Category: Regattas

Penn Sailing finishes 15th at Atlantic Coast Championship

The sailing portion of the fall season has come to a close after this weekend’s Atlantic Coast Championships hosted by the College of Charleston. Bringing together the top teams from each of the three Atlantic coast conferences (NEISA, MAISA, and SAISA), the event put us up against the toughest competition that we faced this fall.

Charleston is the farthest we have gone for a regatta this semester, so we decided to leave on Thursday night and stay over with the Hardings in Annapolis before doing the final 8 hours on Friday. Despite the distance, a good time was had by all, and we arrived in Charleston in time to have dinner and get to sleep early.

After a good night of sleep and a nutritious breakfast, we were among the first teams to arrive at the marina on Saturday morning. This gave the team, which consisted of myself, Meaghan Harding, Catie Hopkins, Cary Kane, Patricia Andrade, and Jack Swikart, plenty of time to rig boats and get our minds into race mode. Promptly after the 9:15 skipper’s meeting, both fleets were sent out to Crab Bank to drift around until the breeze filled in. After a one hour delay, the first A division race was started at about 11 o’clock with Jack and Pati starting out the day in the 4-7 knot shifty easterly that held until the end of Saturday’s racing. Catie and I started the day in B division. Nine very challenging races were completed in each division before the wind shut off completely. Despite the tough conditions that led to many ups and downs, the team was able to maintain its composure throughout the day thanks in large part to Coach Jack, who kept us mentally focused, and Cary and Meg, who kept us in good spirits and made sure we had enough water and food to keep us going. Going into Sunday, we were sitting in 15th place overall, though the points were very close among most of the teams.

We left the marina content with our performance, but eager for what Sunday would bring. In honor of Coach Jack’s last dinner with the team, we went to his favorite restaurant – Outback Steakhouse. Thank you Mr. Swikart for that delicious treat!

To keep Saturday’s routine consistent, the team was up early and once again one of the first teams at the venue. Just like the previous day, we were sent out to Crab Bank and waited in postponement for the easterly to fill in. Once it did, the race committee did not hesitate to start the first race. After five races in each division in similar conditions as Saturday, the Atlantic Coast Championships came to a close. Jack and Pati saw their results improve relative to Saturday as did Catie and I, though the team remained in 15th overall.

After leaving the marina, we headed to Charleston and walked around the historic town before beginning our long trek back to campus.

Overall, we learned a lot at the event and showed that we can hold our own against the top teams in the country. We look forward to having a productive non-sailing season (there is no off season!) and getting back on the water in the spring to build on the strong year that we’ve had so far.

Thank you to the Harding family for hosting us on Thursday night and again on Sunday night, allowing us to break up the ten hour drive into two segments. Also, thanks to those who travelled all the way to Charleston to support us! And, of course, thanks to Coach Jack for all the time that you have put into our team. We’ve come a long way and couldn’t have done it without you!

Until next time,
Maximilano “Mac” Agnese ‘16

2013 MAISA Club Champions

This weekend, Jack Swikart, Meg Harding, Mac Agnese, Joe Farned, Cary Kane and I returned to Toms River Yacht Club for a chance at the MAISA club championship.

We left school Friday afternoon and headed to the Swikarts’ house for some pizza and a good night’s sleep. We woke up early Saturday morning to freezing temperatures and piled on lots of layers just to make the journey from the front door to the car. After some quick stops for food, we arrived at Toms River Yacht Club to frozen puddles of water on the Opti covers and rigged up our 420. Jack and I started the day in A division with two solid races, and Joe and Cary followed suit with a consistent set. Our day continued with us battling Fordham for the top spot. Meg switched in with Jack for their last set of the day, and they kept the consistency going strong. After a full day of racing, Joe and Cary headed in as the sun was setting on Toms River (it couldn’t beat our Essington sunsets though). Joe headed back to Penn with Coach Jack, and the rest of us headed back to the Swikarts to shower and get dressed up for fancy dinner. After some delicious steak and veggies, we watched some Louis C.K. and headed to bed after Jack picked Mac up from the train. Sunday morning was a little warmer than Saturday and a lot windier. We headed back to toms river ready to tackle the mounting breeze. Jack and Meg started the day with two more solid races, and Mac and Cary followed up with two firsts as boats began to capsize in B division. The wind quickly picked up from a manageable 16 knots to gusting 30 and the decision was made to call the regatta. After a successful weekend, we stood 7 points ahead of Fordham, making us the 2013 MAISA club champions.

Thanks to the Swikarts for hosting (and feeding) us again! Full scores can be found here:

-Catie Hopkins ’17

Penn finishes 6th at the War Memorial, Qualifies for…

This past weekend, November 2nd and 3rd, marked the beginning of the “postseason” for fall sailing, meaning that from here on, it’s only qualifiers and championships until the end. The first event on our itinerary was the War Memorial at Old Dominion University, located in Norfolk, Virginia. The regatta serves as the MAISA Fall Championship each year, as well as the qualifier for the Atlantic Coast Championship. This year, 8 teams from MAISA would qualify for a berth. A lot was on the line, but the team (composed of myself, Mac Agnese, Patricia Andrade, Catie Hopkins, Christina Atterbury and Foster Collins) was ready and up to the task.

The first day of the regatta brought drizzly conditions with a light-to-medium Northerly breeze. Pati and I sailed in A Division while Mac and Catie started off the day in B. It was the first time this season that we were able to go up against all of the top teams in MAISA at once, but we came out with guns blazing and were leading the championship after the first set! The strong showing continued throughout the day as Pati and I sailed 6 consistent races in A Division, while Mac and Catie managed four top-6 finishes before racing was called for the day due to a lack of wind. Our combined races were good for third overall at the end of Saturday, though the scores were incredibly close throughout the top 10.

