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Toms River

This weekend Jack Swikart, Pati Andrade, Mac Agnese, Meg Harding and I headed to Toms River, New Jersey for our first big regatta of the season.

Friday night we feasted on a home-cooked meal with the other half of the team, and then headed back to the Swikart’s house to get some rest knowing we’d have an early start on Saturday.

After leaving the Swikart’s at 7:30 with some quick food pitstops along the way, we arrived at Toms River Yacht Club to cloudy skies and a massive white tent being pitched on the lawn. We rigged our boats, Jack and Pati had the dreaded Tech in A division, while Mac and I had the 420 for B. After it poured for a minute, the sun came out for the rest of the day.

Starting in some fairly light breeze, we set the standard for the day early, showing consistency in each race, even as the breeze started to pick up. Mac and I started with a string of firsts, and Jack and Pati started with a 4th which would be their worst finish of the day.

After three sets in winds that had gotten up to 14-18, Meg and I switched off in the 420s. After a few challenges in their first race, Meg and Mac continued to dominate the B fleet, as Jack and Pati kept cleaning up in A.

With no lunch break and strong winds, it wasn’t long before we reached the halfway point of the regatta. After nine races, Jack switched into the 420 and Mac into the Tech to finish off the day. They both continued to extend our lead in the standings, finishing the day consistent with how it had started.

With the wedding impending, we were off the water by 3:30 with a commanding 48 point lead in the standings. As a reward for a great day we took a detour to see the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, and then headed back to the Swikart’s to eat with the rest of the team and compare stories and bruises from the day.

Sunday morning we packed up and headed out to finish off the last six races. The wind, despite sunny skies, was blowing hard even early in the morning. Meg and Jack started off again in the 420s while Pati and Mac prepared to finish off in the Tech.

After both pairs struggled a little bit with consistency in a breeze that topped out around 22 knots, they both finished with solid last races that confirmed our lead over St. Mary’s. After the world’s longest search for a sail bag, we headed back to Penn, my first college regatta under my belt.

Thanks to OCC and Toms River for hosting the regatta. Also, big thanks to the Garths for feeding us on Friday, and the Swikarts for being such great hosts all weekend.

Full results can be found here:

Catie Hopkins ’17

SUNY Maritime

This weekend (September 21-22), Max Ryder, Cary Kane, Caroline Garth, and I headed north to not-so-SUNY Maritime to compete in our first double-handed event of the year.

After a veritable feast of lasagna and cupcakes, we spent a restful Friday night an at the Garth’s house in New Jersey. The next morning, we awoke at 6:30am, went to Grandma’s Bagel’s (which gave Naval Bagels a run for its money), and drove an hour to the Bronx.

After a one hour wind delay, the forecasted southeasterly breeze and storm system began to fill. The first set was completed in 5-7 knots. In A division, Cary and I led the pack consistently on the upwinds. After some difficult downwinds, however, we posted 3rd and 4th place finishes. Caroline Garth (New Jersey State Champion) and Max also came off the line well, posting a 2nd and a 7th for their first set. The wind built progressively — much to our frustration as one of the lighter teams — peaking at 16-22 knots for the last rotation. At the end of the day we won a protest in A division against Columbia and finished out Saturday in 5th place overall.

After dining with the rest of the team at the Swikart’s house and staying another night at the Garth’s, we returned to SUNY on Sunday. We sailed six races in both A and B fleets, handling breeze up to 24 knots. In terms of results, Sunday proved more challenging, and we posted a number of midfleet finishes.

Towards the end of the day, we sat next to Cornell in the standings. In perhaps the greatest alliterative showdown in the history of Penn sailing, Caroline challenged Cornell in the last two B division races. Despite a fantastic set, we lost out by only 9 points.

Ultimately, we finished 6th place out of 18 teams. Full results can be found here:

Thanks to the Maritime sailors for running twelve races in tricky race management conditions on the East River. Also, a huge thank you goes out to the Garth family, who hosted us for the weekend, and Mr. Garth who drove us to SUNY and back. Also, we are extremely grateful to Mr. Swikart, who drove us from Penn to New Jersey on Friday, and from New Jersey to Penn on Sunday!

