Annapolis' Bartlett repeats as Penguin champion

By Bill Wagner,

5:25 p.m. EDT, August 23, 2014

Jonathan Bartlett competed in the Penguin International Championship for a decade before finally breaking through to take the title. It didn't take long for the Annapolis resident to win the prestigious regatta again.

Bartlett overcame a poor finish in the opening race and finished strong to capture the Penguin International Championship, held last weekend out of Corsica River Yacht Club. Annie Bartlett crewed for her father, who won two races then closed with a second to score a two-point victory over Oxford skipper Bobby Lippincott.

"It was a really close event with excellent competition," Bartlett said. "We got great starts and sailed fairly consistently out on the course. I give a lot of credit to my daughter. She is a very determined competitor and would never let me give up on a race."

The Bartletts got forced to the wrong side of a course in extremely light air and wound up finishing eighth in the 12-boat fleet in Race 1. However, they bounced right back to win Race 2, the only other held in 3-5 knot winds on Saturday.

"Winning the second race kept us in the regatta and gave us a chance going into Sunday," Bartlett said.

Sunday brought a steadier southwesterly breeze of 6-8 knots and Bartlett steered USA 9576 (a 1980 fiberglass build) to a solid line of 4-3-1-2. That turned the eighth place into a throw-out and gave the Bartletts a low score of 11 points.

Last year's victory came with family friend Caroline McNeil aboard as crew. Bartlett did not hesitate when asked if it was special to win the class's signature regatta with his 25-year-old daughter, who is currently working for Chesapeake Veterinary Surgical Specialists.

"That was best part and one of the highlights of my sailing career," Bartlett said. "It was really a dream come true, to tell you the truth."

Bartlett has sailed the Penguin for years with his daughters (Emily, 27, and Annie) for years, but not nearly as much anymore now that they are grown.

Penguin International Championship (12 boats)

1, Jonathan & Annie Bartlett, (8)-1-4-3-1-2=11; 2, Bobby Lippincott & Paget Kellogg, 6-(7)-1-2-3-1=13; 3, Sandy Rapp & Margaret Bodnovich, 5-2-2-1-(6)-4=14