After racing, the team enjoyed dinner at the No Frill Bar and Grill, one of Coach Jack’s favorite restaurants from his time as a student at ODU. The recommendation turned out to be well-founded, as the food was excellent and the portions generous. Once we got back to our hotel, we did a little studying before calling it a night.

Sunday’s dawned with very breezy conditions of 20+ mph, just as the forecast had predicted. Mac started off the day with Christina, while I started with Foster. After 1 set, the conditions began to deviate from the forecast (which had called for a building breeze all day), with the breeze dying to a much more manageable 10-15. With that change, Pati and Catie went back in as crews for the remainder of the event. Neither Mac nor I was able to replicate our magic from the previous day, though we still managed to sail very consistently and easily maintain our spot in the top 8. At the end of the day, we ended up in 6th place, which was Penn‘s best finish in the War Memorial since 2007. It was also good enough to earn us a berth in the Atlantic Coast Championship for the second time in three years.

I am very proud of the team at this point in the season and am really looking forward to the next two weeks. First we have MAISA Club Championships at Ocean County College (Toms River, NJ) and then of course ACC’s at College of Charleston. Stay tuned for updates each week as well as for our season-in-review once the season is wrapped up. See you on the water!

-Jack Swikart ’15
Captain, Penn Sailing

Nittany Lion Open

This past Friday, October 25th, Nate Pettit, Matthias Chia, Julia, Hurley, Christina Atterbury, and I caravanned westward for the Nittany Lion Open hosted by Penn State.

After five and half hours of driving, we arrived at the Atterbury household in Johnston, PA. With open arms, we starving sailors embraced a feast of chicken and gravy replete with mashed potatoes, stuffing, spaghetti squash, and carrots (to stave off scurvy!). Full and thankful, we enjoyed playing board games and eating decadent homemade cookies before turning in for the night.

In the morning, we awoke to sub-30 degree temperatures. After driving to Lake Glendale, we braced ourselves for a windy, wet, and cold day.

The first A-division rotation brought breeze around 15 knots gusting to 20+ knots. In the first set, Christina and I finished 2nd and 1st in the ten boat fleet.

The B-division rotation proved challenging for Matthias and Julia, who, after capsizing around the gybe mark and enjoying an extended swim in frigid water, were thankful to find dry clothes waiting onshore.

The second A-division saw Nate Pettit skipper a 3rd place finish as I crewed for him. After completing the race, which saw five out of the ten boats sailing upright, Penn State ended the regatta early.

A huge thank you goes to the Atterbury family for housing us; for preparing us dinner, breakfast, and lunch; and for making us feel welcome! And, of course, thank you to the Penn sailors who, despite difficult and frustrating conditions, were among the few to say “no” when asked if they wanted to call the regatta!

Fair winds,

Joe Farned ’17

Central Fall #2

This past weekend, Maxwell Ryder, Steven Ho, Joe Farned, and I drove down to Chestertown Maryland for the Central Fall #2 regatta, hosted by Washington College. While most competing teams hailed from Maryland or Virginia, Philadelphia was well represented at the event, with teams from Drexel, Villanova, and Penn.

We arrived to the event a bit later than Coach Jack desired, but the first races ended up being delayed, as we waited for the wind to settle into the bay. Joe and I, having never sailed together before, used the time to practice a few tacks. After 11, we set out for the first race. The wind was shifty, and the current was strong, but we sailed a few good races. As a new sailor, this was a great opportunity for me to learn a lot. With a lot of help from Joe and Coach Jack, I left day 1 feeling much more confident and knowledgeable. Steven and Max, although described as sailing a ‘very heavy boat,’ did equally well. We concluded day 1 in 11th place with high hopes for the next day. After some Mexican food and a few rounds of virtual training on SailX, we all hit the sack.

Day 2 brought pleasant weather and overall lighter, but still shifty, winds. We were able to begin racing much sooner. Both teams performed more consistently on the second day, and we were able to finish in 8th place. Overall, it was great weekend, and I am thankful that I could take part.

Check out our results here –

-Christina Atterbury ‘15

North Fall #2

The story of last weekend’s regatta actually begins on Thursday night when Jack Swikart emailed Pati Andrade, Mac Agnese, Catie Hopkins, and myself saying that we could no longer attend the Captain Hurst Bowl at Dartmouth as we had intended because there had been a mistake in the scheduling. Instead, Jack arranged for us to compete in the North Fall 2 Regatta hosted by SUNY Maritime College in NY.

On our way to the Swikarts’ home in New Jersey on Friday, we celebrated our shortened car drive by stopping at a New Jersey movie theater to see the recently released (and very intense) Captain Phillips. After a quick dinner at a Chili’s restaurant we arrived at Swikarts and headed to bed.

After fighting through miles of traffic the next morning, we finally arrived at SUNY, only to find very light wind conditions. A Fleet was sent out in an attempt to start the regatta, but the RC soon called the sailors in again without getting off a race. We proceeded to wait out a 2-hour wind delay in the chilly fall air before the wind finally filled in from the South East to a light breeze.

Pati and Jack started us off in A division with a solid first set getting two 3rds. Mac and Catie followed suit winning two 3rds of their own, the beginning of a very consistent day. The afternoon continued, with A team getting in a total of six races, while B team only fit in four. The day ended with Penn in 2nd place. After returning to the Swikart’s house and enjoying some delicious soul food, the team headed to bed.

