Month: April 2015


Penn Sailing Takes 5th at Admiral’s Cup!

Friday afternoon marked a historic time for the Penn Sailing team, as we took the first ever “van selfie” en route to the Admiral’s Cup at King’s Point. Jack proudly proclaimed, “this is the first time in the age of camera phones that the team has had a van as transport to a regatta.” With this proud moment in mind, and Coach Billy at the wheel, we made the drive to Drew’s house.

Saturday morning we arrived at King’s Point to 12-15 knots, with Jack and me in A Division in the FJ, Pati and Drew in B Division in the 420, and Keen in C Division in the laser. The morning wind allowed us to each finish 4 solid races before heading in for lunch. After our lunch break, Catie subbed in as Jack’s crew, as the wind decreased to around 5-8 knots. Billy and the sailors not currently racing intently observed the racing from a motor boat. We also came up with a way to wager on the racing, in the form of pushups. Each race, each of us would choose a boat to bet on, and then have to do the number of pushups of the place the boat finished in. Later in the afternoon, the wind direction was extremely shifty, and dead at times, making it very difficult to finish races. Many races were abandoned in each fleet throughout the afternoon. By 4 o’clock and with a lack of any steady wind, we headed in to de-rig.

On Saturday night the entire team was treated to a homemade taco dinner courtesy of Mrs. Gallagher. After dinner, fitness was still on the team’s mind as we dealt out a deck of cards, with each person having to do pushups in the amount on the card. With hundreds of pushups under many of our belts, we headed to bed early to rest up for Sunday.

Sunday morning brought steady wind early on, and each fleet was able to get off a few solid races. By the time we took a break for lunch though, the wind became too light to race. After a few hours spent waiting to see if it would fill in, playing a little bit of football, and a lot of lounging, we were informed racing was over. Even with the many delays and lack of wind, this was a great weekend for the team. We finished fifth out of a strong fleet of 20! It was a fun regatta, and a great way to head into America’s trophy next weekend.

Thanks to the Gallaghers for hosting us again, and to Billy for driving our 12-passenger van!


Fair Winds,

Lucy Sergeant ’18


Results can be found here:


Penn Competes at Navy Spring

After a relaxing Fling Friday, Jack Swikart, Foster Collins, Max Joyce and I headed down to Annapolis, excited for the next few days of competitive racing. We headed to dinner in downtown Annapolis and then travelled the last few minutes to the Harding’s house, our home base for the weekend. After some ice cream (me) and video games (the boys), we headed to bed, excited for Naval Bagels in the morning.

Saturday was a spectacular spring day in Annapolis, with light breeze and temperatures reaching 80. Jack and I started in A Division in the Z420s and Max and Foster took on the B Division FJs. Jack and I came out of the gate strong, winning the first race (with a little luck involved). We managed to get through a few races in the light breeze before a lunch break, and after a brief onshore postponement, we went back out and got in a few more races before the breeze died again. After another postponement, we headed all the way out to the mouth of the river and managed to squeeze out a few more races. After a great dinner at the Naval Academy, and another great dinner at the Harding’s, we went to bed with an eye on the forecasted breeze for Sunday.

Sunday was significantly windier and colder than the day before, and the Race Committee wasted no time in getting our day started. The morning breeze was only 8-12 knots, but it picked up quite a bit throughout the day, leaving us to work hard to keep the boat flat. Foster and Max worked to get the hang of the Z420 in breeze, with much more of a side advantage than Saturday, while Jack and I worked hard to keep the FJ under control as the breeze built up to 15-20 knots by the end of the day. By the afternoon, we were all pretty tired as we got to the end of the 15 races. After squeaking out one more race right before the 3PM cutoff time, we headed back to shore and back to Penn, pleased with the way that we had sailed. The highlight of the regatta was Jack and I finishing 5th in A division at a major intersectional, our best individual finish this year!

Thanks to the Harding family for hosting us and feeding us this weekend! Always appreciated!

Catie Hopkins ’17


Results can be found here:


OCC Spring Open

On Friday night Caroline Garth, Joe Egan, Alexia Tragakes and I packed into Caroline’s car and set off for her delightful suburban New Jersey home. Fueled by a tasty carbonara carbo-load from the night before, the team arrived at Toms River Yacht Club on Saturday morning for the OCC Spring Open. As all 18 boats headed out for the first race, conditions were challenging with steady wind around 20 mph gusts up to 30. When 6 boats capsized in the first race of Division A, the race committee called a postponement to wait for the wind to die off. By 11:30 winds were steady at about 18 mph with puffs to 23 mph, and racing resumed.

After a long day on the water, both A and B divisions finished 9 races, which constituted a full rotation for the 9-team regatta. Since all the races were completed on Saturday, teams agreed to a one-day regatta and headed for home. Penn finished fourth overall. Given the heavy winds, we were at a significant weight disadvantage compared to some of our competitors, but we sailed some great races and enjoyed the spring sunshine. Results can be found here:

Thanks so much to Mr. and Mrs.Garth for hosting us and serving so much delicious food!

Audrey Harnagel ’16


Quakers Get Top 3 at Team Race Challenge

The MAISA Team Race Challenge last weekend was Penn’s third and final team race of the spring season, marking a significant improvement in performance over the previous two team race regattas. As the qualifier to the Prosser Trophy, the qualifier for Team Race Nationals, the stakes this weekend were higher, but we were ready to take the challenge. Senior Jack Swikart, freshmen Drew Gallagher and Joe Egan skippered, while senior Pati Andrade, junior Foster Collins, sophomores Catie Hopkins and Cary Kane, and freshman Max Joyce crewed.

Saturday was uneventful as 25-35 knot winds with gusts up to 40kts necessitated an immediate AP, which was eventually followed by the abandonment of racing for the day.

The start time for Sunday was moved up, and racing started at 0915. Wind was light and variable from the West/Northwest, but built as the day progressed to cap off at 15-25 knots. The first round robin was completed with an hour to spare before the 1500 deadline, the results of which saw Penn in second place. Despite the time constraint, the Race Committee attempted to sail an additional round robin for the final four, but was unable to complete even four races before the deadline. After a day of great racing, we were very pleased with our performance over the last few weeks.

Final results were taken from the original round robin, but unfortunately Penn and GWU met in the unfinished final four with GWU winning. This race counted for a sail-off and resulted in Penn falling to third place, and not qualifying for the Prosser berths. However, we all felt very accomplished with how well we’d sailed and how much we’d improved in the past few weeks.

We had another great weekend at my house, and thanks to Catie for driving her car all weekend so we could fit a full squad!

Drew Gallagher ’18