Last weekend, we officially kicked off our spring season with a regatta hosted by the College of Charleston. On Friday night, Jack Swikart, Patricia Andrade-Chevres, Drew Gallagher, and I boarded a plane with four penguins painted on the tail and wing-tips to leave snowy Philadelphia on Penn’s first ever flight to an in-season regatta. Our itinerary had us fly into Charlotte, N.C., then drive to Charleston before finally arriving at our hotel around 1:00 a.m.
The next morning began a little slowly as we were all exhausted. However, after rushing to ready for the regatta, we gained a reprieve as the racing was postponed due to lack of wind. The team lounged outside, enjoying the comparatively warm weather, until a light South East wind filled at 1300. Jack and I were racing in FJ’s, while Pati and Drew tackled the 420. After only 4 races each, disrupted by 2 more offshore postponements, the racers were towed ashore slightly disappointed at the conditions, but having enjoyed a day of sailing and team bonding. After a delicious dinner at a trusted Outback Steakhouse, we retired to the cozy home of Brooks Carpenter, the son of Chip Carpenter, Penn C’78.
Sunday began with a bit of anxiety as our car’s battery had died over night. With the help of some wonderful neighbors and a set of cables, we were able to start our battery and get to Charleston in time for the harbor start. The conditions were a little better than Saturday, with a slightly stronger west wind that switched to southwest several times. As is typical at big intersectional, A and B fleet switched boats for the second day. Drew and Pati took on the FJ and finished 4th in the first race of the day, as Jack and I turned to the 420, finishing top 5 in each of the day’s 6 races. Around 1430, the wind shifted south and died, forcing race 11B to be abandoned (B fleet had already abandoned two other races earlier that day). Having finished 11A, the RC sent the A fleet to drift in as the B fleet attempted to begin another race with a hoped-for wind shift. This race was ultimately abandoned as well due to poor conditions and a dying breeze.
We performed well in our first weekend back on the water, ending the regatta in 6th overall, and just beating out Boston University on a tiebreaker for the top club team spot. We are incredibly grateful to Charleston’s understanding sailors and coaches who ensured that they towed us to shore in time for us to make our flight, as well as to Navy’s A sailors who helped us de-rig our boat. And of course, a huge thank you goes out to Mr. Carpenter, who helped us organize our stay with Brooks, and to Brooks himself, who welcomed us into his wonderful home. The team was very excited to be back on the water and looks forward to getting our own boats in the (currently icy) Delaware River soon!
Cary Anne Kane ‘17