Fair winds,

Joe Farned ’17

Delaware Spring Open

This past weekend, Jack Swickart, Josh Ensley, Tyler Altenhofen and I headed down to the University of Delaware to compete in the Delaware Spring Open. It was my very first regatta and I was beyond excited for my first racing experience. All in all, it was a very successful regatta. We finished the two days of racing taking third place behind Ocean City College and Syracuse. The weather on Saturday was great for our first day on the water. It was bright and sunny, with temperatures reaching around 60 degrees. We began sailing early in the morning around 9:30 AM and continued until about 3 PM. The course was set up in a linear fashion rounding the windward and leeward marks twice. In the morning, there was a strong, steady wind that came out of the west at about 10-15 knots, but towards the end of the day it got much windier, up to 20 knots, with even stronger gusts. Eventually, it got so windy that the race had to be called off; during the 8th set of races, over half the fleet failed to finish the race due to capsizing. Jack skippered one boat, with me as crew, and Tyler skippered the other boat, with Josh as crew. The first day was very successful, with me and Jack winning every race in division A and Josh and Tyler posting solid 5th and 6th place finishes in division B. Going into the second day, the winds had died down significantly and were extremely shifty, which resulted in very challenging conditions for many of the teams. In fact, during one of the races, the wind managed to completely reverse itself resulting in the windward and leeward legs flipping mid-race. Jack and I continued our dominance of division A and finished with first places races in all 10 races over the two days, while Josh and Tyler built on their performances from the first day, including a string of fifth place finishes. The regatta was called off after 20 races due to deteriorating conditions for sailing; the last race actually had to be ended early due to lack of wind. Overall, I believe I speak for all four of us when I say that this regatta was loads of fun. We had a great weekend of sailing and meeting new people. Special thanks go out to the University of Delaware Sailing Team not only for hosting the regatta, but also for opening up their homes for us to stay in. I definitely had a blast at my first regatta, and cannot wait until the next one. Until next time, Steven Ho, W’16

Penn Competes At 2012 War Memorial

This weekend, Christina Johns, Jose-Maria Barrero Patty Andrade, Meaghan Harding, Foster Collins and I returned to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point for the 2012 War Memorial Regatta- a regatta that serves as the MAISA Fall Championship and the 2012 Atlantic Coast Championship Qualifier. Similar to last week, the regatta was split between FJs and 420s. A-Division started in FJs with B sailing in 420s. After 9 races the fleets swapped to ensure equality among the sailors.

With Hurricane Sandy on the horizon, our Coach, Jack Kerr wanted to field the best heavy air team possible. Foster Collins (SEAS ’16) made his Penn Sailing debut joining the team to heavy in the FJ.

To our surprise, Saturday morning was calm and sunny. I started the day sailing with Patty as the wind was out of the east at approximately 5 knots. Overall, Patty and I sailed well. We were a little shocked at the aggressive starting tactics but we were able to stay in phase and finish around 10th throughout the day. The highlight of the day was when we won the start of the 5th race in a huge left phase. After the “tack and go” near the pin we led the fleet around the course and won the race. In B-Division, Christina team with Meaghan for all twelve races. Their results were similar as they battled with the strong current and shifty breeze. Once we swapped fleets Meg and Christina were able to end the day on a high note by sailing the FJ well and posting three strong finishes. We ended the day in 11th overall excited to finish the last six races of the regatta in more breeze.

On Sunday, Kings Point was beginning to experience the outer bands of Hurricane Sandy. When we arrived the breeze was sustained around 15 knots and building. I started sailing with Jose in the 420. Christina sailed the first race with Meg but opted to go with Foster after the breeze picked up to 20 knots. By the last two races, the breeze was well over 20 knots and the chop was around 2 feet. Jose took over B-Division Skipper and Meg jumped in my boat to help post two strong finishes.

All 18 races were completed by 1PM and all 36 boats were derigged and removed from KP’s docks by 3PM. While we didn’t reach our goal of qualifying for the Atlantic Coast Champs we now look forward to defending our MAISA Club Team Championship Title next weekend at Old Dominion University.

For full results:

Penn Sailing 8th at Kings Point Dinghy Open

This weekend Christina Johns, Mike Russom, Jose-Maria Barrero, Patty Andrade and I traveled with our Coach, Jack Kerr to the Kings Point Dinghy Open at the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. Mike and Patty (and Jose in heavier conditions) managed the A-Division while Christina and I sailed B-Division. All in all, it was a great event and the team ended up in eighth place out of twenty teams. We sailed sixteen races all together out of a projected twenty. The A-Division sailed FJ’s and the B-Division was in 420’s for the first ten races and we switched fleets for the last six.