Sunday dawned a little colder and a little windier than Saturday, with the breeze moving from 8 to 12 knots throughout the day. We arrived at SUNY early and quickly rigged before sending Mac and Catie out to start us off with a 1st and 3rd. Jack and I then took to the water, before Catie and Mac went out again. The colder breeze continued to pick up, and the tide completely changed direction for the last few races (at on point dragging the gate buoys with it). Despite these added difficulties, Penn continued to sail well, finishing the regatta in 3rd place with 99 points, 6 points behind the 2nd place team. The team then packed up and headed back to campus – enjoying a fantastic birthday cookie-cake on the way.

A huge thank you goes out to the Swikart family who not only graciously hosted us on incredibly short notice, but did so when they already had a high school sailing team staying at their home as well. We really appreciated their warm hospitality.

For full results, please look here:

Cary Kane ‘17


photo 1

SMC Fall Intersectional

Last weekend, Jack Swikart, Mac Agnese, Pati Andrade, Catie Hopkins and myself travelled to St. Mary’s for the SMC Fall Intersectional. Eighteen teams participated from all different conferences, many schools travelling several hours to attend this regatta. We knew this was going to be a tough one, but we went to bed at the La Quinta Hotel on Friday night feeling positive and ready.

We woke up Saturday morning excited for the day of sailing ahead. We were the first team to arrive at the St. Mary’s boathouse, and we took advantage of this time by getting into the competitive mindset and making sure we were all ready for the coming races. Mac and Catie started off in B Division in 420’s while Jack and Pati began the day doing what they do best: A Division FJ’s. It immediately became clear that conditions were tough, the northwesterly breeze coming off the land made finicky puffs and hard-to-predict shifts the name of the game. Despite these hardships, Mac and Jack made the best of it and finished out Friday in ninth place. We ended the day feeling good about having broken the top ten and celebrated with a Bloomin’ Onion at Outback Steakhouse.

The next morning, we felt ready for the six races left in the regatta. Sunday was a bit more difficult, however, the breeze was as tough as ever and a couple of races didn’t go our way. We ended up in twelfth overall and headed back to Philadelphia knowing we had seen tough competition. We were, however, excited to continue our hard work and feel very good going into the next few weekends.

Full results can be found here:

Meaghan Harding ‘16

Laser South

Boats. Bearclaws. Beginnings.

This weekend (September 14-15), Jack Swikart and I headed south to Navy for Laser South for the first regatta of the fall season.

After a restful Friday night at the Harding’s house in Annapolis, we woke up at 7:30am, got cheesy at Naval Bagels, and were on the docks rigging our Lasers by 9am. Quick to launch, the 20 full rig sailors were out on the water thirty minutes later splitting tacks and watching for puffs in the light conditions.

Jack was able to get off the line cleanly for the first set of two races, while I struggled to accelerate despite setting up with wide holes below. Strategically, it was key to simply connect the few puffs and position ourselves for the shift, phasing right and left every two or three minutes. Jack’s 5th and 6th finishes put him towards the top of the results.

As the breeze picked up, the lefties began to roll through. For the next six races, everybody immediately tacked to port after the gun, so competition for the pin end was fierce. For the majority of these races, Jack and I posted midfleet finishes. At the end of the day, the breeze went right, which added to our frustration over the unpredictable conditions. After seven and half hours of sailing, we came in at 5pm.

There was expected to no to little breeze on the second day. The first two races were canceled, unfortunately, considering that Jack and I rounded in the top 5 for each for lack of breeze. However, the race committee opted to move the fleet out of the Severn into the Chesapeake where we sailed 6 more races in breezy and wavy conditions to complete a series of 18 races.

Ultimately, Jack placed 15th and I placed 17th. Full results can found at:

A huge thank you goes out to the Harding family, who not only housed us and made us feel welcome, but also surprised with us lunches and snacks. Also, Jack was very kind to volunteer his car and time for the trip South. And, of course, we are grateful for the help of our coach Jack Kerr, who helped guide us through the tricky conditions.

Fair winds,

Joe Farned ’17


Penn Competes At America Trophy

This weekend Jack Swikart, Patty Andrade, Meaghan Harding, Christina Johns, Jose-Maria Barrero, and I traveled to the U.S. Naval Academy to sail the 2013 MAISA America Trophy. With a forecast for big breeze, FJ expert, Foster Collins, also joined us in our quest to finish in the top 8 and qualify for the national semi finals to be held in Hampton, VA in two weeks. Unfortunately, the tricky mid-April conditions proved challenging for our team; both Jack and I struggled with the strong MAISA fleet resulting in an 11th place finish ending our hopes at post-season competition.

On Saturday, after short on-shore delay, we began sailing in the Severn River in a shifty 5-10 knots. I started in the FJ sailing with Christina in A division and Jack sailed B with Meg and Patty splitting time in the front of the 420. 6 races were run before we broke for lunch. The highlight of the morning was Jack’s 2nd in race 4B. In the afternoon, the breeze shifted far left forcing PRO Gavin O’Hare to move the course out to Annapolis Harbor just off of Triton Point. As a team, we finished consistently around 12th as the breeze built in the afternoon. After race 9 we switched fleets. I sailed races 10, 11, and 12 in a 420 with Jose and Jack finished the day with Patty in an FJ. In total, 12 races were completed on Saturday.

With 6 races scheduled for Sunday we returned to the Robert Crown Jr. Sailing Center without any intention to let up. Jack and Patty sailed extremely well in B division with 5 top 10 finishes. In A division, Christina and I worked hard to improve on Saturday’s results. In race 15A we got off the line clean and sailed to a 4th place finish. Jose jumped in the boat as the breeze built in race 16. By noon we were sailing back to the dock with 18 races completed. We finished 11th overall falling slightly short of our goal.

