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.
Scores can be found at: scores.collegesailing.org/f14/carl-van-duyne-maisa-men-singles
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!
For more details of our results, please click here: http://scores.collegesailing.org/f14/jesuit-open/
Cary Anne Kane, ’17