Despite a lack of wind Saturday morning that prevented us from starting our day until after one pm, the conditions in the afternoon were favorable; steady breeze at 10-15 mph and clear, sunny skies. A-Division got off nine races before sundown and B division did eight. While this meant Mike and Patty would have to sail one race in FJ’s and Christina and I would have to sail two in 420‘s the next morning before switching fleets, at that point it was nearly six and the temperature had fallen below fifty; no one was unhappy to head in. We ended the day in tenth place; certainly a satisfactory standing but we were definitely eager to return the next morning and sail fast.

Thankfully, conditions on Sunday morning allowed us to do just that. It was another beautiful fall day with winds at 10-15 mph out of the north. Mike and Patty started off the morning successfully, closing out before lunch with a first place finish. Christina and I were somewhat slower to get off the ground and were having trouble finding our place at the starting line, but once that came together after lunch we finished out the day strong with two sixths and a ninth. Jose came in to crew for Mike when the wind picked up at around one pm and they managed very well in the slightly heavier conditions, ending the day with a first, a second and a sixth. All in all, we had a quality showing on Sunday and left Long Island in high spirits, feeling ready to return for the Atlantic Coast Championship Qualifiers in Kings Point the next weekend. Fall break is Monday and Tuesday so we look forward to getting extra time on the water with our coach before returning to KP to finish the season strong.

Thanks to alumni liaison, Skip Swikart for hosting the team at his home on Friday night and KP Freshman, Austin Newman for the photo above.

To see the full results go to

-Meaghan Harding ’16

Mike 7th at Van Duyne

This weekend I sailed the Carl Van Duyne men’s singlehanded regatta. This regatta was hosted at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD and served as the MAISA men’s singlehanded qualifier for the ICSA national championship. 18 sailors assembled at the Naval Academy to compete the prestigious event. 6 qualified at the MAISA south regatta (where I placed 5th), 6 qualified at the MAISA north regatta at King’s Point and 6 qualified at a combined north and south regatta hosted two weekends ago at Navy.

On Saturday, I was psyched up. I knew I was a bit of an underdog so I rigged the navy laser as quickly as possible then sat down with my coach, Jack Kerr to try and figure out the 10-knot southwesterly breeze.

The sail out was spectacular. In addition to the Van Duyne, Navy was hosting the annual Navy Fall Women’s Intersectional. In total there were 78 navy boats sailing across Annapolis Harbor. This, combined with the sailboat traffic associated with the Annapolis Boat Show, made for a truly spectacular sight. As a senior who has been involved in college sailing for the last six seasons, I couldn’t help but take a moment to admire the day.

The racing started in a building 12 knots. The first three races were strange to say the least. I’m not making excuses but over the course of the first three races the wind rotated 90 degrees to the right to align with the Severn River. I finished around mid-fleet for all six races we completed before lunch.

After lunch the breeze built to a sustained 20 knots coming straight down the Severn River. Normally with that direction at Navy we sail right off the seawall but due to the Navy Women’s regatta we had to return to our course by the Annapolis towers. I performed significantly better in the afternoon with three top five finishes in the 8 races after lunch. It was a long day in the breeze. After 14 races I finished the day in 7th overall.

On Sunday we arrived to chilly temps, rain and very little breeze. Thankfully Navy’s Ian Burman had the foresight to complete most of the regatta on Saturday so, with 4 races planned, we launched and headed to Eastport in a 4 knot Northerly.

I was excited at that chance to change the channel. With Jack’s help I developed a plan for to first race. After my best start of the regatta I reached the first mark in the lead and was able to maintain for the rest of the race. In the second race I went and did it again only losing to Georgetown’s Chris Barnard on the last downwind. The last two races of the regatta didn’t go quite as well (finished around 10th) but I was still very happy with my day. I maintained my position and finished the regatta in 7th place.

For full results:

-Mike Russom, Captain

Penn Hosts Philly Fleet Race

Saturday dawned bright and early with the Penn Sailing team meeting at 7.30am on campus and leaving for the Corinthian Yacht Club shortly thereafter. It was a bit fresher than most of us had anticipated with the temperature hovering in the low 60s for most of the day. While some of us went for a quick coffee run, the others started preparing for the regatta. There were six teams in total which meant that we had to do a minimum of six sets, or twelve races between the two divisions.