Full results can be found at:

All in all it was a wonderful weekend spent at Navy. A huge thank you goes out to the Harding family who hosted us for the second time this season. Also, Foster was extremely helpful on land ensuring that our sailors had a hand on the dock. As always, our coach, Jack Kerr, provided grounded advice and helped us work through the tricky conditions.

As seniors, Jose, Christina and I tried to keep the mood light and enjoy our final regatta as much as possible. While it would have been nice to make it to Hampton, VA for semis, I speak for Jose and Christina when I say we have nothing to regret. While we originally joined to develop and compete, the level of friendship and camaraderie gained over the past 4 years is something to reflect on fondly.

Stay tuned as our younger sailors travel to Georgetown and Delaware University next weekend to round out the Spring Season.

See you on the water,

Mike Russom C’13

Greater NY Dinghy Regatta

This weekend Mike, Jack, Christina, José and I travelled to Fordham and Columbia for the Greater New York Dinghy regatta. After staying at the Swikart’s house Friday night, we got up early Saturday morning to make the trek to the Morris Yacht and Beach Club at Fordham and Columbia. Friday morning was beautiful with sunshine and good breeze. Both Mike and Christina in A and Jack and I in B had great opening sets. The wind, however, continued to die throughout the day, completely switching directions at around two o’clock. Due to the light conditions, we were unable to finish the last set but by that point, the light wind had frustrated everyone long enough and we were ready to call it a day. We rounded out day one in third overall, hoping that all of our practice in the heavier conditions predicted for Sunday would be enough to propel us further in the standings.

We woke up Sunday feeling good about the day ahead. B Division set out first to finish the third set, hammering out two good races in third and first. José hopped in to crew for A division as the wind picked up and he and Mike had an awesome race, finishing in first. Unfortunately, by that point the wind had picked up so much that conditions were no longer ideal and the regatta was called at one p.m. after a ninety-minute wind delay. We ended Sunday in second place and feel great going into next weekend. America’s Trophy here we come!

Big thanks to the Swikarts for hosting us Friday night.

Full results can be found here:

-Meaghan Harding, C’16

Penn Sailing Wins MAISA South Qualifier

This weekend, Mike Russom, Jack Swikart, Christina Johns, Jose Maria Barrero, Sherlyn Chen, and I traveled to Hampton, VA for the Maisa South Qualifiers. We ended the regatta victoriously after two days of racing against other 15 teams. In total each division sailed 11 races. Mike and Christina sailed A-division and Jack and I sailed B. Both divisions sailed in FJs, and because there was only one fleet, we alternated after every set.

Mike and Christina started off the regatta on Saturday at around 10:15 given that the wind was very light, but even in these conditions they sailed a great set, heading us into a great start. Jack and I sailed the next set and also were in the top three in both races. As the day went on, the wind picked up a little and continuously changed direction. We finished the day in second place after each division had sailed 3 sets.

On Sunday the sunny weather from the day before was replaced by rain and slightly stronger wind. As soon as we arrived in Hampton, we were informed that there had to be a redress for Race 5A (which Mike and Christina had won). Gladly, the race took place again and they were first once more. After 3 great races, Jack and I went back in the water and finished our set in the top 3. The day went really well for both divisions. By the end of the day, after all the protests were taken into consideration, our victory was announced. GO QUAKERS!

Results can be found in:

-Patricia Andrade, C’15

Penn Sailing at the US Naval Academy Ivy League…

This past weekend, Mike Russom, Jack Swikart, Patty Andrade, Meaghan Harding, Jose-Maria Barrero and I traveled to Annapolis, MD to compete for the Ivy League Championship hosted by the US Naval Academy.  We were one of nineteen teams competing for the Owen, Mosbacher and Knapp Trophies, and finished 4th among the Ivy League teams and 8th overall.

On Saturday, we began racing in the Severn River in 10-12 knots, which built to the high teens over the course of the day.  Mike and I started off in A division, with Jose stepping in as the wind increased, and Jack, Patty, and Meg sailed well in B division.  We sailed 12 races in each division by the end of the day, and ended up within 20 points of the top three teams.

Sunday brought slightly different conditions.  We arrived at the Academy to calm and chilly weather, and Mike and I headed out in A division with Jack and Patty in B division.  We sailed one race on the river before the wind died and racing moved out to Annapolis Harbor for some more consistent breeze.  Five more races per division were held in light and shifty conditions, making for challenging sailing! Racing was called for the day after 18 races had been completed, and Penn ended up eighth.  Full results can be found here:

A huge thanks to the Harding family for their hospitality in hosting us this weekend!

-Christina Johns, C’13

2012 MAISA Club Championships

This weekend, Mike Russom, Meaghan Harding, Jose-Maria Barrero and I traveled down to Norfolk, VA to compete in the MAISA Club Championships held at Old Dominion University. We arrived on Saturday morning to 15-18 knots of breeze and temperatures around 50º.

After layering up on shore, Mike and Meg headed out to sail the first set in A division, and started out strong with two third place finishes. They stayed consistent throughout the other three sets sailed on Saturday, with two first place finishes and a few more third places. Mike and Meg were tied for second by the time we finished up racing on Saturday.

Jose and I sailed to fourth and second place finishes in our first set in B division, and stayed fairly consistent all day. By finishing first in the last three races of the day, we ended up second to Fordham in B division by the end of Saturday. Overall, Penn was also in second, just behind Fordham.

