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.
Jack Swikart ’15