Newport Harbor High heads to nationals

Newport Harbor High School qualified for the National Team Racing Championship after placing third in the Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Assn.'s qualifying regatta in San Diego this past weekend.

After qualifying for the Fleet Racing National Championship during the previous weekend in San Francisco, Newport Harbor showed that it can also compete with the best of the best in the challenging team racing event.

Eight teams from the West Coast, including Corona del Mar High and Mater Dei, competed for three spots to represent the Pacific Coast region in the team racing championships. Unlike fleet racing, the teams consist of three boats sailing against three boats of the opposing team, in a round robin event. The three teams with the best win-loss record qualify.

After the first day of races on Saturday, with two full round robins, Newport Harbor, CdM and Coronado were tied for third place. They had a sail-off first thing on Sunday morning. Newport Harbor beat both teams, while Coronado beat CdM.

Both Newport Harbor and Coronado advanced to the Gold round robin, where they also competed against Point Loma and Cathedral Catholic.

The Newport Harbor team's three boats consisted of: skipper Ryan Davidson and crew Greer Wattson; skipper Daniel Segerblom and crew Francesca Cappellini; skipper Gregg Kent and crew Jackie Cappellini. Skipper Chase Wells and crew Sally Fuller also rotated in, and alternate Erik Higbie was also there for Newport Harbor.

After three Gold round robins on Sunday, Newport Harbor beat Cathedral Catholic once, Coronado twice, and with three wins clinched the third place spot.

Point Loma with eight wins placed first overall. Cathedral Catholic with five wins placed second. Coronado came in fourth with two wins.

CdM sailed in the Silver round robins on Sunday afternoon. After two full round robins, CdM beat Bishop, Francis Parker and Mater Dei with six wins, while each of the other silver teams had two wins each.

Newport Harbor will compete against the 12 best teams in the nation at the Interscholastic Sailing Assn.'s Team Racing Nationals — the Baker Trophy — to be hosted by MIT in Cambridge, Mass., on May 26 and 27.

MARY CAPPELLINI is an NHHS sailing team parent.

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