On Sunday, we arrived at the ODU Sailing Center to much calmer but shiftier wind. We completed the remaining two sets of the regatta in 5-8 knots of wind from the north. Although both Mike and Meg and Jose and I had some strong finishes, we struggled at times in the light wind. We ended up third overall, just behind Fordham and University of Virginia. Congratulations to the Fordham Rams for winning the 2012 MAISA Club Championships, and thanks to William and Mary and ODU for hosting the event. Full scores can be found at

This weekend concluded our Fall 2012 sailing season – thanks to all of our supporters and we will see you back in the spring!
-Christina Johns, C’13

Mike 5th At 1st Laser Qualifier

This weekend we opened the 2012 season at the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. I traveled with Villanova’s Will Joumas to participate in the MAISA South Laser Event in an attempt to qualify for the Carl Van Duyne Trophy.

When I first arrived in Annapolis I was a little worried about the lack of laser sailing I did over the past summer. I tried hard to sail during my summer in New York but unfortunately I was limited to a few sessions of remote control laser racing in Central Park. While my fellow r/c racers would argue… I feel few things compare to actual time in the boat.

On Saturday morning, after a stop at Naval Bagels to fuel up, I rigged the Navy Laser in all its 6-to-1 vang glory and set out to the course in a building 8 knot Southerly. While the first few practice jibes were a little rough, I quickly regained a level of comfort in the boat and was able to post: 9, 3, 9, 5, 4, 5 before lunch. In the afternoon I really tried to focus on my downwind speed (an issue I had in the morning) as the breeze built. By the time we started the seventh race the breeze was up to approx. 15 knots as a huge cold front began to move in on the fleet. I was feeling strong and fast. At one point I was OCS but went back and was able to claw my way back to 8th overall. My finishes for the afternoon were: 4, 3, 8, 3.

At approximately 4PM the sky turned black and the call was made to return to shore to try and beat the approaching storm. I was feeling good after a strong last race and began reaching in alongside ODU’s Collin Leon. As we passed Severn Sailing Association, Collin and I speculated as to whether we would get in before the storm hit. I was pretty sure we would be okay but as we approached the Naval Academy seawall- I was wrong.

With the entire full-rig fleet and most of the radials still on the water we were hit with a 40-knot squall that some would only describe as “gnarly.” The temperature drop was amazing. Soon after we reached the Naval Academy seawall the lights turned off and we were blasted with violent shots of cool air. When the storm hit, it hit with force. I watched as every single radial was knocked over in front of me. Before I knew what happened my laser flipped and my favorite kaenon hat was gone to the wind. I was left perched on the side of the laser with one foot on the daggerboard and the other on the hiking strap. There I stayed for about 10 minutes trying to prevent the boat from turtling or righting itself in the 40+ knots of breeze. I learned that when it’s going nuts the best thing to do with a laser is lay the rig down and just try and ride out the storm. At points the rain was so intense I could not see Collin who was only 20 ft away! As soon as the breeze dropped down to 25-30 knots I righted the laser and finished the sail in. Thankfully everyone was ok as the Midshipmen did a great job keeping tabs on the flipped fleet throughout the squall. It was quite the end to my first day back in the boat!

On Sunday, my quads were happy to see 5-7 knots from the West. The beautiful September weather was very different from the overcast skies of the day before. Unfortunately, the nice weather brought out a lot of pleasure boat traffic so conditions were light and extra choppy on the Severn River. In the first race, I was surprisingly quick downwind. I had a mediocre start but was able to pick a few shifts and get back in the hunt. I rounded the windward mark for the second time in third and was able to pass two top sailors to win the first race of the day- it felt great. Unfortunately, this celebration was short-lived. I posted: 8, 6 before the wind completely shut off and a race was abandoned due to a lack of wind.

After an extended lunch / wind postponement, we went back out to give it one last go. I really struggled in the light breeze and boat chop. It wasn’t necessarily a speed issue; rather I just could not make a good tactical decision in the trying conditions to save my life. There was one point when I lost 7 boats on the downwind after rounding the second windward mark in 3rd and going to a side that I thought had more wind; it was extremely difficult sailing. In the end I finished 10, 10, 6 to complete the regatta.

I ended up 5th overall with a considerable margin to the 6th place finisher, George Prieto. Georgetown’s Chris Barnard took top honors at the regatta. The top six move finishers move on to the Carl Van Duyne so I’m excited to get to the next step in the singlehanded nationals qualification process.

Full Results:

Next week we will be at OCC trying to qualify for War Memorial Trophy!

-Mike Russom, Captain

Penn Sailing 9th at MAISA Women’s Dinghy Championships

Penn’s women’s sailing team finished in 9th place at the 2012 MAISA Women’s Dinghy Championships held on April 21-22 at Old Dominion University. Junior Christina Johns and senior Kelsi Schoenrock sailed A division, while junior Emma Kofmehl and senior Marina Reppucci sailed B division. On Saturday, the day started with very light and shifty conditions, which were difficult for all competitors to manage. However, it built to more consistent breeze by the end of the day and after 10 A races and 8 B races completed on Saturday, Penn was in 9th. Sunday brought heavy rain and more consistent wind, and in the end, the team retained their ninth place finish to finish up their season. Congratulations to the Georgetown Hoyas for winning the 2012 MAISA Women’s Championships!

Penn Sailing 10th at America Trophy

The America Trophy was held this year at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY. The Mid-Atlantic district uses this event as their qualifier for the semifinals of the national championship, where the top 8 teams advance. The regatta was held in 420s out of Hobart’s facilities, located right at the north end of Cayuga Lake.