The other five schools arrived a bit later and by ten o’clock we were able to start the first race. The race courses throughout the day were either W4 or W3, with a downwind gate. The Ocean County Vikings dominated from the start, putting in consistently strong results of 1st or 2nd place finishes. Meanwhile, the Quakers averaged 4th and 5th place finishes in both divisions. We got into the groove as time went on though, and netted a respectable number of 2nd and 3rd place finishes. Unfortunately, with only 8 sets in the entire regatta, the good results were unable to offset the initial ones and both A and B Divisions finished in 5th overall.

Philly Fleet Race was a very enjoyable experience for all who took part. More than half of us were competing for the first time, and had only sailed the FJs a couple of times in our lives, so it was really more of a learning experience than anything. It was good to get acquainted with the format of college sailing regattas, with the two divisions and rotation of boats, while having the familiarity of home waters. I look forward eagerly to the next regatta.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Bleustein of the Daily Pennsylvanian.

– Sherlyn Chen, ’16

2012 St. Mary’s Fall Intersectional

The weekend of September 22-23, 2012 the Penn Sailing Team traveled to St. Mary’s College of Maryland to participate in their Fall Interconference. From the beginning of the weekend we knew that this would be a competitive event, where we would measure up against several of the country’s best varsity teams.

Once we arrived at St. Mary’s facilities on Saturday morning we contemplated the beautiful weather conditions for the day ahead: clear skies, temperature in the 80s, and southerly wind ranging from 8 to 15 knots. With this in mind, we rigged our boats and set out on the water. Captain Mike Russom skippered A division, crewed by sophomore Patricia Andrade, while Co-Captain Christina Johns skippered B as I manned the front of the boat.

Saturday was a long, hard day with both divisions sailing 12 races sailed just out of. A division began in FJs while B sailed 420s, switching after nine races near the end of Saturday. The breezy conditions, along with some choppy water and strong competitors made for some great sailing. On most of the upwind legs, Christina and I hiked relentlessly to keep our 420 flat on the water and up to speed, while jumping from rail to rail on tacks. Mike and Patricia also gave their all in their effort to compete, while securing a few mid-fleet finishes on Saturday. By the end of the day we were exhausted from battling the wind and the waves, in addition to the opposing teams.

On Sunday morning, we returned to St. Mary’s to complete the last six races, with A division by now in 420s and B in FJs. Although the wind wasn’t as consistently strong as on Saturday, it proved to be a challenging and different day, with temperatures in the 60s, and large wind shifts that could make or break races. Midway through Sunday, Patricia and I exchanged places, so that she sailed the final three races with Christina and I with Mike. After a challenging morning this decision seemed to pay off, with Mike and I finishing in 3rd in our first race together and the girls also feeling more comfortable for the final set.

Overall, our experience at St. Mary’s showed us that Penn Sailing was capable of remaining in the fight against most of the other competitors, while we gained valuable time on the water as the Fall 2012 season comes into full speed.

To see the full results go to

Our women’s team will be back at St. Mary’s next weekend to compete in MAISA Women’s ACC Qualifier.

-Jose-Maria Barrero, ‘13

Going To War Memorial After MAISA Central Fall #1

This weekend, Mike Russom, Meaghan Harding, Jose-Maria Barrero and I traveled to Toms River, New Jersey to compete in the Central Fall Qualifier for the War Memorial Regatta later in the season. We arrived on Saturday to 10-15 knots of breeze from the northwest and were excited to get a good start to the regatta with three sets before lunch. Mike and Meg, who were sailing A division in Tech Dinghies, fared well in the shifty conditions and averaged sixth place. Jose and I started the regatta in 420s, and also maintained scores in the 5-7 range. After a quick lunch break, we headed back out and sailed fairly consistently into the late afternoon. After 9 races, we switched fleets, and Jose and I sailed one race in the Tech Dinghy before heading in for the day. Mike and Meg finished out the day strong with three top finishes in the 420.

Today, we returned excited to sail, but due to a lack of wind, the regatta was called at noon. We ended up sixth overall, which gets us a berth at the War Memorial Qualifier on the last weekend of October.

Full results can be found at

-Christina Johns, Co-Captain