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!
Jack Swikart ‘15