Freshman Jack Swikart skippered the A Division with senior Kelsi Schoenrock crewing, while junior captain Mike Russom skippered B division with fellow junior Christina Johns crewing.

While upstate New York experienced frigid temperatures and even snow during the week leading up to the event, Saturday morning brought sunshine and a cool, pleasant morning. The sailors arrived at the lake to find perfect sailing conditions, but they didn’t last long. The breeze began to shut off after just 3 races, and didn’t return until late in the afternoon, when 3 more races were completed. After Saturday’s racing, the Quakers stood in 9th place, with only a few points separating them from the teams in front of and behind them. Georgetown led the event after day 1.

The weather on Sunday was more cooperative, with clouds, cooler temperatures, and a light southerly breeze to start the day. However, the conditions proved no less challenging than the previous day’s for the sailors, but the race committee still managed to complete 10 races in both divisions. The Quakers managed to keep pace with all the top teams, but at the end of the day ended up in 10th place. This was not enough to qualify them for semi-nationals, but everyone feels they learned from the experience.

The Women’s Team will travel next weekend to Old Dominion University for their semi-nationals qualifier.

Complete scores can be found at:

Penn Sailing 10th at Old Guard

Penn Sailing traveled to the Yale Corinthian Yacht Club in Branford, CT, this past weekend to compete for the Mosbacher Trophy and the Ivy League Championship. Penn was one of fifteen teams competing for the Owen, Mosbacher and Knapp Trophies, and finished 5th among the Ivy League teams.

Freshman Jack Swikart and senior Kelsi Schoenrock sailed A division, and Juniors Mike Russom and Christina Johns sailed B division.

On Saturday, the team arrived at Yale to a steady 10-15 knot breeze for the start of racing at 10:30 that tapered off as the day went on. Eight races were sailed in each division. After the first day, the Quakers were in 7th place overall.

Sunday was a bit lighter, with a 5-10 knot breeze that consistently died and shifted throughout the day, making for tough conditions. Four races were sailed in each division, and Penn ended up 10th overall. Congratulations to the Yale Bulldogs for winning the 2012 Old Guard as well as the Mosbacher Trophy.

The team is looking forward to two full weeks of practice before competing at Ocean County College on April 7-8th in the OCC 2-on-2 team race.

Penn Sailing an Impressive 16th at Truxtun Umsted Intersectional

The Truxtun Umsted Intersectional (a.k.a. “The Trux”) is held each year at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, and is widely regarded to be one of the most competitive college sailing events of the year, rivaled only by its fall counterpart Navy Fall, the ACCs, and the National Championship. The Quakers looked to improve their national standing by competing in this prestigious event among a tough field of 20 schools, which featured 17 of the top 25 schools nationwide.

Freshman Jack Swikart skippered the A Division, while Junior Christina Johns held down B Division. The Trux is a four-division regatta that features Laser Standards and Laser Radials, so Junior Captain Mike Russom anchored the team in C Division while Freshman Matthias Chia took on the D Division in only his second collegiate event. Senior Kelsi Schoenrock crewed for A Division while Marina Reppucci and Ali Zablocki, both seniors as well, split time crewing in B Division.

The summer-like weather the team enjoyed all week in practice followed them into the weekend on Saturday as they arrived to sunny skies, mild temperatures and a light breeze. Each division sailed four solid races in the morning before the breeze began to fade and the race committee called the sailors in for lunch. Unfortunately, the dying breeze never returned, and racing was called off late in the afternoon. After Day 1, the Quakers found themselves in 17th place, just behind the Terriers of Boston University. Yale led the event after day 1.

The sailors were not as lucky with the weather on Sunday, as the morning brought cloudy skies, a thick fog, and no wind. The race committee postponed on shore until about noon when a light easterly began to fill in, at which point all 80 boats left the dock looking to finish a few races before day’s end. The conditions proved difficult for the race committee, as they could not get a steady breeze to set the course until almost 2:00. The race committee fired off two quick races in the last hour of racing, bringing the regatta total to six. The Quakers fared well on the day; behind two very strong races by Captain Mike Russom in the Laser Division, the team managed to overtake Boston University to finish the regatta in 16th place, just one behind Harvard. Yale won the event, followed by Tufts in second and Brown University in third.

A special thanks to the Navy Midshipmen who, in addition to hosting the event, held a top-notch cookout on Saturday afternoon for all the sailors.

Complete scores can be found at

Penn Takes 2nd at WAC 2 on 2

Freshman Jack Swikart and Junior Captain Mike Russom were back in action this week as they traveled to Washington College in Chestertown, MD to compete in the 2012 WAC 2 on 2 Team Race Invite. Juniors Jose-Maria Barreros and Audrey Boles did a wonderful job in the front of the boats as they split time crewing for both skippers in the varying conditions.

On Saturday, the Quakers were met with steady winds around 11 knots when they arrived at the Washington College Sailing / Crew Center. The WAC race committee did a wonderful job completing two and a half round robins (for a total of 24 races averaging about 8 minutes in length) throughout the day before the unusually low “full moon” tide prevented further racing. The Quakers ended the day in second place with an 8 – 2 record with the two losses coming from WAC and Villanova in the first and second round robins, respectively.

On Sunday, the Quakers were excited to arrive at the Sailing Center to a steady 8 knots with little chop- conditions that Jack described as being “perfect for team racing.” The team finished the third round robin with three easy wins against Princeton, Washington College, and Villanova. As the breeze built in the afternoon it was clear that the regatta would come down to one final race with Washington College as both teams were tied with 13-2 records. The Quakers fought hard and actually beat WAC on the water with a 2,3 finish. Unfortunately, after reviewing what happened at a crowded leeward-mark rounding, the Quakers realized that they were in the wrong and opted to withdraw from the race resulting in WAC beating Penn overall 14-2 to 13-3. Regardless of the finish, the last race was exciting and reflected the competitive nature of team racing in the MAISA Division. Congratulations to the Washington College Shoremen on their victory!

