Local sailing teams compete in San Diego Bay


Newport Harbor High School and Corona del Mar High School sailing teams continued their dominance in the Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Assn. (PCISA) on Saturday and Sunday by taking second through fifth place at the PCISA All-Girls Invitational Regatta at the San Diego Yacht Club.

Thirteen high school girl teams from the San Francisco Bay Area to the San Diego area competed in the regatta in the San Diego Bay and off Shelter Island.

There were two days of racing with a total of 18 races combined with the A and B divisions. The races started on Saturday in the fog, but they opened up to a slightly sunny day with a nice breeze of 8 to 10 knots.

On Saturday, the A teams finished six races while the B teams finished five races. Sunday was foggy for most of the day, and the A and B teams were able to finish three and four more races, respectively, in light conditions.

The Newport Harbor Blue Team placed second overall. It consisted of Carolyn Smith, an A-team skipper, with crew Victoria Lewis and Bayley Davidson; and Francesca Cappellini, a B-team skipper, with crew Sally Fuller. The A and B division scores are added for a combined team total.

Smith won the A division skipper by scoring the lowest points, with four first-place and three second-place finishes out of her nine races.

The Corona del Mar first team placed third overall. It consisted of Claire Dahl, an A-team skipper, with crew Ainsley Henderson; and Alexandria Ivory, a B-team skipper, with crew Sarah Kim and Meredith Kline.

Ivory won the B division skipper by scoring the lowest points with two first places and two second and third places out of her nine races. Corona del Mar's team was actually ahead of Newport Harbor High on Saturday after the first day of racing.

Going into the last race on Sunday, the CdM first team and the Newport Harbor Blue team were tied for second place with 82 points each. Smith scored a bullet (first place) in the last race, while CdM's Dahl placed sixth, which solidified Newport Harbor's second place overall behind Francis Parker of San Diego.

Newport Harbor's Gray team, which came in a combined fourth place, consisted of Lea Russell, A skipper, with crew Megan Roach; and Katie Calder, a B-team skipper, with crew Kappy Fuller and Kristina Miller. They sailed a very competitive regatta.

Calder was awarded a special sportsmanship trophy for aiding another high school team. She jumped in the water to help a capsized sailor just before one of her races was about to start.

CdM's second team came in a respectable fifth place in a crowded field. The CdM team consisted of Shelby Gaulter, an A-team skipper, with crew Mackenzie Perkins; and Brooke Donahue, a B-team skipper, with crew Sera Alptekin.

CdM's team was so deep that they also had a third team who participated in the regatta. The members of the third team were Chloe Dapp, an A-team skipper, with crew Caitlyn Johnson; and Katie Donahue, a B-team skipper, with crew Brooke Stinson and Julia Ruiter.

Friday afternoon, prior to the regatta, Stanford head coach John Vandemoer hosted a "collegiate" practice for all the girls participating in the regatta, followed by a workout from Harry Legum, an Olympics trainer.

Newport Harbor High School's sailing team is currently in first place in the PCISA following its big first-place win in the Gold Division at the Sea Otter Regatta in Monterey, where 53 teams competed in both the Gold and Silver Divisions on Oct. 1-2.

CdM is in third place in the PCISA, placing third at the Sea Otter Regatta behind Newport Harbor High School and Point Loma.

This weekend, top CdM and Newport Harbor sailors will compete in the Cressy Trophy, which is the Single-Handed National Championship in Chicago.

Gregg Kent from NHHS and Conner Kelter from CdM qualified to compete in the national championship in laser radials, and Michael Madigan from CdM qualified to compete in the laser full rig by placing in the Pacific Coast Single-Handed Championship at the San Francisco Yacht Club in September.

Congratulations to two powerhouse sailing teams, and good luck to the individual sailors who will represent their teams in Chicago this coming weekend.

Editor's note: Mary Cappellini is the mother of Newport Harbor High School skipper Francesca Cappellini.

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