teamwork and strategy; we made great strides throughout the weekend. We’re looking forward to the next several weeks of team race practice in anticipation for the Prosser Trophy in Annapolis over the first weekend in April!
It was additionally great to welcome our coach Johnny Norfleet to his inaugural regatta with our team! Also thanks to the Swikarts for allowing us to stay over on Friday and Saturday.
Penn Sailing is excited to announce that after a lengthy search process, we have hired Johnny Norfleet as our new head coach.
“We’re fortunate to have such an experienced college sailor coaching us this season,” said junior captain Jack Swikart, “We can learn a lot from someone like Johnny.”
Last spring, Norfleet graduated from Hobart with a degree in Economics. While at Hobart, Johnny sailed extensively at the national and interconference level, and was a team captain and A-Division skipper his senior year. He also earned ICSA All-American honors for his outstanding senior season as well as being named first team All-MAISA.
In addition to his college sailing accomplishments, Norfleet also has extensive coaching experience, including having coached junior sailing on Cape Cod for many summers. Most recently, Johnny served as an Assistant Coach at Hobart for their Fall 2013 season.
“After a strong fall season, the Penn Sailing Team is poised for future success,” remarked Norfleet, “I’m very excited for the opportunity to work with them going forward.”
The Penn Sailing Team kicked off its Spring 2014 season with a very strong performance at the ODU Spring Open, winning both divisions as well as the regatta itself. I skippered A Division with Patricia Andrade crewing. Mac Agnese and Catie Hopkins started off in B Division with Helen Boone switching in later in the event as the B Crew.
We left Philadelphia on Friday night to make the long trip down to Norfolk, VA. After a good night’s sleep at the home of Neil and Aline Landy, who were generous enough to host the team for a third straight year, we were ready to get on the water after a long winter off the water!
Saturday morning was cold and started with a light breeze from the North. Everyone donned their drysuits and headed out for the races. Pati and I managed four top-3 finishes on the day in A Division, while Mac and Catie did the same, scoring 3 of 4 bullets in B Division. After the first day, we led St. Mary’s College of MD by 5 points. After racing, the Hamilton family – Mac’s grandparents – hosted the team for dinner at their house, for which the team was very grateful.
Sunday arrived with much warmer conditions, as well as better breeze. After a fluky first 2 sets, each division managed to get 6 more races off before racing was done for the day. Pati and I had a few shaky finishes to start the day before finishing up strong with a third and two firsts. Mac and Helen continued to dominate B Division all day, finishing first or second every race. After all was said and done, we finished 17 points ahead of St. Mary’s to take the event. Mac’s parents, who came up from Florida to see the team, made hamburgers and hot dogs on one of the ODU grills. Thanks so much for the food Mr. and Mrs. Agnese!
Overall, the event was a great start to the season and is hopefully a sign of things to come this season! We’d also like to extend a special thank you to the Landys, who are such fantastic supporters of the team each year. We can’t wait to head down again next spring!