The team is excited to finally start practice this coming week at the Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia. Best of luck to the Quakers as they work to prepare for the Truxtun Umsted Regatta to be held next weekend at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

Penn Sailing Earns 5th Place Honors at ODU Spring…

The Penn Sailing Team started off its Spring 2012 season by traveling south to Old Dominion University in Norfolk Virginia. It was also the first event of the season for many of the other teams in attendance. Skippering A Division was Junior captain Mike Russom, while freshman Jack Swikart skippered B Division. Juniors Fred Wang and Jose-Maria Barreros each crewed part of the regatta in both divisions.

Saturday brought heavy rain and strong winds in the morning, but by the time the boats hit the water, the wind had died down to around 15 knots and the rain had slowed to a drizzle. Six races were completed in each division before the wind died completely and racing was called for the day, leaving the team sitting in 7th place.

The team also woke to heavy rain on Sunday, but with much less wind. Over the course of the day, the breeze varied between 0 and 5 knots, allowing the race committee to get 4 more races off in each division. While Jack Swikart held the line in B Division, Mike Russom managed to shake off the rust, finishing his A Division series with two bullets and propelling the team to an overall 5th place finish. Navy took the win, followed by St. Mary’s and Old Dominion.

A special thanks to the Landy family, who graciously hosted the team for the weekend.

Complete scores can be found at

Penn Competes in Atlantic Coast Championship

November 11-13, 2011

This past weekend the Penn Sailing Team traveled to Boston, MS to compete in the 2011 Atlantic Coast Championship.   The team joined Harvard and MIT on Friday for a breezy day of practice on the Charles River in the FJs that would be used in the Championship. On Saturday, the team arrived to chilly temperatures and strong winds.  With two full divisions sailing at once, Junior Mike Russom and Freshman Jack Swikart did their best to compete against the skilled field that included 16 of the top 20 U.S. Sailing ranked teams. 12 of the 18 races were completed with the last race finishing just before sunset.

On Sunday the breeze moderated and the final three sets were sailed.  Kelsi Schoenrock did a wonderful job crewing in the “B” Division and Ali Zablocki and Christina Johns swapped in and out of the “A” Division to match the varying wind conditions.  The team ended up 18th overall with the Rodger Williams Hawks claiming top honors.

Thanks to 2-time ISAF Team Racing World Champion Pete Levesque and former A-Division skipper Halsey Richartz C’11 for their help throughout the event

Full Results:

With the fall season now complete, the team will use the winter to prep for the coming 2011 spring season.  This coming Wednesday the team will move the Penn FJs off the docks at the Corinthian Yacht Club of Philadelphia and into winter storage.  Thanks to everyone who supported the team this past fall… we will see everyone in the Spring!

Penn Sailing wins 2011 MAISA Club Championship

November 5-6, 2011

This past weekend at Fordham and Columbia’s home venue on City Island, NY, the Penn Sailing team won the 2011 Mid Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association Club Championship.  Junior Mike Russom and crews Ali Zablocki and Christina Johns were 2nd in the “A” division and Freshman Jack Swikart and crews Kelsi Schoenrock and Christina Johns won the “B” division. The combination of their two scores was good enough for a 4 point victory over the Virginia Wahoos.  Stevens Tech finished a close 3rd, 12 points back.  Team Captain Kelsi Schoenrock, and sailors Christina Johns and Ali Zablocki swapped in and out as crews during the two days, maximizing the teams effectiveness in varying wind conditions.

Thanks to former A division skipper Halsey Richartz  C ’11 who came out to coach the team.

Nine races were sailed in each division over two days and the regatta report can be found here:

Next weekend they will compete in the Atlantic Coast Championship against at least a dozen top 20 teams at MIT in Boston.  Go Quakers!

War Memorial

October 29-30, 2011

This weekend the team traveled to the US Naval Academy to compete in the War Memorial, the qualifying regatta for the Atlantic Coast Championships.  Saturday’s racing was postponed due to a gale force warning, but racing started around 1PM in freezing rain / snow and 10-20 knot conditions.  8 races were competed on Saturday.  The weather on Sunday was much more pleasant and an additional 10 races were completed.  Congratulations to skippers Mike Russom (13) and Jack Swikart (15) and crews Christina Johns (13), Marina Reppucci (12), Kelsi Schoenrock (12), and Ali Zablocki (12) on placing 8th overall and securing a berth at ACCs.

Full Results:

Sherman Hoyt Trophy

October 22-23, 2011

The team traveled to Providence, RI this weekend to compete in the Sherman Hoyt Trophy hosted by Brown University.  8 races were completed Saturday in 3-10 knots of shifty breeze.  2 races in each division were sailed on Sunday.  The team finished 15th overall, with Mike Russom (13) and Ali Zablocki (12) finishing 13th in A Fleet and Jack Swikart (15) and Christina Johns (15) finishing 15th in B Fleet.

Full Results:

WAC Open/Central Fall #2

October 15-16, 2011

Tory Stires (14), Christine Bowman (14), Matthias Chia (15), and Elizabeth Hayt (13) traveled to Washington College this weekend to compete in the WAC Open/Central Fall #2 regatta. Despite extremely windy conditions and it being the first collegiate regatta of many of our sailors, the team had fun and finished 12th overall.

Full results:

Navy Fall

October 15-16, 2011

Penn Sailing also traveled to the US Naval Academy to compete in the 4 division regatta Navy Fall.  The team finished 16th overall out of 18th, but fared well despite challenging conditions the first day.  Jack Swikart (15), Ali Zablocki (12), and Marina Reppucci (12) competed in the A division and finished 15th.  Christina Johns (13) and Kelsi Schoenrock (12) finished 15th in B division.  Mike Russom (13) finished 10th in C division (Laser Full Rig) and Armaan Pai (15) finished 17th in D division (Laser Radial).

Full Results: 

Carl Van Duyne

October 8, 2011

Mike Russom (’13) traveled to Kings Point, NY to compete in the Carl Van Duyne Trophy, the qualifying regatta for ICSA Singlehanded Championships.  Two races were held Saturday morning in a 4 knot westerly.  Races were then postponed until 5:15 and 3 races were sailed in a 5 knot southerly.  No races were held on Sunday.  Mike placed 7th out of 18.

Full Results:

Philly Fleet Race

October 1-2, 2011

The University of Pennsylvania hosted the 2011 Philadelphia Fleet Race this past weekend of October 1st and 2 at the Corinthian Yacht Club. Saturday provided a challenge for sailors with light winds from 5-10 kts and a seven foot tide change  On Sunday, two races were accomplished before the wind died until noon. Despite shifty conditions, the wind managed to fill strong from the southwest at 10-15 kts. A total of 12 races were sailed in each fleet.  Courses were W4. No protests were filed either day.

Stevens Institute of Technology took the win with 38 total points over 12 races, 42 less points than their nearest competitor Drexel. Gerard Tonachel ’13 skippered with Lara Paul ’15 as crew in A fleet racking up 18 points. Christian Geary ’14 skippered B fleet with Kyle Ripley ’13 and finished the regatta with 20 total points. The University of Pennsylvania Sailing Team would like to give a special thanks to Drexel and their coach, Doug Brown, for donating their coach boat to set marks for the regatta as well as Skip Skiwart for his help on Saturday setting the courses. Penn would also like to thank the Corinthian Yacht club for letting us use their facilities to host the 2011 Philadelphia Fleet Race.

Full Results:

St. Mary’s Fall Intersectional

September 24-25, 2011

Penn Sailing Team traveled to St. Mary’s College in Maryland to compete in St Mary’s Fall Intersectional. Despite the undesirable conditions of minimal wind, the team persevered and finished 15th overall. Mike Russom (’13) and Ali Zablocki (’12) finished 14th overall in the A fleet and Jack Swikart (’15) and Christina Johns (’13) finished 17th overall.

Full Results:

Central Fall #1

The Penn Sailing Team traveled to Tom’s River Yacht Club in Tom’s River, NJ this, weekend to compete in their first double-handed, In-Conference Championship. The, Mid-Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s Central Fall #1 regatta was hosted by Ocean County College on September 17th and 18th 2011. Sixteen colleges competed at Tom’s River this weekend in Tech Dingys and 420s. “A” fleet started the regatta off in the Tech Dingy while “B” fleet spent the first half in 420s. Penn Junior Mike Russom won “A” fleet with Ali, Zablocki and Kelsi Schoenrock. Freshman Jack Swikart showed great promise sailing to fourth, place in “B” fleet with Christina Johns and Marina Reppucci sailing crew.

The Penn sailors showed their versatility by placing second place overall despite a shifty, 5-15 knot breeze. On Sunday the wind filled to 20kts and 20 degree shifts. They finished behind Navy by only 2 points and, secured a berth at the 2011 War Memorial at the US Naval Academy on October 29-30th. The War Memorial Trophy is the MAISA Championship. The top 8 teams qualify for Atlantic Coast Championships.

For detailed results, please visit

This week the team is setting their focus on the St. Mary’s Intersectional at St. Mary’s, College of Maryland. The scores at St. Mary’s will establish the Penn national ranking.

Laser South #1 Regatta

This weekend marked the official start to the 2011 Fall Season for the Penn Sailing Team. Freshman, Jack Swikart and Junior, Mike Russom traveled to Annapolis, MD to compete in the Mid-Atlantic Intercollegiate Sailing Association’s “Laser South #1” Regatta held September 10-11 2011. The regatta was hosted by the United States Naval Academy and held in Laser Full-Rigs. MAISA Laser South #1 also served as the Carl Van Duyne Memorial Regatta qualifier- the top six finishers move onto the Van Duyne to be held at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point) October 8-9 2011.

Despite light and fluky conditions, our sailors persevered. Jack Swikart emerged from his first Intercollegiate regatta with a respectable 8th place finish in the 20-boat field. Over the course of the nine race series, Jack earned three top-three finished (2, 2, 3). Mike Russom was able to remain consistent in the skilled fleet and never finished worse than fifth place. In the end, such consistency paid off as Russom placed 2nd overall (behind Georgetown University’s Chris Barnard ’13). This finish earned Russom a berth in the 2011 Carl Van Duyne Memorial Regatta. The Van Duyne is MAISA’s Singlehanded Nationals Qualifier. Best of luck to Mike in his search to place top 4 at the Van Duyne at King’s Point in a month. Single-handed Nationals will be held in Chicago at Northwestern University in early November.

For full results:

This week the team shifts focus back to double-handed sailing and prep for the season’s first double-handed, In-Conference Championship: The MAISA Central #1 at Ocean County College in Tom’s River New Jersey. The top four teams at this Weekend’s MAISA Championship will qualify to compete at the WAR Memorial Trophy to be held at Navy, October 29-30 2011.